For any business that’s looking to scale, make a change or eventually exit, having a strategic plan is an essential ingredient in the success of your business. Whether you are a startup in the early stages or a long-established business, the strategic plan aims to create a detailed road map of where you are headed (your destination) as well as the key milestones you’ll need to hit along the way to deliver it. It should identify the opportunities, the challenges you’ll face and the strategies you’ll need to deploy to achieve your goals.
Ultimately a business strategy will ensure you can grow market share whilst protecting your existing position. It’s all about leverage, creating a robust plan that maximises the benefit from every aspect of the business to further grow the market position.
So why don’t all businesses do it? Well, they get busy, they get stuck in the day to operations and don’t pause to set out their route to success. The quarter goes by, the year goes by and the business still has little idea of how it will achieve its goals (if they’ve been set at all)
As coaches, it is our job to coax out the plan, offer business strategy advice, challenge the robustness of the plan and then hold businesses and their senior teams accountable to deliver it.
Growing Your Market Share
As a business grows and invests in its infrastructure it’s easy to add overhead but not always maximise the return from the investment made. We’ve all seen businesses that grow revenue, but at the expense of profitability. They aren’t, therefore, leveraging the business assets and growing profitably. Scaling is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face as a leader or business owner, striking the balance of investment Vs return.
Whilst the above is true of your assets, growing market share can follow a similar theme. Market share is all about achieving the lowest possible acquisition cost of a client and then the maximum lifetime value from that acquisition. Building the client base, ensuring they are retained, maximising repeat business and getting loyalty that results in a constant flow of referrals from your customer base.
As the client base increases so does the opportunity for diversification, additional products and services that are complementary to the existing range and therefore growing market share as well as a share of wallet. Sometimes the quickest and easiest ways to grow a business are right under the nose of the business owners, but they haven’t stopped for long enough or got the outside perspective to leverage the opportunity. This is often where the benefit of an additional set of eyes on the business brings massive rewards and results.
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Why Business Strategy Is So Important to SMEs and Startups
Business strategy is often seen as the reserve of large business or corporates, complicated and highly detailed documents that take months to create, but ultimately, it’s a roadmap, showing us where we are headed and how we will get there. A great structure to follow is a 3-5 year plan identifying our ambitions and goals, a more detailed 1-year plan with real tangible outcomes and then a much more detailed 90 day that can be followed and tracked across 13 weeks to ensure progress and success.
The business strategy coaching will ensure a plan is in place, it’s challenged and then accountability is introduced to ensure it’s followed and implemented across the business.
Business Strategy Growth & Implementation
The business strategy session and creating the plan is one thing, implementation is another. As coaches, we’ve seen many a great plan on paper, some that never make it past the page, and others that have been started but don’t complete the implementation phase.
Your strategy will undoubtedly cover several areas across the business and will require new and additional systems and processes, possible new infrastructure, the adoption of new technology and potentially even the need to introduce or develop new products or services.
All of these require change, the challenge is around 85% of the world’s employees don’t like change. So how do you ensure buy-in from those that need to make it happen?
Obtaining Company Buy-In for Business Strategy
As with anything in life, the plan needs to be positioned, sold in, because with change also comes a natural resistance to something new. So to implement successfully we need to understand and overcome the resistance we will naturally face.
Firstly we need to communicate why the change is needed, paint a picture of what life will look like after the change, the benefits, will life become better? Will we be bigger, at less risk, take greater market share, be more profitable, open up career opportunities? Too many plans are just implemented without positioning and therefore face immediate resistance and pushback. Seeing this from someone else’s perspective can go a long way to successful implementation with buy-in across the business. It’s what a coach does, see things from others perspectives, and sees the potential resistance before it’s too late.
Business strategy planning is an essential skill, it’s a chance to pause, plan, look outwardly as well as internally and agree within the business where you want to go next and what you want to achieve. Its reignites excitement in the business, sets the strategic compass and brings about targets, actions, positive challenge and results.
If you’d like to understand more about strategic planning why not download our free ebook where we explore in greater detail the challenges we’ll face on our entrepreneurial journey or you could take our free milestone survey so you can understand where your business is right now as well as what the next stages will bring and it’s full of practical tips and strategies you can implement.
If you know you’d benefit from a strategic planning session and an outside view, then why not contact us and discuss your business with one of our coaches.
Remember thoughts without action is just a dream. It’s time to realise your true potential.
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