A Key Reason Your Business Might Fail: Lacking A Business Strategy
If your small business is struggling to make revenue and profit goals it might be lacking a clear business strategy. This is often the case with businesses I mentor. I find over and over again that business owners have not taken the time to create business level strategies that detail the actions they need to take to prove value to their customers, clients or patients and help their businesses to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace. Many times I discover that businesses are marketing and operating without the right business strategies and are hoping for great results. They are often wondering why they are not achieving the success they are hoping for. When they hire our firm to help them achieve better results one of the first things we uncover, during an opportunity analysis and rapid ROI assessment, is that they lack strategy to achieve their goals.
Every business must determine marketing and operations strategies to achieve their goals. Without the right business level strategy, for each area of business, there is no clarity about how the business is going to achieve what they desire. Business strategies must be determined and written down. These strategies should be yearly as well as quarterly. Then they should be further broken into months, weeks and even days. Specific staff must be assigned responsibility for achieving tasks that lead to achieving actions that will accomplish what the business needs to make their revenue and profit goals happen. Running a business without strategy is a formula for disaster. If you have not yet been operating your business from this perspective shift right now to moving into a strategy business and operate from this place.
How To Create A Business Strategy
Every business has a uniqueness and must position itself as special and unique in it’s industry. The best way to make your business stand out is to create a Core Unique Positioning Statement for your business. To craft such a statement begin by answering the following questions:
- How is your business different from every other business in your industry?
- What do you do that makes you stand out?
- How does your business lead your industry?
You must come up with some things that make your business very different from all of the competitors in your industry. It could be your staff, your offerings, your services or products, your prices, your hours, or even the target market you focus your offerings to or the ways in which you sell or service your customers.
When I sit with a business owner and teach them how to create a business strategy I first show to create their Core Unique Positioning Statement and then we go into what the business owner actually wants from their business. Every business owner decided to own a business, rather than be an employee, for a very personal and specific reason. What is your reason? This is what I refer to as your “why”. Get clear on what your “why” is. What do you want from your business? Are you driven by a passion? Do you have a specific mission or vision? Is their a lifestyle dream you have? What is it that drives you to own the business that you are in?
The next step in creating your business strategy is determining your target market. Who do you want to attract to purchase your products and services? Which is the right target market to buy what you are selling? Don’t try to attract a big target audience that can be anyone. It is best to narrow your focus and to know exactly and specifically who you are targeting. I believe it is best to have one focus and one target. It’s always best to have one very clear and specific niche only and to market to that very specific ideal audience only.
Clearly identify not only your product or service also identify who you are offering that product or service for. Which market is in need of what you are selling? Then you must establish a strategy to get your products and services in front of your target audience. To be clear you must establish a strategy to determine which is the right product and service offering for the ideal target audience you have in mind. So your identity and your Core Unique Positioning Statement and your offering all need business strategy and all of these pieces must work together.
Have you established your Core Unique Positioning Statement?
What about your business strategy to reach your ideal target audience?
Do you even know who your ideal target audience is?
What are the best products and services for your customers?
The answers to all of these questions is a key part of your business strategies.
All of your business strategies must be flexible. When you create a business strategy, no matter what your vision is and the strategy you create and the goals and tactics that follow, things change in business all the time. You Core Unique Positioning Statement may need to change and be adjusted over time and your market may even change. Your ideal customer profile may change and your products and services may have to change as well. Certainly you may need to adjust your strategies and tactics and, of course your goals are always changing. This is exactly why you must always be measuring your strategies to see how to best leverage and optimize them. Measure your strategies as part of your key performance indicators regularly and check their effectiveness. See what is working and what strategies need to be adjusted. Every business strategy must be measured and evaluated regularly and as the business owner you need to be prepared to make changes when a strategy stops being effective. Sometimes it is just a matter of making a tweak here and there and other times you may need to make a dramatic shift and move in a very different direction with your business strategies. Always be measuring how your effective your strategies are working.