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A business strategy is imperative for any business, big or small, that wants to establish an identity, promote growth, reach set targets and see success. This strategy can help create a clear vision for your business that not only brings you more customers and increased sales, but also assists your employees in their work, boosting productivity.
But you don’t want to create just any business strategy – you want to create a good one. Below, we reveal exactly what a good business strategy should include, as well as how to make one.
Written by Lauren Shaw
What makes a good business strategy?
A good business strategy is one that is well thought out and detailed but (perhaps most importantly) achievable. An unrealistic business strategy is more likely to result in failure, as you may not be able to easily achieve the laid out targets, goals and future visions for your business.
It also needs to have the potential to work. While you can’t necessarily guarantee this, you should continue to monitor your strategy to ensure you’re on track. A good strategy isn’t static but moves and changes with your business, being tweaked when needed and reviewed and adjusted every so often.
How to create a good business strategy
Now that you know your business strategy needs to be achievable, relatable and personal to your business, what exactly needs to be included within it?
Consider your vision and long-term goals
A good business plan should contain both long and short-term goals. In order to do this, think about what type of business you want to be in the future, what your vision for the brand is and how you will get there. There may be some specific success criteria that needs to be met in order for your vision to be realised. You can be as detailed as you want when considering these things.
When it comes to creating set targets, it’s important to ensure they’re clear and objective. An absence of clear targets can cause a business to float with no real sense of where it’s going or where it will end up. By having clear objectives, you are in full control, steering directly where you want to go.
Define your niches and specialities
As a business, it’s very important that you understand why your company is different from others, what your USP is and what your specific niches and specialities are. If you have a strong business identity and secure knowledge about who you are, what you can offer and what your strengths and weaknesses are, your strategy plan will only be stronger because of it.
Following from this, you may want to take some time to identify your target market and audience – who are the kinds of people you expect to make a purchase or enquiry, and what problems are they trying to solve? Having a clear target market could result in an improved marketing approach. When marketing enables increased sales activity, you could see an improvement in leads, enquiries and sales too.
Consider your competitors
As the saying goes, ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. While competitors aren’t exactly your enemies, it’s really important to follow what they’re doing. Are they bringing out new products, always improving their website or creating amazing email marketing campaigns? It’s always worth checking out the competition, and there’s nothing stopping you from looking at their site and even signing up to their mailing list.
A good business strategy should consider where your business sits in relation to your competitors, looking at similarities and differences in services, pricing, deliveries, customer service, reviews, etc.
Think about growth
It’s likely that every business is hoping to start small and eventually grow, maybe hiring new employees, upsizing premises and investing in additional technologies. Your business strategy should consider how you will keep up with a growing company. What changes can be made to embrace or encourage further growth? A good business plan will identify the potential areas of growth and how you will deal with them.
A good business plan should be one that is both measurable and actionable. It could include, for instance, short-term goals that can be tracked in a weekly or monthly meeting (such as sales conversion rates) or long-term goals that may need to be monitored less frequently. Other members of the team and wider company should be aware of the business’ goals to try and meet them. This can be done by assigning individual team objectives, so perhaps the sales team needs to meet a particular quota of monthly enquiries, for instance, or the marketing team has to send out a certain number of marketing emails. These smaller goals play a part in ensuring that the overall company meets the results outlined in the business plan.
Finally, the strategy should be reviewed regularly to see whether any of the original goals have been completed and what they could be replaced with, whether you’re still on track and potential areas of improvement.
Written by Lauren Shaw, Marketing Manager at FLG.