Do you ever wonder why some of your competitors just keep growing and creeping ahead (or maybe even exploding) and then there are some that you don’t even see any more?
The answer is pretty simple. To stay competitive and keep moving ahead, you need to know your business. That means understanding and acknowledging its strengths and weaknesses, knowing who your customers are, what they want, how to deliver it, where they gather their information and what motivates them. All of that information should be part of your brand’s business strategy, and a good strategy will help you make good investment decisions - like how and where you will spend your money - and most importantly, put structure and purpose into what you are actually doing each day.
When you start a business you have a vision, right? And then you get caught up in the ‘doing'. We see it all the time! Having a strategy can help you keep that vision, see the big picture and the path you need to follow. The strategy reminds you of the ‘why’ and gives you the 'how'. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to take you weeks to put together, but it needs to work for you. The difference between a great and an average one will be whether you find yourself transforming and elevating your business and identifying opportunities for the future, or just doing the same-same over and over again, staying on the treadmill to nowhere special.
A good sound strategy is tightly tied to your vision. It will include your company’s goals and objectives, the type of products/services that you offer, and clearly define the customers you want to sell to and the channels you need to use to reach them. Your business provides an essential service or offers something unique, and ultimately you are aiming to make a profit, so having these all clearly defined will give you a target to work towards.
Maybe your business has been around for a while and you have reached a point where you are thinking "where to from now?" Answer me this - is that you? Do you have a vision? Do you have that strategy that has you on the path to achieving your vision?
Your strategy will become your roadmap for achieving your business goals, but let's face it, not every road is straight and without obstacles. No matter how focussed you are, there are always going to be things that get in your way. But! If you have a light at the end of your tunnel, it will always be easier to recalibrate and see the best path to follow.
Not all businesses get it right straight away. There are natural weaknesses within all businesses for various reasons, which is why it is so important to constantly reassess what is working and what is not. When something isn't working for you, then it's time to pivot.
Now is always a good time - make a strategy your a priority - don’t keep putting it off and don’t keep it in your head! It will work so much better when you see it in front of you and will provide you with a clear plan to move forward.
WORDS | Fiona Keogh, TLSE