Don’t leave your future to chance. Create your VISION and a PLAN to achieve it.
What do you want to be? Do you have a specific vision for your future? Or are you simply waiting for it to arrive?
Having a clear vision paints the picture of the future. It articulates agency goals. By creating a mental image of what the agency aspires to be, your vision provides alignment within the senior team and staff. It inspires performance because everyone understands what the desired success looks like.
For both the operations and the culture of the firm, your vision determines objective, measurable results which you wish to attain over the next three-to-five years. It establishes the core criteria that will guide your decision-making.
A Vision Statement captures this in writing. It’s an essential element in the relentless march towards achieving your desired outcomes.
As with many important things, developing and articulating your vision may not be easy. To be most effective, vision should be supported with a strategic plan to ensure you achieve it.
Strategic planning is the path to reach your vision.
A vision without a plan is like a destination without a path. By combining your vision with strategic planning, you will be in a position to achieve greater revenue growth, higher profitability, more challenging work and opportunities for staff, a solid basis for making investment decisions and an ongoing context for communicating effectively with your staff.
Research indicates that firms with a plan grow 30% faster than those that don't. Yet, in our own study in 2016, we learned that only 45% of marketing communications agencies have an actual strategic business plan.
Strategic planning will: • Leverage your resources. • Force a frank assessment of how to maximize your strengths and improve any weaknesses. • Keep you focused on “Big Picture” goals of what’s most important instead of being distracted by day-to-day client demands and putting out fires. • Determine benchmarks for success and the timing to accomplish them. • Create buy-in and alignment for you and your senior team. • Guide decisions on talent, tools and other investments. • Provide a timeframe for making strategic decisions and taking action. • Ensure you cultivate vital client relationships for organic growth and more meaningful work. • Instill a sense of accountability throughout the agency (including annual success metrics for each senior team member). • Align team incentives with achieving specific results (such as team bonus plans based on incremental year-over-year success).
Since many agencies don’t have a defined vision and strategic plan in place, this can become a powerful competitive advantage for you.
As a result, all of this careful planning increases the value of your agency over time in terms of both measurable performance and buyer perception. It enhances your ability to exit the firm at a time of your choosing and on your own terms. A strategic plan will also help ensure the longevity of your agency and your personal legacy after you leave.
If you don’t have a strategic plan, now’s the time to get started.
Planning should begin now for 2020. Don’t let client-related issues and new business interfere with the important matters of building your agency to maximize growth, wealth and opportunity for you and your hard-working team.
No matter what the reasons may have been for not planning, it’s never too late to get started.
If you would like our support, please contact Alex Halbur, Managing Partner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-936-3774.