When a small business in any sector experiences a successful period of business growth, it’s naturally a positive for that company to celebrate – however, it is also something that needs to be effectively managed.
This is because an SME can use this growth to develop and potentially grow even more and ‘strategic management’ plans and processes can be a useful way to facilitate this. As well as this though, strategic management can be something that helps a struggling business to also foster and nurture growth.
Below we’ve detailed more about this process and how growing SMEs can take advantage of this management technique.
What is Strategic Management?
According to this strategic management definition from Investopedia, this approach is where a business reviews, evaluates and manages its resources to ‘achieve its goals and objectives’. This would be done through a variety of different methods and for growing businesses this would include looking at ways to improve more off the back of their initial strong period.
Often these new approaches will be put in place by senior employees who have experience within company management – however, team members across wider teams can also often be involved in the creation of, running and implementation of these.
Ultimately though, it’s often more beneficial to leave the overall responsibility to senior and long serving staff as their experience in looking after internal resource, their understanding of the company brand and outlook and their leadership skills can make the process easier to carryout.
What can be Involved in the Strategic Management Process?
On a general level, some strategic management processes which could be put in place can include:
- Examining and analysing the company’s strengths and weakness, often through a SWOT analysis.
- With this, also thinking about what opportunities there could be in the future for the SME.
- Considering what expectations that management and stakeholders have regarding the company.
- Setting goals and targets for the future.
- Creating action plans or approaches to create more growth or develop the SME further.
As alluded to above, the next part of this would be planning and rolling out these initiatives and processes. This might be through different projects that get set up, or just through trialling and using new methods of working.
Whatever it might be though, these are then closely monitored and reported on to see if they are effective or not – and if they are contributing to further growth or not.
Strategic management can also be useful for targeting specific areas of a business. Everything from improving a company image through strategic brand management, to even improving internal communications and staff wellbeing through strategic human resources management.
To summarise, a growing SME can become even bigger and better through these processes.
What are the Benefits of Strategic Management for Growing SMEs?
Along with the obvious advantages that can come from fostering and building on business growth, other benefits of strategic management for SMEs can include:
Simply put, a business that operates in a stronger and more effective way can lead to great profit margins.
The employees of an SME could also feel more confident and assured over their roles if they know there are effective plans in place to improve and grow the business further.
In addition to this, these staff are more likely to then remain with the business. The increased retention rates could also apply to the clients of the SME who also see a rise in the quality of the goods or services they receive.
Gained Skills and Knowledge
When teams are delegated with different tasks it can be an opportunity for them to learn new skills and gain additional knowledge.
One of the main effects of a thorough strategic management plan is that an SME can become more efficient and effective.
A final thing to consider here is that the finer details to a strategic management plan or process will be specific to different SMEs and their current and desired levels of growth. So again, this is where the expertise and experience of senior members of staff can be invaluable to help ensure that the objectives are realistic and in-keeping with company visions and values.
An alternative option for SMEs who maybe feel they are lacking such guidance is to seek external help from business advisors and consultants. This can also help bolster any strategic management planning and make sure it is the right course of action for the business.
Image courtesy of iStock
Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article. This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 21/01/19