As 2021 begins to take shape, we are being asked to help clients by giving them inspiration and ideas for their annual business and brand planning.
This year, more than ever, this needs to be about preparation and preparedness, and less about prediction. Here, we have put together a few tips to consider at the first throes of the annual planning process. Good luck!
- Don’t wait for the starter pistol. We will slowly and imperceptibly move from how we are today, to how we are next year. There will be no VE Day for Covid. No surrender letter. No clear-end date. So, start right now.
- Expect no masterplan. There will be Government initiatives. But the visionary leadership that will most help your business will come from your Board, your competitors and you.
- Don’t look to re-build what you had, look to build forward. Much of what you had, and what you did will be redundant in the ‘new normal’ ahead. Don’t assume the same business models and products will be the norms of the future.
- Have a clear vision, a strong plan and be ready to change it. Fortune will favour the flexible and agile. Don’t tie your next 18 months to decisions you will make today.
- Do develop short lines of decision-making, before you need them. Check back over the past 12 months – has your brand reacted to opportunity quickly enough? If you haven’t, change how you gather ideas and how you make decisions. Make both of them quicker.
- Do have a ‘budget-in-waiting’. Keep a healthy contingency to be able to react to opportunity knocking.
- Reactions with enormous shifts will vary enormously. As your brand starts on its next stage of life, be sure it is on the trajectory you want it to be on.
- Plan rather than predict. Predictions will be less valuable than planning, preparedness and agility.
- Do the right thing. For your business and for society too. Consumers will want you to make the right calls. We cannot leave our principles at the office door, nor can we leave the right decisions to governments or individuals. You must play your part as a board, and as director or as an employee – whatever your role in the company.