Running Smoothly: 3 Reasons Why SAP Partners Should Maintain a Business Plan

October 24th, 2013

Business planning is an on-going process for all companies — or at least it should be. Regular and effective planning keeps established companies on track. It serves as a guide for companies that plan to launch a new product or service or introduce a new marketing program to take advantage of new business opportunities.

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A plan is also crucial for companies in trouble who want to perform an effective turnaround. Even companies that are looking to exit a market need a plan if they intend to put themselves up for sale or merge with another business.  

Why is business planning especially important for SAP partners?

  (1) Don’t be caught unawares by changing market conditions This may be an obvious and general benefit of business planning, but it is absolutely crucial. Some years ago we all knew the markets and countries we sold to in detail and we could predict changes and respond accordingly. However, times have changed and so have the market conditions and economies. There is no way of knowing for certain how market players will react to our actions due to a plethora of market drivers. SAP partners may be tempted to make decisions “in the field” by considering the wrong business priorities and, ultimately, damage their businesses. Business planning can help you in such situations: if you work out different scenarios in advance, you will not be caught unawares by changing market conditions. Instead you will be able to anticipate potential obstacles and challenges and you’ll know how to overcome them based on your business plan. (2) Position yourself as a growing SAP partner SAP requires its partners to have an up-to-date business plan in place. Since a plan includes the SAP solutions a partner is selling and their expected contribution to the partner’s business, SAP regularly reviews partners’ business plans together with the partners. Through this continuous review process, SAP can identify its successful partners as well as those with high potential.

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With a business plan you can demonstrate clear objectives for your company’s partnership with SAP and identify achievable targets. Furthermore, the ability to forecast profits provides a degree of transparency that is invaluable to both sides of the partnership. Such a well-organized and reliable partnership encourages more investment from both sides. (3) Understand the needs of your increasingly demanding customers SAP partners walk a fine line when it comes to winning or losing a deal. With a business plan, you can gain insights into the decision-making process of your customers and figure out what makes them tick. Your plan should identify your customers’ decision makers and potential influencers, and the needs upon which you can align your offerings. This will enable you to quantify the benefits of the SAP solutions you offer. In addition, your business plan will help you to identify specific skills and knowledge areas where your staff needs to be trained.  

So what?

The bottom line is this – an SAP partner can certainly be successful and turn a profit without a business plan, but imagine how much further one would go with a little more foresight and planning. If you as an SAP partner are serious about the success of your business, then taking the time to develop a business plan is an important step. The time you invest in your business plan will pay off many times over. At PDAgroup, we support SAP Partners in business planning through our Business Plan Workshop. Join us and optimize your business growth to achieve sustainable, long-term development.  

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