Developing your business strategy… it’s probably a concept that makes your head spin. Maybe you have recently come to conclusion that your business idea is all over the place. Well, do not be afraid.
In this first installment of “Developing Your Strategy,” we will discuss the importance of overall strategy development for your business.
Now, the first thing you have to understand is that a good business strategy is hard to develop.
Oftentimes, strategy efforts are rushed and that makes strategies flawed from the beginning. Therefore, we have formulated several steps you can follow to execute a solidified business strategy.
What’s an elevator pitch you ask? Simply stated, it is a concise description of your business. It’s the short speech you or your employees can give to promote your company quickly. This should be updated as often as annually.
Each company should have a mission statement…and believe it or not, yours is no different. For many internal decisions, your mission statement will help employees make choices in-line with helping the company reach its mission.
In addition, you should also include a SWOT analysis in your strategic plan. These are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business. A SWOT will help you discover your own strengths you must develop to improve your company. Completing this analysis will also help you best achieve your growth goals.
This is a critical component of your strategy development. Defining and achieving goals are what makes companies successful.
First, determine your 5-year or long-term goals. Next, identify what you want to achieve within the next year.
Work backwards again two or three more times to figure out what you want to do in the next quarter and the next month.
Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators are also known as KPIs. These are metrics companies use to measure how it is performing.
At dezinsINTERACTIVE, we measure our success on a monthly basis. For example, we determine how many websites we launched and how many design comps were approved. Other KPIs may be website visitors, contracts signed or total sales.
Research Your Industry
You also need to do some research about your industry. Make sure your market size is growing. This may identify new growth opportunities as well.
Analyze Your Competition
Find out who your competitors are. Take time to list their strengths and weaknesses. Use these lists to determine where you stand above and find ways to gain more advantages.
Now, how are you going to promote your business? You need a marketing plan! This plan should include how you will get prospective customers and keep them coming back.
Once your plan is defined, you need individuals to help you carry out your strategy. In the team section, you should list current employees. You should also identify the types of people you should hire to achieve your goals.
This portion of your strategy plan will help bring your goals and opportunities to fruition. It is where you organize individual projects and how they will be completed. A Gantt chart may be helpful in doing this section.
Finally, your executive summary should be done last. This portion summarizes the other sections of your strategic plan.
It is important, because it will help employees, investors and advisors understand and utilize your plan.
We hope these steps will help you begin to develop your business strategy. Stay tuned for next month’s strategy series article.