Business Planning

I’ve often said that advertising agencies do a wonderful job of communicating to consumers, but leave a lot to be desired when it comes to communicating internally. Much the same as I’m more adept at controlling agency finances than my own!

The same can be said about business planning. Clients of Australian agencies have access, and benefit from some of the best Strategic Brand Planners the World has to offer. But in turn, a lot of these agencies lack their own plan and simply exist from year to year without goals or strategic direction.

Running an agency without a plan is like trying to find your destination without a map. Sure you may end up arriving where you want to through natural instinct, but the risk of not is far greater.

So I’m simply now getting back to basics and listing the reasons for having an agreed Business Plan in place, no matter what the service offering.

A good plan;

• documents the reason you’re in business and clarifies the vision for the business
• provides a single point of reference if multiple owners are involved
• provides a process for succession planning
• documents exit strategies – sale, merger or acquisition
• sets out goals/milestones for the agency to achieve.
• provides necessary information for investors, capital lenders etc.
• defines your market position and addresses corporate objectives
• sets out framework for financial and operational effectiveness
• identifies risks, opportunities and threats

A plan will obviously be subject to change just as market conditions do over time. So corrections are also just part of good planning.

Can your business afford not to have one?

Michael Collinson

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