Connect Summer 2017 - Page 3

Refresh Your Business Story Grow Together Your business plan offers an exciting and unique platform to tell your company's story. By rewriting your business plan, you are able to address developments and highlight recent innovations. Sales partnerships offer strategy with a twist by using relationships to advance innovation and growth. New business plans aren’t just for new businesses. Established companies can benefit from the opportunity to contemplate past successes (and failures) and focus attention on the future. If your company has reached one of these mile- stones, it might be time to think about rejuvenating your business plan. THE CALENDAR. Some businesses make it a habit to update their plans on a regular basis—quarterly, annually, or every five years. This is a great method for orienting your business toward innovation. Î Î CHECK A PUSH. Are you looking for a new round of financing? Has a new competitor come on the scene and threatened your market share? Have you seen your clients’ wants and needs shift suddenly or over time? If so, it’s likely time to reevaluate your plan. Î Î FEELING OFF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. Have you invented new tech- nology? Hired new senior managers? Made a foray into international markets? Reached a nice round number—$10 million in sales, 100 employees on staff—for the first time? Highlight your successes and chart a path for the future. Î Î SHOW HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: It’s easier to edit an existing business plan than to create a brand new document. Most of your initial research, spreadsheets, and data are still usable—so you can tweak your message for what’s next. When looking to drive growth, the instinct is to look inward—to the sales team. After all, these are the highly skilled individuals who have been tasked with promoting your products and closing deals. If that’s your entire growth strategy, however, you could be missing out. For a truly cutting-edge plan, consider partnering up. How Partners Can Help Identify Opportunities When evaluating other businesses for potential partnerships, look for ones that have similar missions to yours. Joining forces with a company that sells complementary products or services (e.g. their software, which runs on your hardware) can boost your exposure to your market. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel If you’ve partnered with a business that does what they do best, you can devote your energy to doing what you do best. This specializa- tion can provide your team with the time and mental bandwidth they need to develop the next great idea. Share with Confidence By providing training to your part- ners’ employees—and welcoming their training for yours—the partner- ship will be stronger and more open. When your team is exposed to how similar corporations operate, expect new innovations to follow. RANKED BY FORBES’ 2017 “AMERICA’S 100 BEST BANKS” // CONNECT INNOVATION SUMMER 2017 // SNB.COM | 3