Strategic thinking needs to include resource planning, that is to realistically evaluate the resources available to support the implementation of strategies, and plan the actions and steps necessary to close the resources gaps. The key categories of resources to consider are:
- Financial and Physical Resources
- Human and Technological Resources
- The Company’s Reputation
Financial and Physical Resources
Every business needs as much financial resources as possible. So before you venture into new businesses, change your strategic direction, etc., it is imperative that you think about your company’s existing financial resources, the level of funding you already have and the ability to raise further capital whether through borrowing or other means. This could make or break what you intend to do. Besides your bank account balance, some indicators here could include your credit rating and your standing among investors. Available equipment, materials, product inventory are your physical resources and valuable fixed asset.
Human and Technological Resources
Employees are among your most valuable assets and should be thought of as your competitive advantage. They are the human resource that will make the difference in whether your strategies succeed or fail. Therefore, you must strategically think about how to develop your employees to have the skills sets and capacity to deliver on the strategies and significantly it will impact the business. You also want to have committed and loyal employees, which means you have to think about how you will create the working environment and sense of fulfillment among employees to keep them happy.
Technology is the great multiplier of your other available resources. The right technologies, deployed in the right way, will help you to create more value with fewer resources. No business can remain competitive nowadays without the smart adoption and use of technology. Develop your company’s technological resources must rank high on your list of priorities in supporting the implementation of strategies.
In the business world, reputation is essential for buyers as well as investors to take you seriously. A good reputation builds a good brand. People will find it easier to trust you. So you must think about how you are going to build your brand and create long lasting business relationships with customers, vendors and investors. This means you have to think about ways that you will provide quality and reliable products. You also have to consider price points, ways to increase repeat purchases, product performance and the steadiness of business performance.
In summary, strategic resource planning is an indispensable part of strategic thinking and the success of strategy implementation depends on how well you develop your company resources.