A business strategy is much like a roadmap. You wouldn’t leave home on a cross-country trek without your trusty atlas, or in today’s world a GPS or mapping system built into your vehicle or phone. Then why would you try to run a winning business without a roadmap or guide to tell you how to achieve success?
According to an article at www.business2community.com, there are six steps to planning an effective business strategy. Let’s look at each step that author Jamie MacDonald outlines.
1. Gather the facts. Before you know where you want to go with your business, you need to know where you are right now. Determine what the purpose of your company is, what your customers’ needs are and if you are currently profitable or in the red. One of the best tools to determine where your business currently stands is using a technique called the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis. Strengths and weaknesses should be examined internally, while external factors should be looked at when examining opportunities and threats. Always make sure that you have the right people helping with this analysis.
2. Develop a vision statement. A vision statement should describe the future direction of the business for the medium-to long-term. It describes the organization’s purpose and values. The vision and mission statements should be developed at the same time by the leadership of the company. To write a vision statement, you might want to ask, ‘Where does this company want to be in five years?’
3. Develop a mission statement. The mission statement outlines the purpose of the company and its primary objectives. The Mission focuses on what needs to be accomplished in the short-term to accomplish the long-term vision.
4. Identify strategic objectives. You should set high-level objectives for all areas of business from sales to marketing. Your objectives (or goals) should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). They should include factors like performance indicators, resource allocation and budget requirements.
5. Create tactical plans. Think of tactical plans as the “turn-by-turn” instructions on your mapping device. These are the detailed steps that will help you achieve the goals of reaching your destination. These plans should focus on measurable results and communicating to your team on what they need to accomplish with concrete deadlines.
6. Review Performance. Just because your mapping system provides you to a detailed route to your destination, doesn’t mean that you won’t hit road construction or another detour. Performance reviews by company leadership and those doing the work are crucial to understanding if you are still heading in the right direction. Reviewing your strategy on a regular basis is crucial to know that you are accomplishing your missions and goals.
Creating a business strategy makes sense. It is an evolving business tool that grows and changes as your business grows and evolves. Take the time to make sure you and your team are on the same road map and every time you reach a milestone, don’t forget you’re closer to winning the race!
Information source: https://www.business2community. com/strategy/6-steps-create-effective-businessstrategy-01391113