It’s time to go forth and attack your competition – leave them begging “uncle!” But how do you go about doing that, exactly? Business strategies seem like this elusive thing. Everyone’s got one, but no one really tells you how to create and implement one. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to do. It all starts with design and goal-setting.
Designing The Right Strategy
It’s really easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a good idea, but good ideas are a dime a dozen. What you need is clarification. High-level statements, and abstract ideas, just won’t get you very far in the business world. You need something tangible, something measurable.
The first step is to clarify your strategy so that people in your organization can rally around it. Use action-oriented statements and essentialize what it is you want to accomplish with the company. Avoid corporate speak or “bureaucratizing.”
Basically, the lowest person in your company should be able to understand what it is you’re doing. If they can’t, then you’re just not going to build the morale you need to move the company forward.
Another good idea is to use an operating model to flesh out the core business strategy. The core strategy helps to define the company as a whole. An operating model shows how the core strategy can be expanded once the company gets a full head of steam. It also prevents the company from getting confused about its purpose for existence.
For example, Procter & Gamble has always owned a strong set of brands with very loyal customers. It builds on its brands through customer relations – offering very specific results from its products.
Development Of Key Components
Key components of your strategy include the marketing and sales strategy, internal communication, and accounting and financial management. Research and development is also very important. Without a marketing a sales strategy, you have no way to sell your product or service. Without research and development, you don’t have a product (or you do, and it gets stale).
A good internal communication system, utilizing a company blog, internal messaging system, and of course organized email announcements keeps your company motivated and “on the same page.” It sounds almost too simple, but poor communication can drag down an otherwise good company, irritate customers, and ultimately result in lost sales and a poor public image.
What’s a good strategy without implementation? Have a process-driven plan that all of your employees can implement. This plan could become part of employees’ job duties, but it should also be something that’s communicated regularly through meetings, email, and internal memos.
Start with the management. Managers can help you translate overarching ideas into action-steps for employees. In a sense, it will be a “cascade” where you present process-steps, and your department heads translate those steps into tasks for employees to accomplish. Benchmarks are typically set by managers, who then report to you periodically to make sure they are consistent with the overall strategy.
Bill Nixon is a business strategist. He loves to share his ideas for how to make business grow on small business blogs.