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2009 was riddled with stories of corporate downsizing, bankruptcies, and economic uncertainty. The environment rattled even the most accomplished businesses. Some failed, closing the doors forever. Others narrowly survived and new businesses are emerging, both facing the incredible challenge of adapting to a new business climate.
Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based consulting firm, specializes in developing and executing strategic solutions across business, brand, marketing and technology to embrace new opportunities for the creation of more sustainable businesses. Junction considers 2010 as the year for a strategic uprising.
For the last decade, many businesses operated without detailed business plans and strategic executions. Consumers were spending more as revenues increased. When the pendulum suddenly shifted, companies weren’t prepared to handle the drastic decline in consumer spending and the effect it had on revenue. For those businesses who survived, strategy is becoming the priority.
“Strategy plays a crucial role in the success of business,” comments Julie Cropp Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction. “I practice what I preach. I spend the better part of first quarter every year writing and refining my business plan, creating a strategic roadmap, defining goals and objectives, and charting the course for how to achieve success. Although I faced many challenges in securing new business in 2009, I diversified my approach. I followed the plan. I moved forward. As a result, Junction is thriving.”
A strategic plan is more than a roadmap. It defines goals, objectives, and key milestones with considerations for resources and financial capability. Companies can identify and create efficiencies in processes, ultimately maximizing return on investment.
Gareleck provides advice to businesses who are redefining strategies, “I encourage organizations to not only embrace strategy but also commit to the execution. It’s an ongoing and ever-evolving process. Learn from the volatility of 2009. Prepare your company for adapting to the ongoing changes in business as opposed to reacting. I equate the lack of strategy to taking a road-trip without a GPS.”
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