Ran across an interesting article by Glenn Ebersole that appears on EzineArticles.com that talks about the need for a strategic action plan during a recession.
Strategic planning is always a good idea, but sometimes we consultants can overcomplicate a process when a common sense approach is all we’re talking about. Although I may not precisely agree with all his points, Ebersole recommends 10 action items that are worth considering:
- Never stop developing business (agreed that the pipeline for new business must be constantly fed);
- Reconnect with past clients (good idea to touch base with any clients who have used your firm in the past);
- Deliver superior service to clients (I totally agree with his advice to “WOW” your clients)
- Make a list of 100 existing and prospective clients to aggressively market (no reason to list that many, but it’s a good idea to come up with a dozen or two upon whom to focus your business development efforts);
- Implement a “Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Plan” (not sure what he means by this, but probably has something to do with his advertising and public relations services. Since these items take a lot longer to come to fruition in our business, I put these lower on my list);
- Undertake a strategy of frequent contact with clients and prospects (also referral sources, in order to stay “top of mind” for potential new business);
- Cross-sell clients (often not successful in our business, unless done in the context of client- or industry-based teams);
- “NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK!” (I guess he feels strongly about this. I would agree that kicking one’s networking activities into a higher gear is a good idea);
- Prepare a “yearlong marketing activity plan” (well, at least put a written plan in place for the next three to six months. It should get you started in the right direction); and
- Evaluate constantly your business development strategies and actions (however, make sure to give them an opportunity to work and bear fruit before jumping to the next fad-of-the-month).
As I pointed out in a recent post on the down economy, and as Ebersole says, much of the business development activities suggested for economic downturns make just as much sense for “normal” times too. The important thing is to “Just Do It.”