Avoiding traps in strategic planning

At James Todd & Co we can provide businesses in the Chichester area with advice and support on a wide range of business issues. Here are some traps to avoid in strategic planning...

Some form of strategic planning is essential for all businesses that want to improve their long-term financial performance. However, it can be difficult to do it effectively, especially without external help and constructive criticism. 

Common pitfalls

For many businesses, 'strategy' is too often:

  • an overly simplistic vision, which is not necessarily grounded in tangible, competitive advantage
  • concerned only with general objectives, without spelling out the 'how'
  • too broad in scope, and insufficiently broken down by different product or market segments
  • controlled exclusively by too small a number of individuals
  • based upon inaccurate or wishful financial projections
  • focused only on profitability or sales measures, meaning that other important issues, such as exit values on sale of the business are often not factored in.

A new perspective

To avoid these traps, it is useful to take a fresh perspective on the business. You need to look at the wider picture, including such things as the 'PEST factors (political, economic, social and technical); the actions of your competitors, the efficiency of your systems and cost management; and the factors that drive growth in your business.

A good external adviser can often help in achieving this perspective. They can do this not just by coming up with imaginative ideas for growth and strategy, but also by facilitating discussions, by helping you to evaluate options, and by asking you searching questions about your business, which stimulate creative thinking and help you find your own solutions.

Practical measures

Above all, strategic planning must result in practical measures which ultimately benefit your bottom line.

Strategies should be broken down into step-by-step processes, deadlines and responsibilities decided, and project management guidelines put in place so that ideas can be implemented. Measures that will enable you to track success should also be established.

As your accountants, we can help you with much more than just your tax returns. We can assist in many of the areas that will enable your business to achieve long-term financial success. These include such things as preparing cash flow forecasts and business plans, minimising your tax burden and helping you to maximise the opportunities for raising finance.

If you are in the Chichester area and are looking for help and support from experienced accountants and business advisers, contact James Todd & Co.

Have we convinced you yet?

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We offer initial free consultations – simply contact us to find out more.


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James Todd & Co, 16 Northgate, Chichester PO19 1BJ
James Todd & Co, The Mews, St Nicholas Lane, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2JZ

James Todd & Co is the trading name of James Todd & Co Limited. Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors. Registered No: 07350649 in England. VAT No. 322087875. ICAEW Firm Reference No: C002730145 and James Todd & Co (Lewes) Ltd (formerly known as Axtons). Chartered Accountants. Registered No: 11214467 in England. VAT No. 290460506. ICAEW Firm Reference No: C005791297

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