Strategic Planning and Customer Marketing

This month we look at the positioning of your business in the travel & tourism industry, and the tools and insight needed to develop strategic plans for the future.   Using “Effectively Managing Human Service Organisations”, by Ralph Brody we have developed the main method to undertaking a strategic review of your business.

Operating a business in such an evolving market can seem a daunting task for many business owners.  With so many inevitable internal and external changes, controlling the future of an organisation is challenging, but also possible.  Using a strategic approach will ensure the long jeopardy of your business.  Environmental changes that could potentially threaten your business and prompt a strategic review include:

  • Client needs
  • Staff turn over
  • Social Issues
  • Advancements in technology
  • Governmental policy and cultural changes
  • International laws
  • Economic and environmental factors

Brody suggests before undertaking a strategic review there are three tasks that should be considered:

  1. Engaging staff: Gather staff input to instil a sense of ownership into the future plans.
  2. Understanding time investment: How much time is it realistically going to take and map it out.  For example, staff meetings, market research and changes in business process.
  3. Building a committee: This should involve key staff  from all levels of the organisation including various stakeholders.

Brody has provided a framework to conduct the analysis that should be presented and discussed with staff.  This includes:

  • Organisation history
  • Operations
  • Values
  • Services
  • Staffing pattern
  • Projected financial situation

As well as this gather information on demographics, political, economic and competitor information. With this information, you will then be able to review and rework your mission statement.  The fundamental questions Brody recommends you ask are:

  • What business are we in?
  • What business should we be in now?
  • What business do we want to be in a few years down the road?
  • What will happen if we continue doing business in the same way?

Think of your review as a business plan in itself. If you were starting from scratch, what are the things you would include or change from what you currently offer and operate?  Consider what it will take to reposition, reinvent and reenergise your business.