3 Reasons EVERY Small Business Needs a Strategy
- January 9, 2017
- Posted by: Sarah Ford
- Category: Uncategorised
I LOVE STRATEGY. It’s addictive. Envisioning your dreams and putting together a plan to make them a reality is immensely satisfying. It’s more than that though, in this dynamic & competitive global marketplace it’s a necessity. As John F Kennedy said “efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”.
Taking time out of the everyday running of a business, brand or busy life to work on strategy is essential in setting your small business up for success. Think you don’t have the time or don’t know where to start? Your business or brand strategy doesn’t have to be 500 pages long, it doesn’t have to be in a strict format or sparkly folder, it just has to clearly articulate what you want to achieve & outline how you’ll get there.
Still not convinced? Here are 3 reasons why EVERY business needs a strategy:
- Purpose. Starting with a clear vision gives you purpose & focus. As American Author Wilferd Peterson said: “Big thinking precedes great achievement.” Once you’ve articulated your vision, it will form the basis for your business strategy and key decisions – helping guide you as you choose what you want to do, and what you don’t. As famous entrepreneur and business guru Richard Branson has said: “Whatever your vision is for your company, remember to keep it clear and full of purpose, and you are on the way.”.
- A Path to Success. Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to consider the best way to get there! Business Planning can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The most successful business plans are based on a deep understanding of the market, your customers and competitors. Talk to your clients or customers & suppliers, do some desktop research, understand emerging opportunities and unmet consumer needs, tap in to your existing network or database, and consider commissioning research. And the business plan itself? It’s really about being clear on your brand or business positioning in the market, defining your differentiated offer, and identifying the biggest opportunity for short term sales and longer term growth. By building on strong foundations, a close understanding of what your customers are looking for, and the benefit you’re providing, your operational and marketing plan will be more targeted, cost efficient and successful.
- Increased Commitment. The clincher in business planning? Writing down your plan actually helps to make it happen! Management studies since the 1970s have consistently shown that people are 50-80% more likely to reach and exceed their financial and productivity goals when they’re written down. Why? Because you’ll be more committed to a plan that you’ve taken the time to get onto paper; it’s likely to be more clearly articulated or crafted; you will be better positioned to make decisions and allocate resources in line with your vision if it’s top of mind; and of course it will help to keep you focused on the bigger picture through everything that you do. In fact, we recommend putting your vision or goals somewhere where you’ll see them – on a pin board, as your screen saver, printed as a mouse pad, or framed with an inspiring image – whatever works best for you.
While your vision will likely remain constant, business plans are always evolving. You can revise it, refine and polish it over time. Who knows, you may even end up putting it in that sparkly presentation folder after all.