Setting out to achieve specific goals without a road map or a well-defined path usually ends up unsuccessful. This is especially true in the business world. Having a well structured and executable business strategy has been proven to be one of the best ways to achieve success in the business world. Your business strategy can either make or break you and this is why you must take all the necessary steps from the planning stage to the execution stage.
So, for today’s article, I will be discussing what is a business strategy and what is the importance of having a business strategy in place, as well as some of the key ways most people plan their business and 7 insights that will take your business further. See below some interesting related articles, that I am sure you’ll find valuable:
WHAT IS A BUSINESS STRATEGY?
A business strategy can be defined as the steps and choices that a business or organization takes to achieve its set objectives. A business strategy acts as a guide for decision making within a company. A properly planned business strategy should be in line with your goals and vision for the organization. Your business strategy acts as a backbone for keeping the different sections of your business together and ensures that it functions as one unit.
The importance of having a business strategy
The importance of developing an organized and executable strategy cannot be overemphasized as your business strategy can determine if you end up being a proper market competitor or just another washed-up business.
- It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses in the market: developing a business strategy helps you focus on your organization’s strengths and find ways to combat your weaknesses.
- It helps your planning process: setting your business goals is one thing, executing them is another ball game entirely. A good business strategy helps in defining the steps your organization needs to follow to achieve set goals.
- You gain more control over your resources and understand what steps are working and those that are not.
- The efficiency of an organization improves to a large extent when everyone understands what they should do, and when they should be doing it.
HOW DO COMMON PEOPLE MAKE THEIR BUSINESS PLAN?
Making a business plan can seem like a herculean task but it isn’t. If you know your area of specialty to a very large extent and you possess knowledge of the market and competitors, as well as having well-defined objectives for your business, then you really can draft out a proper business plan. There really isn’t one way to achieve this, but here are some steps anyone can follow and get a well-structured business plan.
- You’ll need a vision statement.
- Set clear objectives and define your goals.
- Do thorough research on the big players in your field.
- Know your competitors.
- Carry out SWOT analysis.
- Lay down roles and duties.
- Arrange your workplace needs and prioritize accordingly.
- A vision statement: Defining your company’s goals and values is something every entrepreneur should take very seriously. Your vision statement helps your employees get inspired and makes them strive for excellence. Your vision statement should be easy to comprehend and your employees should be able to relate to it. It should cover your brand’s core values and mission.
- Setting clear objectives and defining your goals: Setting your company’s objectives from the onset of your business is very important as this helps you draft out a business plan that would still be relevant in a long time. Most entrepreneurs tend to forget that businesses need to be strong enough to withstand economic and financial storms that may come in the future. Your business plan should still be relevant in 5 – 10 years. You may add a few tweaks to it here and there but your goals from the onset must remain consistent and achievable.
- Research the big players in your field: Say, for example, you want to go into the footwear industry and you want your brand to still be relevant in 30 years, it’s obvious that you should look into the big guns in the industry like Nike and Louis Vuitton and learn their story, their mistakes and what makes them stand out in that industry. You must learn from their mistakes and also imbibe a culture or two that made them household names and put that into your business plan. This can help you survive the market especially the early days that may not be so rosy.
- Know your competitors: Since the beginning of civilization, wars that have been fought and won by countries and territories have one crucial thing in common- they knew the weakness of their enemies. Similarly, the marketplace can be seen as a war zone where you have to battle it out with your competitors and get ahead of them in terms of sales, delivery, and execution.
- SWOT analysis: The term “SWOT” stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats”. This analysis helps you identify your strengths and use them to your advantage, know your weaknesses and try to curtail them, make the most of opportunities and be aware of anything or anyone that threatens your business. The proper knowledge of all of this makes for a sturdy business plan that would most likely succeed in the face of adversity.
- Laying out roles and duties: it is important that every one that is involved in running a business know their roles and when they should be doing what. This helps the entire business function as a well-oiled unit.
- Arranging workplace needs: Starting can be hard sometimes for business owners as resources may be limited. Knowing what areas require the most attention and resources would help business owners when structuring their business plans.
7 BUSINESS STRATEGY INSIGHTS TO TAKE YOU FURTHER
There is no one sure way to achieving success in business. However, the following tips are strategies every business owner should consider if they want to move from one stage to another.
1. Deliver top-notch customer service
Customer service is everything in business. Customers and clients can keep coming back to you even if you do not have the best products but have an awesome customer service culture. Similarly, customers will pay higher for your products if they know that immediately they step into your establishment they will be treated like kings and queens.
2. Draw in new customers by introducing new products
Offer unique products that aren’t being offered by your competitors. Invest in product development and innovation and foster a culture of customer-centricity that fuels your innovation and new product launch efforts. In short, create products that give real value to your customers.
3. Pay attention to customer retention strategies
Having the best product and the best intentions of satisfying customers is not enough nowadays. You have got to be actively earning your customers trust, loyalty, and ensuring that they love your brand and product/service. One great way to do that is to always tackle the issues reported by customers when conducting NPS or any other Customer satisfaction surveys.
4. Reasonable and Attractive Pricing
Work on pricing to ensure that your products are pocket friendly but also rich in quality.
Depending on the type of service or product that you are selling, it’s wise to do some price testing and making sure that customers would be willing and capable of paying for the price tag of your product.
5. Goal Setting and Accountability
Set goals and targets from time to time to keep you on your toes. Furthermore, build an accountability process to make sure you are striving towards your goals and achieving all of them or getting as close as possible to doing so.
6. Be Generous when Rewarding your Employees
Reward hardworking and efficient employees while creating an environment of growth and unity.
Employee satisfaction is just as important as customer satisfaction, if not more, if you want to lead in this competitive environment. Build a culture of closeness and openness with your teams, be excited and celebrate their successes and share responsibility on their shortcomings and coach them to overcome them.
7. Make good use of Technology
Take advantage of technological advancements and use it to your benefit. One key example is collaborative tools, like Zoom or Google Suite, that you can use to work alongside your employees without the need to being close to each other.
Invest in improving efficiency while keeping costs down, and take that saved capital to reinvest in quality products launch, customer satisfaction and retention, as well as rewarding your champions – your faithful employees.
To close this article, I would like to challenge you to really think through some of the 7 business strategies insights shared, to imagine what they’d look like in your reality and should. These are challenging times, and doing the same that has been done for decades and forgetting all the trends in doing business will do you a disservice rather than help you. Just so you remember much more easily, check the keywords below:
Planning->Customer-> Employee ->Product Innovation->Pricing ->Technology
Before you go, check out the related articles for further insights: