With 2016 on its way out and 2017 right around the corner, planning for next year is likely on your current agenda. You’re sitting down with the board, reviewing how this year panned out for your business, and forecasting what’s next in the year ahead.

Strategic planning is important to the success of any business. In print, it’s an even more important task considering the pace of change in our industry. Commercial print is going through a major transition process that is forcing a lot of organizations to really focus in on their goals in order to adapt to this new landscape. It’s critical that you have a strategic plan in place if you’re going to succeed over the next few years.

Why? It’s pretty simple. You can’t grow a business without a vision and goals to work toward. You have to know three things if you want to succeed:

  1. Where am I now?
  2. Where do I want to go?
  3. How am I going to get there?

Not having these three questions answered is much like driving to a new location without using Google Maps. You’ll just end up wandering around everywhere without a clue as to where you’re supposed to be going, and you’ll likely never get to where you want to go.

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We’re experiencing a rapid change in the commercial print landscape. If you are behind on your strategic goal setting, get with your team and start defining those goals, NOW. Create a clear vision that you can lay out for key members of your team and make sure each individual understands their role.

A good place to start is to figure out whether you want to be a manufacturer or a service provider. Are you sticking to becoming a better, faster, stronger commercial printer or are you going to start adapting to new roles and expanding your services to tend to matters like marketing or automation? Where do you see your organization in five years? Ten years? Know what role you want to play in the future of marketing so you have a foundation to structure your strategic goals around.

Know what role you want to play in the future of marketing so you have a foundation to structure your strategic goals around.

Once you align your team with the direction of your organization, execute. Start taking steps toward growing your business and adjusting to the pace of change of the print industry. Create systems for your team to use when you inevitably face breakdowns along the way. When you figure out what you’re going after and have systems in place to deal with the setbacks, you will find yourself in a position for success.

If you’re struggling with creating a vision for your organization or need some assistance in defining your goals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I would love to help in any way I can. Thank you for your readership, and be sure to follow me on social if you aren’t already!

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