If your financial institution last updated its strategic plan pre-COVID – or worse, it never had a strategic plan in place – now is the time to revisit the planning process. A nimble, well-constructed strategic plan allows an FI to make necessary adjustments, quickly, in a rapidly changing business climate.
One thing is for certain: Change is coming,” said Mikelle Brady, Partner at Profit Resources Inc. “The more flexible the strategic plan is, the more the FI will be set up for success in the future. We’ve always believed that to be true, but it’s even more critical now.”
A good strategic plan answers the following questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How do we get there?
- How do we measure progress and success?
These questions are as relevant today as they were pre-pandemic, but now they should be considered through the lens of the impact of COVID-19. Every FI will answer them differently because each has its own unique demographics, communities it serves and customer base.
“What is the impact of the pandemic to them?” asked Ty Glenham, Senior Lending Consultant of Profit Resources, Inc. “What has changed during this time? Many have learned to work remotely (or learned who cannot work remotely), to make do with fewer branch hours and to revise their online banking approach. FIs should ask themselves what has changed, how they have adjusted and how these adjustments will affect their strategies going forward.”
And while there are many firms that can update an FI’s strategic plan, the result can often be a canned or cookie cutter approach. FIs will get a more customized approach by working with consultants who are experienced in the banking industry.
“There are companies that specialize in strategic planning but not in the banking industry,” Brady said. “FIs can gain from the banking expertise of a company like PRI, and they have the advantage of us staying with them throughout the process, including during follow-up and progress measurement. We help them adjust along the way and brainstorm solutions to challenges that may emerge.”
Glenham says that FIs don’t tend to think of strategic planning as a risk area, but it can be.
“Often, banks don’t give enough attention to their reputation,” Glenham said. “How do we continue to serve our customers? How do we manage through this pandemic and on the other side of it? Any decisions that are made now are critical and should be guided by a solid strategic plan.”
Profit Resources specializes in identifying profitability improvement areas for financial institutions through revenue growth, cost control, streamlining processes, and effective use of technology. Contact us to learn more about our personalized approach to propel growth and improve profitability.