Oftentimes we get focused on a single aspect of our business and forget to look at the big picture. We forget to work on our business, follow our business strategy. As trite as it may sound, we fail to “see the woods through the trees.”
When we get overwhelmed with the stress of a project, worried about finances or from lack of clarity as we move forward, we lose our way. While we may keep working in our business, for our clients, we aren’t working on our business and keeping it healthy and growing.
This is a serious problem!
This is where having a business strategy in place can really help. It will guide your day to day activities, give you clarity when you are feeling overwhelmed and keep the momentum growing even when you feel like you are caught in the weeds.
What type of strategy is right for you?
Experts agree that there are three primary types of business strategy:
- Cost leadership – use your prices to attract and maintain customers
- Differentiation – offer unique services that stand out from the crowd
- Focus – serve a niche that while limited can maintain your business
The question you have to ask yourself is which strategy will work best for your business as you look at your mission and end goals. Or better yet, do you need to combine strategies to achieve your goals?
Where to begin creating your business strategy?
A business strategy must be written down, detailed and easy to pass off to the next person. But getting to that point will take some time and some forethought, even trial and error.
- To begin, you must determine your vision…what is your end goal, where are you going? This may evolve over time especially as you really get into it and as time passes. Does be afraid to evolve your business as your vision changes.
- Based on your vision, what is going to be your competitive advantage? What is going to make you stand out from the crowd…is it going to be what you offer, how you offer it, what you charge for it or something else? Again, this will change, be ready for that. You must be flexible in order to grow especially as times and technology change.
- Who is your target market? Knowing who you serve will determine how you speak, how you market and what problems you will solve.
- Create a strategy for systemic growth and don’t hesitate to revisit it if it stops working or things become stagnant.
The key to all of this is that while trusting your gut is important, making fact based decisions will take your further. Make sure to do your research, know the facts…and then move.