We all start a new year and a new financial year off with the best of intentions but can quickly get sucked into the execution of the plan and business as usual tasks. Investing some time in reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to ensure things are on track is critical to success. It can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. We often take our clients through what we call a ‘strategic shakedown’ to freshen things up.
Here’s a few of our top tips:
- Reflect, redirect and course correct
Interrogate your data, and get a good understanding of what worked well last year. Be honest about what was a flop. Was there anything that, if done better, might be worth trying again?
- Share the vision
Bring your team along for the ride. Employees want to feel connected to a business’s strategy and like their work matters. You don’t need to bog them down in the details, but clearly and effectively communicating your high-level objectives and how you plan to get there should be a bare minimum. Ensure your senior leaders and anyone managing staff understand how and where their team fits into the picture. Incorporate an employee engagement plan to provide ongoing updates about how the business is tracking towards these goals so staff don’t feel like they are operating in a vacuum. (Bonus: check out our internal communication tips here)
- Scan the market
Alongside reflecting on what you should stop, start, and continue, take some time to look at your competitors (direct and adjacent) and see if there’s any trends you may have missed. Is there something they did well, or lessons you can learn from mistakes they made? Did you lose any key clients to a competitor and do you understand why? Are there vertical markets that are already being overcrowded by competition? If you followed a similar strategy, be honest about who did it better and break down why.
- Customer demands and opportunities
Next look at your top clients. Are there any emerging needs you should prepare for? Are there opportunities presenting themselves? Has your client mix diversified since last financial year? What industries and sectors are you focusing on and what are the emerging themes and issues keeping them up at night? Make sure you understand their landscape.
- Invest to set your team up for success
Now that the stress of EOFY has (almost) passed look at investing in some new or refresher training that will get bang for buck with your team. Topics common with our clients are:
- Media training – refresher training for boards and executives or middle management that are subject matter experts on a path to leadership roles. If PR/media engagement and thought leadership is a core element of your FY23 marketing strategy, this is a great investment to consider and also an excellent professional development tool that everyone should regularly undergo refresher training on.
- Content workshops – social media is a staple to most business strategies. Collecting quality content is often a marketing teams greatest challenge! Equipping field staff with the knowledge of how to easily gather content that can be utilised by a marketing team is a great investment. We often help educate teams on how to take photos, grab soundbites, video clips or identify valuable content that should be shared with the business.
- LinkedIn masterclasses – if you’re a B2B business and your team are not using LinkedIn, you’re missing out. There have been so many new features released for company pages, but also personal profiles. The potential is huge, and staff just need to understand how to use and apply it.
- Keep things fresh
New financial year is a great time to launch any new tools or templates the team might find helpful. Keeping fresh doesn’t need to mean a brand overhaul. Don’t underestimate the power of a new look and feel PowerPoint template, an updated proposal template or capabilities statement, visual tweaks to social media, new e-newsletter templates or even a revised email signature. It’s also a nice way to re-engage your team and get them excited about your brand and share your brand story.
It’s never too late to review your strategy and even doing one of the above is better than none. If you’d like some help kickstarting this next financial year, reach out and ask us about our strategic shakedown service, internal training or even help with a brand refresh. Contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org