Yes, you need a business strategy. Any business owner who aspires to do something remarkable with their business needs a strategy if they are going to succeed.
Now, before you go down the rabbit hole of rationalization and overwhelm, strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, your strategy should simplify every decision you make in your business.
You need a #BusinessStrategy. Any #BusinessOwner who aspires to do something remarkable with their #business needs a #strategy if they are going to succeed. Don’t have one? Here’s what to do: Click To Tweet
A traditional strategy is comprised of three parts:
- Strategy – The big picture goal, desire and purpose you have for your business.
- Measurable Objectives – These are the measurements that allow you to know if the work you are doing is helping you get closer to reaching your goal.
- Tactics – These are the specific actions you will take to meet your measurable objectives and eventually your goal.
All three of these things combined, form your strategy. Strategy, as defined by the dictionary, is a plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
If you don’t have a strategy, there is a good chance you will spend a lot of unnecessary energy on things that don’t work. You’ll likely say yes to things you should have said no to because you don’t have your strategic guardrails set up to guide you along the way. And, if you don’t have a strategy, it will take you significantly longer to reach your desired outcome because the tactics that you apply won’t be anchored in clarity of purpose.
Strategy, however, can be intimidating for people. They fear that they don’t have it right and that they might change their mind and they allow these things (fear and indecision) to keep them playing small for far too long.Strategy can be intimidating. People fear that they’ll get it wrong and that they might change their minds, and they allow this to keep them playing small for too long. If you don't have a strategy, here's what to do: Click To Tweet
Don’t let that happen to you.
If you don’t have a strategy, here’s what you should do.
Ask yourself, what do you aspire to create long-term in your business? What is the goal, aim, purpose or difference you seek to make? This is something you may need to think about or the answer may come to you instantly, and you may resist it. Try not to resist it and remember, you can always modify and adapt your strategy as you go along.
When I think about my business, my really big desire and purpose in life is to help business owners create more wealth and independence through how they market, operate and monetize their businesses. I especially want to help women do this because my experience has shown me that women struggle with building the confidence to accumulate wealth more than men do.
The measurable objectives that guide this for me are simple; the growth of my own business each year which demonstrates the impact I am having on others, growth of the number of people who work with me in some capacity, and growth of my overall reach, which can be quantified by website traffic, list size and the size of my social media network.
The tactics that support this are immense. They include specific actions for me to create and distribute thought leadership, engage with people, make my clients feel valued and appreciated and more. I’m very clear on the tactics which help move me closer to my goal and those that take me away from it.
When developing a strategy, there are other elements that you really need to take into consideration in this modern-day world.
1. Your business model.
Knowing what your business model is, what products and services you sell, and how many buyers you need for each, is an important part of your strategy.
2. Your buyer.
Knowing who the right buyer is for you, the problems they have and the solutions you provide is important. You should spend a good deal of time really getting clear on your ideal buyer and how to serve them.
3. Where your leads come from.
Your marketing efforts should be in support of lead generation. If you don’t know where your leads come from, specifically where the best leads come from, there is a chance your marketing tactics will not be as successful as they could be.
4. Your content.
Content is the magnet that attracts leads to your business. The content you create elevates your visibility and makes what you do desirable to others. It’s important to know what content topics resonate with your buyers and what formats work best for you.#Content is the magnet that attracts #leads to your #business. The content you create elevates your visibility and makes what you do desirable to others. Read more: Click To Tweet
5. Your website.
Your website is your retail store in the largest shopping centre in the world—the internet. Your website is what makes or breaks first impressions with your future customer. The messaging and impression you make here matters.
6. Your social reach.
Social media is like participating in the largest market in the world. It’s where people spend their time, seek out recommendations and consume content. You need to have a strong and effective social presence included in your strategy.
When you combine these six things with your strategy and measurable objectives, they become the tactics that help you further your strategy.When you combine these six things with your #strategy and measurable objectives, they become the tactics that help you further your strategy. Read more: Click To Tweet
You don’t have to get it perfect out of the gate, but you do need to start. And then, every six months, you need to evaluate and refine your strategy to keep the momentum going.
Create a measurable plan for yourself for each six-month period and hold yourself accountable for doing the things that need to be done to keep your plan moving forward.
And remember, if it doesn’t align with helping you reach your strategic aim, say no. It’s a distraction. Having clarity of direction in your business comes from a carefully thought-out strategy.
It doesn’t come from hoping or waiting for the perfect time.
Speaking of perfect time, I am reminded of an experience that showed me how knowledge is a powerful lever for strategy.
Strategy exists to help you get from point A to point B with the least amount of effort, so you save time, energy and money.
It was over a decade ago when we bought our cottage in Parker’s Cove, Nova Scotia. The first year we were there, we bought a shed to store our outdoor furniture in.
We had it delivered by the local Home Hardware and the guys were great. They brought cinder blocks and set our new shed on them. We were all set.
Later that day, my husband noticed that the shed wasn’t completely level. He told me we would need to go into town the next day and get a jack to lift the shed up to shim it. He then promptly went back to building our new deck.
A few hours later, Jackie showed up. Jackie was a jack of all trades and loved by everyone on the shore. He helped us with some of the yard work at the cottage and he immediately noticed the new shed. When he commented on it my husband told him that we needed a jack to level it.
I’ll always remember what Jackie did next.If you don't have a #strategy for your #business, give yourself 1 month to create one. If you don't complete this in 30 days, hire someone who knows more than you do about strategy and use them for leverage. Read more: Click To Tweet
He walked down to the shore, grabbed a fairly large rock and placed it next to the shed. He then walked over to our stacking, grabbed a board and wedged it under the shed and on top of the rock. With one foot, he easily lifted the shed in the air.
“You don’t need no jack,” he said, “I’ll hold it and you can level it right now!”
If momentum loves speed, strategy loves leverage.
It’s not about the most complicated approach. It’s about having the knowledge, resources and tools to identify how to move from point A to point B with the least amount of effort—just like Jackie did with our shed.
One last thing: If you don’t have a strategy for your business right now, give yourself 30 days to create one. If you don’t complete this within 30 days, find yourself a Jackie, hire someone who knows more than you do about strategy, and use them for leverage.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.