Moving a business to the next level..

Businesses reach plateaus and moving beyond them can be a challenge.

You’ve invested a great deal of time and money creating an excellent business identity and bringing it online and elsewhere in an ordered and appealing way. Your web guys and other external resources have done a good job for you.

A new website development or rebrand isn’t always going to be the answer you are looking for.

You’ve established yourselves at a level in terms of commercial size and now need to move to the next level, this is never an easy task and should be led by a strategic approach to your business planning and marketing.

It’s very much a question of establishing the commercial objectives based on a realistic review of the path that brought you to where you are now, the opportunities you and your business colleagues perceive for the future and then mapping out the likely ways in which you can achieve the growth you are aiming for.

An experienced marketing agency business can undertake this sort of strategic work. An overhaul of your website orbusiness logo design may be necessary in due course and there are certainly some obvious areas you likely do not yet address which are very clear when you look at the propositions of major players you aspire to sit alongside. For example whilst your website may on the surface be just as appealing as theirs visually in many ways, yours has no element of promotion where theirs is packed full off offers and discounts, news and other forms of customer engagement.

In addition when looking at larger competitors you can safely assume that they not only have a full team of expert resource managing the ongoing marketing and implementation of the plans they devise but of course whenever all these promotions and offers are present they are bound to be supported by strong advertising to drive a constant stream of traffic to them. This is again a key area that companies need to address and invest in when they aspire to grow.

So how does your business move forward?

First thing is to sit down with your team and have a really thorough talk about where you’ve got to, how long it took to get there and where you believe you could get to with a strong business plan based on commercial reality and realistic objectives. (It’s good to be ambitious but it’s better to have objectives that can realistically be achieved and clear time frames and measurement criteria.)

Once you’ve done this you can hand the business plan over to some marketing experts for production of a strategic marketing plan designed to define your positioning in key areas like cost, quality, service and any USPs i.e. you’re local.

Strategy defines budget.

This strategy work should also define the likely budget you need to invest to achieve your objectives and which are the priority areas to address.

Once the strategy and budgets are defined and agreed your marketing team can build a tactical plan that delivers your proposition to your target audience in a cost efficient and measured way.

After that it’s a case of carrying out the plans consistently and reviewing and adjusting as required.

Business success is rarely simple.

All sounds a bit too simple…but of course the big issue is that you need to invest to achieve the growth before you get the growth and there is no specific guarantee that the plans will work as intended when the market is confused and affected by multiple factors, both internal and external.

If it’s the case that you don’t have the required marketing resource internally an experienced marketing agency who can support you more cost efficiently will be your optimum choice of partner.

Look for an agency or consultant that can offer you a good logical outline of their approach to working with you collaboratively to build a strategic plan and then take it on to a tactical plan. People who know what they are doing will be asking questions about your commercial situation, your customer profiles and your current activities before they start telling you what you should be doing with your money.

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After working within the hospitality sector in various management roles, Laurence completed his degree in Business Marketing and Management at the University of Kent. Laurence has gone on to develop a successful career in Marketing. Google+

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