by Karen Stern
While there may be situations that call for drastic measures, it’s rare that a single strategic move will be enough to erase unfavorable market developments, operational challenges or other issues. In most cases, a series of subtle changes, backed by a well-thought-out plan, are the key to improving your company’s growth trajectory.
Start by Understanding the Issues
An important early step is conducting an assessment to understand where your organization is today and the necessary steps to improve its performance. A variety of tools are available to help your stakeholders understand the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. While the most effective tool will vary according to the specific situation, each framework is designed to provide insights to help management identify the appropriate actions to take in response.
Planning the Implementation
The response or implementation plan needs to be practical. As action items are evaluated, it’s important to understand whether the organization can carry out those steps easily, or whether you will need to enhance your processes or systems to do so. Similarly, it is important not to develop a growth strategy within organizational silos.
It’s important to implement in well-defined phases — such as 30, 60 and 90 days. Each phase should be viewed as a proof-of-value test in which the company can evaluate its effects before moving on to a new phase.
Management and functional leaders need to agree on the metrics that support not only the growth strategy, but also your organization’s performance going forward. And if current processes and tools can’t provide that information, it may be prudent to consider updating processes with robotic process automation (RPA) or integrated, cloud-based solutions that can provide real-time data.
An Ongoing Effort
Focusing on today and tomorrow should be a consistent process in which understanding short-term operating wins and losses is balanced with looking at the marketplace and customer needs. With this mindset, you can develop, implement and maintain a growth strategy that serves your company and its stakeholders effectively.
Karen Stern, CPA, (karen.stern@armaninoLLP.com), partner, Armanino, provides tax and accounting services for companies ranging from start-ups to $20 million in revenue. Prior to joining Armanino, Karen was a partner and practice leader for Brown Smith Wallace’s Entrepreneurial Services Group