Have you looked at your strategy this year? Last year? It’s highly likely a lot has changed; for you, for your people, your clients and the industry you operate in. Now is a great time to conduct a business health check.
One of the most important things you can do is truly understand your stakeholders’ current needs, wants, and desires. This means finding out directly from your audiences, whether that’s through surveys, phone calls, or emails and asking them how they are, what they need and what they’re worried about? Now is also a good time to do a stakeholder map, or revisit your existing one, because the landscape has changed.
You need to be conducting a relationship ‘health-check’. This involves a very real and honest review of your relationships. What is the state of your relationships with clients, prospects, industry and media? How can you nurture those relationships right now?
Next, it’s about reputation management and looking at your organisation from the outside. If you don’t know what your reputation is, it is very difficult to manage it. Are you seen as innovative or a lagger? Are you perceived as very quiet, or have you disappeared completely? Are you seen as winning? What are people saying about your organisation? Establish what you want to be known as, and for, and build evidence to support that.
One of the most important areas to work on right now is building your community around you and keeping connected. Reach out, look at your CRM and your databases, cleanse them, go on LinkedIn, make sure you’re updating your contribution to your social media. Be vocal, active and present. This is not about selling, it is about listening and adding value.
Finally, look at getting ahead of the game for when the gates open to a different landscape. Consumer buying patterns, travel patterns, which suppliers will exist, how events will happen, and so much more will have changed. Now is the time to get ahead of that; don’t think about quarter two or three, think about quarter four and about the next financial year. Think about what you can control and the vision you want for your company.
Where to start?
A plan, to bring calm, realign your team, ensure your team know where the goalposts are and everybody can get on board and get things done.
You need a strategic plan from which you can develop your communications plan, and then you need to activate your plans. For some “strategy” can be a little scary, however it can be as simple as writing your answers to the questions posed above on a piece of paper.