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Why it’s important for SMEs to think about future strategy

And why they find it hard to do so…

· SME,Strategy

Small and medium enterprises thrive on their dynamism; the passion, commitment and hard work of the founders or Directors is instrumental to success. Often, business owners will wear many hats, spinning several plates to keep operations ticking as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible.

However, in doing so, few directors or leaders of SMEs have the time or perspective to think about future strategy, something that is vital to the long-term growth and sustainability of the business. Let us emphasise why it’s so important to make the time to plan ahead, and how to overcome obstacles to strategy planning.


What’s the problem?

Growing a successful business – and positively managing that growth – is a rollercoaster ride that, as any business owner knows, involves taking the rough with the smooth. Managing day-to-day operations and keeping clients or customers happy leaves little time to consider the strategy driving the business forward.


While agility has its merits, especially for a startup or SME, it’s critical to have the processes, people and structures in place that give the business a robust framework to facilitate growth. Often, it can be difficult to review this objectively in-house, even if you do find the time to consider it.


Why is it so important?

Business strategy might be widely discussed at a corporate level, but it’s every bit as important for small and medium enterprises. Otherwise, you’ll simply be a magpie without a nest, celebrating quick wins while big opportunities pass by.

Strategy planning, by nature, involves a close look at your current situation, where you want to be heading and how to get there. It brings focus to your goals and tangible outcomes, to help you predict and overcome obstacles along the way.


So whether you’re a Director-only company or a mid-sized business with an established Board, it’s essential to prioritise your future strategy to give meaning and direction to what you’re doing right now.


Gaining clarity…

When faced with competing pressures on your time and energy, partnering with external consultants can offer invaluable support. A business consultancy, like ours, will be able to take an objective view of your business, challenging your processes and systems and applying our expertise to your business model.


This is exactly how we helped Strategic North, a North West-based strategic marketing healthcare consultancy, form their vision for the future, guiding them on their journey and giving clarity on how specific roles and processes linked together. We played a pivotal role in facilitating alignment amongst all four of the agency’s partners, ensuring the growth strategy was based on a shared vision and backed up by a robust infrastructure to deliver on key objectives.


There’s only so many hours in the day; when running an SME, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture as you muddle through the working week. But it’s essential to invest in developing this holistic view of your journey.


In our next blog, we’ll be exploring some of the key considerations to bear in mind as you plan your future strategy. For now, watch our video ‘Partners’ Perspective: The Right Foundations for Growth’ to learn more about how we helped Strategic North move forward.

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