Are you a business owner or manager looking to future-proof your business so that you’re less likely to implode because of a chink in your defences? No business is perfect, just as no space station is completely proton-torpedo proof, but by doing the necessary planning you can better prepare for the future.
Importance of Having Strong Plans in Place
Setting up a business can be one of the most exciting things you can do and because of this many people rush ahead of themselves without first doing the necessary planning. By avoiding this vital step many business owners leave themselves vulnerable to changes in their industry that could have otherwise been accounted for.
Arguably the biggest outcome of doing the necessary planning is that you’ll have a much better idea of who your ideal customer is and what their needs and desires are. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is basing major decisions on assumptions and anecdotal experiences.
By doing customer analysis and segmentation as part of your business and marketing planning you can be sure of what your customers are wanting and the best ways to reach them, meaning you won’t be wasting vital resources targeting the wrong people.
If the rebels were on the lookout for new members, do you think it would have been smart for them to focus their resources on people who had benefitted fror the Empire? Probably not. This is why getting your targeting is key. Instead, they most likely recruited from groups of people who had been negatively impacted by the Empire's activities.
What are the other benefits?
You can set realistic goals
By having a clear marketing plan in place, you can set goals and objectives to accomplish that align with your business goals. This will provide you and your team with a clear end goal and means that you can all be on the same page when it comes to increasing company growth.
Mistakes can be avoided
It’s easy to get side-tracked but by having a clear plan in place the chance of this happening is much less likely. Having a timeline with goals and actions included can ensure that you stay on track and avoid rushing to make decisions that don’t need to be made, meaning you work at a pace that’s aligned to where the business is at.
You know where you’re at
Having a marketing plan in place with milestones along the way allows you to measure the pace of your growth and look to see what may or may not have gone well in that timeframe. All of this information can be used to better inform future planning and help you get things right more often than not moving forward.
The rebels knew what their limitations were and were careful not to bite off more than they could chew. Could they beat the Empire in open combat? Absolutely not. Instead, they used their small numbers to conduct quick hit-and-run attacks where their weakness could become their greatest strength.
How Scenario Planning Can Help
You might have heard of scenario planning but how much do you really know about it? Scenario planning is the method of assessing how change-resistance your business is and how capable it is of weathering a variety of storms. It means you can identify vulnerabilities and set in place plans that can allow you to survive should the worst happen.
If the Empire had done this they probably would have been aware of the possibility, as small as it might have been, that a torpedo being fired into an exhaust port on the Death Star could destroy the entire space station. If they had done a scenario planning exercise it would have been noticed and a preventative measure almost certainly would have been put in place.
What are the benefits of scenario planning?
You can be quicker to react to changes
Scenario planning can allow your business to be among the first to embrace changes because you will have accounted for it when you looked at possible outcomes. You can react to supply chain issues, for example, and have backup suppliers in place so you can make a switch if issues arise. You want to be able to react faster than your competitors.
You can streamline processes
By having all of your processes accounted for and any vulnerabilities noted down, you can quickly enact changes that would allow you to downsize areas and streamline how you operate. We’ve seen over the past couple of years many businesses struggle to adapt to a drop in revenue and don't know which areas of their business are less mission-critical.
You can grow your business quicker
Having a clear inventory of what your capabilities or limitations are can allow you to make the most of your strengths and use them to accelerate your growth. If you’ve been able to identify where you might be falling short, these can be addressed and rectified.
Why Doing a PESTLE Analysis Is Beneficial
PESTLE analysis can be used to identify and understand long-term limitations and areas of interest. It can be used not only for your marketing but also included in your business plan because it can shed light on where you may need to concentrate efforts and also where you might be more vulnerable to change.
If your business is as big and powerful as the Empire then you probably don't need to do a PESTLE analysis, because you'd have no competition, but we'd assume that your business probably isn't quite so dominant. Being aware of how external factors can affect how you operate is vitally important.
This can be done on your own or collaboratively with your team. It isn’t difficult to do and is just a simple framework, meaning it can be adapted to suit your business needs and where you’re currently at on your growth trajectory. It allows for cross-collaboration and can create an environment where anybody can contribute ideas and have a real input into the business.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the PESTLE analysis itself, it’s generally broken down into these areas:
Political – looking at how government policy, current regulations, and trade restrictions and tariffs can impact your business.
Economic – looking at how economic growth, wage costs, inflation, and credit opportunities can impact your business.
Social – looking at how cultural shifts, average workforce ages, career prospects, and health and safety can impact your business.
Technological – looking at how the latest innovations and developments in new technologies can impact your business.
Legal – looking at how changes in legislation, access to legal advice, and current taxation laws can impact your business.
Environmental – looking at how current waste quotas, energy consumption rules, and EPA guidelines can impact your business.
Having a completed PESTLE analysis, you should be able to better forecast your business's future and set in place contingencies so that you will be able to better react to future changes in your business's landscape. It'll become a vital part of your marketing toolkit.
If you need some help getting your marketing sorted, our team at Royal Flush Marketing can help get you on a track towards sustainable growth. Don't take a pot-shot at an exhaust port in the hope of succeeding, work with us and we'll take the gamble out of your marketing.