Do you have a strategy for growing your business?
Or do you just wake up every day and start working on what seems to be a great idea?
The majority of business owners who have a hard time trying to grow their businesses don’t have a strategy in place. They work on the small stuff and overlook the big picture. And they don’t get the results they want.
If you don’t have a strategy you’re spinning your wheels.
In spite of that, most business owners don’t even try to develop a strategy. They think it’s for big corporations, not for small businesses. They think it’s an abstract concept.
Does that ring a bell for you?
What’s Business Strategy?
It turns out, it’s a very straightforward idea.
Business strategy is the act of planning and executing to achieve a long-term business goal.
First, you make a plan and then you execute it.
If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of having a business strategy because you’ve already set long-term goals without reaching them, here’s what you’ve been missing so far.
You can’t just plan to achieve a goal and immediately jump to the execution phase. This isn’t going to work.
In fact, there’s some extra planning required to create a business strategy that works.
Developing an effective strategy is a 3-step process where you have to:
- Step back from your day-to-day operations and consider where you want your business to be at a certain time in the future, for example in one year
- Figure out what you have to do to take your business there
- Take the right actions to reach your destination
Want to learn how to do that?
Step 1: Create a Vision of Your Business
This is the fun part.
Sit down on a comfortable chair, relax, and think of where you want your business to be in one year.
The more specific you can be, the better.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to visualize your dream business:
- How much money do I want to make?
- What products or services do I want to offer?
- How many clients do I want or need?
- How many hours per week do I want to work?
- What lifestyle do I want to have?
Write down your answers. Read them aloud. Do they make you want to immediately stand up and jump to action? Great, you’re on the right path!
But you have to wait.
There’s more planning to be done…
Step 2: Create Milestones Along the Path
This is the step most people miss.
And that’s why they’re not successful.
After choosing your long-term goals, you have to carefully plan the journey that’ll take your business from where it is now to where you want it to be in one year.
This process boils down to answering a couple of questions:
- What needs to happen in the next 3 months to take my business where I want it to be in one year?
- What needs to happen in the next 30 days to take my business where I want it to be in 3 months?
Step 3: Set Short-Term Goals and Take Action
Now that your journey is clearly mapped out, you can start to plan and to execute the actual steps you need to take in the next 30 days to reach the next milestone.
No strategy will produce results if you execute it poorly and you have to be prepared to do a lot of work.
But there’s a big difference between this highly-focused work I’m talking about and what you’ve been doing so far.
You now have a plan. You now know what to do. You now have a detailed map to follow.
Make room for them in your calendar and turn down everything else.
Business Strategy: a Real-Life Example
Let’s say you want to get serious about using online marketing to grow your business (I can help you with that).
You’ve heard that email is the highest-converting marketing medium, so you decide to do what’s necessary to increase the size of your email list.
On January 1st you set your long-term goal: you want to have 10,000 new email subscribers by the end of the year.
You then work backward to create quarterly and monthly milestones that are congruent with your goal.
It’s easy to do the math: you need 2,500 new subscribers by the end of the first quarter and about 850 of them in the next 30 days.
What can you do to reach the next milestone?
Here are some ideas:
- Tweak your marketing message to speak to your ideal client’s needs and desires
- Design and execute an effective content marketing strategy to attract more of your ideal clients to your website
- Create an irresistible free opt-in offer that your visitors can’t wait to download in exchange for their email
- Set up an engaging autoresponder sequence to educate your subscribers about the benefits that your products and services provide
- Develop strategic relationships with other businesses to expand your audience
It is now time to get to work!
Having a Strategy Is Key to Business Growth
When you start to think–and act–strategically, every action that you take becomes a piece of a bigger picture and creates a deeper impact.
In addition to this, having a detailed action plan makes ambitious goals more manageable and gives you an effective way to check your progress.A well-designed strategy helps you grow your #business. Click To Tweet
Back to my opening question, do you have a business strategy? If you don’t, are you going to create one? If you do, what process have you followed to figure it out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.