Thriving Through the Downturn: Strategy and Focus

This blog post is part of a series titled Thriving Though the Downturn: Eleven Strategies that will make your Company Boom.

The changes in the market have been so large and so fast that pretty much every plan needs to be thrown out the window. It’s time to start with a clean piece of paper and rethink the whole strategic plan for the business. It’s time to reevaluate your positioning, competitors, services, products, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The downturn in the business cycle will end. Start your thinking three years from now. When the cycle is over where do you want to be? What will your company look like then? Focus on where you can win. What goods and services will you be offering? What will your markets be? How much market share will you have?

After you are clear on where you want to be in three years, focus on what you need to do in the next year to be positioned for where you want to be in three years. Once that is clear, figure out your detailed plans for the next quarter. Make those decisions that will get you through the near term, but keep your company strong for the medium and long term.

Many entrepreneurs I know use this planning method. It is articulated nicely by the Verne Harnish one-page strategic plan. You can learn about this process and download a free template here.