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09Jan

Put Your 2019 Sales and Strategy into Action

The start of the new year is synonymous with a review and update of business plans. Successful companies conduct a yearly strategic planning session. Strategic planning is a process for defining a business strategy to shape and guide your operation. It focuses on a vision of the future and what you must do to achieve it. Executives use the technique to make decisions on what the company does, where it is going, which actions are required to make progress, what level budgets and which resources are necessary to pursue the strategy, and how the company will determine success. 

There are many frameworks and methodologies for strategic planning, but most follow a similar pattern:
 

  1. Situation assessment. You research the current state of your company to develop an understanding of its internal and external environments.
     
  2. Strategic direction. You articulate the vision of what the company wants to become and the objectives company needs to achieve to meet the vision.
     
  3. Plan design. You develop strategies to translate the high-level plan into action items and budgets.
     
  4. Implementation and monitoring. You set your plan in motion and evaluate the progress toward the goals to provide ongoing refinements to the strategy. 

 the-strategic-planni...

As you perform your situation assessment, you need to develop a solid understanding of your overall business performance through an in-depth review of revenue, growth, and profitability data. But you must also inspect all facets of your business from the activity and strength of your client base, to the performance of your sales and marketing efforts, the state of your production and client service operations, and the effectiveness of your support functions like accounting and human resources.

However, a business plan can’t just be inward-looking. You must also get to know what your competition is working on. What priorities do other language services providers set for themselves and where do they encounter challenges? 

To be able to determine how top providers answer these questions, CSA Research conducted two surveys with CEOs of language service providers that appear in our Top 100 rankings – the first conducted in January 2018 with 85 executives and the second in August/September 2018 with 52 respondents.
 
Reviewing the curated answers helps you investigate whether your focus areas overlap with those competitors are working on or if are you are behind on some initiatives. Are you dealing with similar issues as top providers, or are you still struggling with issues more typically associated with less mature companies? Understand how you compare and decide whether it’s time to accelerate some improvements in order to better compete in the market. Carefully align goals with challenges to avoid an imbalance in your operations and frequent disruptive changes in direction.

Don’t remain a spectator when it comes to the future of your company. Capitalize on your intentions to lead your business proactively by taking immediate action. Before you finish reading this blog, pick up your calendar and develop a timeline to handle a full review of your business plans. Identify who should be in your strategic planning team and call a meeting to brainstorm and discuss ideas. Then request reports from all relevant entities. 

Don’t let the ball drop. LSPs that plan experience more sustained growth over time. It is your responsibility to keep the ball moving.

About the Author

Hélène Pielmeier

Hélène Pielmeier

Director of LSP Service

Focuses on LSP business management, strategic planning, sales and marketing strategy and execution, project and vendor management, quality process development, and interpreting technologies

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