5 steps for creating your business strategy
Well, that’s what starting a business is like. It’s a journey, so why would you begin it without first consulting your map? Creating your business strategy is like consulting a map, you may start with a business plan before you launch your business but a strategy is what will drive you forward.
Stepping forward into the unknown, the future, is something that business owners and entrepreneurs do on a daily basis. How do we make sure we stay on track and don’t get lost? We follow our map or rather, our business strategy.
How To Write A Business Strategy
However, how do we go about creating a business strategy? It’s something most small business owners ask themselves. In fact, the phrase “how to write a business strategy” is searched almost 1000 times a month on Google!
The truth is there are several ways that you can write your business strategy and how you do will vary depending on your business, your niche and your level of experience.
Your business strategy will also evolve and adapt as your business grows, or when you have to respond to outside events that can impact your business (Hello Covid) so you should always be prepared to take those changes into account.
5 Steps To Creating Your Business Strategy
Step 1: Be clear on your destination
Having a strategy is all about plotting your route and creating a clear way forward, so it makes sense that the first thing you need to get clear on for a killer strategy is your destination.
What does success mean to you? It’s helpful to make this something measurable but ensure it is meaningful too and something that will grow your business
How will you know when you’ve achieved it? What will it look like when you reach your destination ie your business goals
And critically, what are you not willing to do to get there? You’ll save yourself a lot of time later on if you’re clear up front about what simply isn’t worth it for you, for example working long hours or public speaking.
Step 2: Be clear on who your audience are and what they want
Whose attention is it that you want to get and what are they interested in hearing?
What problems do they have that you could help to solve? Try to find ways to get in touch with your target customers, even if it’s just a handful of them and ask them open questions about what excites them and what frustrates them.
Don’t ask them about your own products/services as that will limit the conversation – the goal is to really get to know them so you can make better choices about the products and services you offer and how you offer them.
Step 3: Be clear on how you want to work
It takes time to grow a business, whatever level it is at, so being clear on what kind of working style suits you will help you pick a business model that you can stick by for the foreseeable future.
For example, if you’re overcommitted in your personal life already, it might not make sense for you to need to be physically present with your clients a lot of the time or work extended hours.
Likewise, if you’re someone that prefers a lot of time to themselves to get their creative juices flowing you might prefer to work from home rather than a shared space.
Have a think about how you work best and what’s sustainable for you.
Step 4: Brainstorm multiple ways to move forward and explore
Keeping in mind what you want to achieve, what matters to your audience, and how you prefer to work, note down all the products or services that you can think of that match all these areas.
You might come up with products or services, free or paid offers, active or passive income – have fun with it and go as crazy as you like with it! If you’re able to, take some of your favourite – or crazier – ideas back to your audience to see what they think about it.
However well you feel you understand your audience it’s always good to get their feedback before committing to anything new.
Step 5: Prioritise actions that achieve the biggest return: 30/60/90
Now it’s action time! For the ideas that you feel pretty clear on already, make a note of the key actions you’d need to take and estimate how long it may take you.
For the ideas that are still a little fuzzy note down how long you think you’d need to get clearer on it. Prioritise the ideas based on how well they deliver for you, your audience and your working style with those that match best as the highest priority.
Now work out which of these you could action within the next 30 days, 60 days and 90s days.
A quick win might be something you could complete from start to finish within 90 days or you might want to have firmed up some of your fuzzier ideas within that timeframe.
It doesn’t matter which ideas you put where so much as you understand which of them will move your business forward the most and you have a timeframe to work on them. And of course – don’t try and take action on all of your ideas!
Once you have them in a priority order you can just pick off the first 1-3 from the top of the list and then once they’re completed go back to your list and pick the next highest priorities.
That way you can continue to feed high-value ideas into your business without getting overwhelmed with where to start.
How do you plan and prioritise your business ideas? Do you have a tried-and-tested process that works for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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