In developing your Strategic Business Plan for a successful 2016/17 fiscal period there must be strong consideration given to the interface between the organisation and the external environment which carries such strong influence over operational outcomes.

To capture the relevant influences it will be essential for your team/managers to be knowledgeable about the multiple components which have impact relevant to the external market environment. This will be the most challenging part of your strategic management process.

The access/knowledge of external environment movements such as competition, pricing structures, and market trends can often be difficult to determine. However, you must be able to identify opportunities and threats through external analysis which will then require a matching process against the core competencies and capabilities of the business.

Your strategic analysis process of both the external and internal competencies/capabilities will provide management with the right mindset to face the challenges of setting the future direction of the business.

I have found many business professionals ignore the potential of external environment/market volatility and turbulence when approaching the establishment of a strategic business plan. This may well work for managers who have considerable experience at senior level in the organisation, and in situations where the market place is relatively stable and/or predictable.

However, in the ever increasing marketplace volatility of today, a more formal and strategic approach is needed. Business can no longer survive and thrive on experience of management alone. This can ultimately lead to an unhealthy propensity to neglect client needs and an ever changing/uncertain economic environment.

Innovative businesses today look to expand capabilities of sustainable market grow and profit by exploring opportunities outside of their current product range through the addition of new proprietary products. There may also be a need to consider an acquisition with synergy to your operation. There may well be opportunities for Joint Venture, Licensing and/or Technology agreements?

Whatever sets your business apart from the competition should be considered in the Strategic Business Planning Process. Nothing should be swept under the table as not achievable.

Most of these objectives can be reached without or minimal capital investment.