How Well Do Your Markets Fit Your Strategies (or Vice Versa)?

Posted By Laird Nossuli on Apr 15, 2014

In my last blog, Why Looking Backwards Won’t Help You Tomorrow, I talked about the importance of using forward-looking market intelligence to improve your performance—not just for today and tomorrow, but for the weeks, months, and years to come. Sustainability should be considered essential to improving performance.

Despite all of the challenges you face as a lender—and you have more than enough right now—you are still asked to increase originations and improve profitability. So take some time to ask yourself:

Question 1: What’s your plan in a difficult, uncertain market like today’s?

You need the right people, the right relationships, the right places, the right pricing, the right product mix, and the right strategies—in every one of your markets. There are two ways to be successful with this: either you pick the markets that fit the strategies you already have OR you create strategies that will work for the markets you’re already in. It’s kind of like our relationships—we are able to choose our friends but not our family. And if we want to be successful in these relationships, we have to pick our friends wisely and learn how to like and live with the family we’re given.

But I digress—back to sustainable market performance in uncertain times and your plan for how to get there.

You probably have plans and strategies in place already that you think are matching the right people, relationships, places, products, and pricing. But how do you know?

Question 2: How do you know if the plans and strategies you have in place are the right ones?

You could “go with your gut” and wait to see how these plans and strategies affect your performance after they are in place. You could do that…and many organizations do. Sometimes, it works. Most of the time, however, it doesn’t—especially in business environments that are constantly in flux. The end result? Long-term and expensive threats to your ability to compete—threats like new, highly successful competition; gaps in coverage; failure to meet regulations; financial losses; and high turnover rates in your sales force and managers.

Instead, use market intelligence to drive your strategies and decisions—before you make them and execute them. Even if your gut feeling is right on the money, it can’t quantify just how right or wrong a market is for you like evidence can.

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