Whether you’re operating a B2B, B2C or non-profit, the focus at this time of year is usually closing out the year in the black and doing bigger and better things next year.

Before the confetti flies and champagne is poured to celebrate the New Year, December may be ideal to take a look back on mistakes and triumphs of 2017 to plan for a more productive and profitable 2018.

A valuable way to assess the past and improve the future is something that we at Dorsey & Company call a strategic and tactical review.

Such a review can serve three important functions:

  1. Identification of areas for immediate adjustment to ensure you meet sales and profit goals with available resources and manpower.
  2. Avoidance of preventable missteps or costly pitfalls that will delay success and tarnish your brand image.
  3. Enter the next year better informed and focused on available marketing and sales opportunities.

A strategic and tactical review needn’t be complicated. What is required, however (and this may be difficult for some), is objectivity. The business or organizational leadership must be willing to take an objective look back at the fit and effectiveness of the 2017 plan relative to the stated goals, objectives and strategy.

A look back as part of a strategic and tactical review should at the very least   reconsider the marketing initiatives, their components, associated processes and the reasons for the results they delivered, in order to:

  • Keep – those parts of the plan that effectively implemented your strategy and accomplished your goals and should therefore be continued into 2018.
  • Adjust – those parts of the plan that achieved the above, yet could be improved in 2018.
  • Eliminate – those parts of the plan that do not implement strategy, help you reach goals and cannot be improved to do so in 2018.
  • Add – those elements that you found to be missing in 2017.

While some businesses or organizations require more complex strategies to achieve the results they seek, many others could grow by leaps and bounds if they simply had the right (objective) perspective on which questions to ask, which problems/opportunities to prioritize and how to move forward to achieve goals. A strategic and tactical review is a good place to start to start 2018 on the right path.