When it comes to starting a successful business, nothing is more critical than having an effective business strategy. While some entrepreneurs might assume that it has more to do with focusing on your product or service, in the end, if you don’t have a clearly defined strategy, then you are dead in the water.
Your company’s business strategy designates a set of actions to be taken to ensure its growth, especially when you are immersed in a competitive market. When you have determined this strategy, you will need to write it to clarify and synthesize your ideas, and thus be able to present it.
Benefits of A Business Strategy
To generate the growth of your business, you will certainly have to take economic risks. Establishing your business strategy will not allow you to eliminate them, but you will be able to better control them and thus reduce them.
Based on market research, the business strategy of your company clarifies your objectives (in terms of turnover, growth) and the means to be implemented to achieve them. It establishes your position in the market against your competitors and gives you a precise vision of the path to follow to maintain or even develop your business.
A good business strategy, realistic and operational, requires in-depth knowledge of your market (market research is therefore a key element in building your brand strategy), of the business context (strengths and weaknesses) and of your financial capacities.
Among the different possible customer segments, which ones will you target first? Are you targeting the “traditional” clientele of your business or will you be looking for emerging segments? What means will you use to reach them? How will you adapt your offer to the targeted clientele? Or will you base your competitive advantage on an aggressive pricing policy or rather on a particular characteristic of your products or services?
In the end, the commercial strategy is embodied in the “marketing mix”, which defines the exact nature of your products or services, their price, the distribution networks and the means of communication. Many business experts would suggest that it must be built over a period of several years in order to serve as a guide on the actions to be taken and the decisions to be made.
Establish Your Business Strategy
Each company’s business strategy is unique. Many of the leading CEO’s would recommend that you build your strategy based on the specific characteristics of your products, your sales objectives, and your company’s future market position.
To build your business strategy, you need to start by setting specific and realistic goals. For example, it may be wanting to increase sales of such and such a product by 3% in two years. Your goals may be financial or business in nature, such as wanting to expand your customer base.
You can also aim for more than one goal, but be careful not to spread yourself too thin, you may be less effective. It is preferable that you prioritize them in order of priority: nothing will prevent you from setting a second goal to achieve when the first is fulfilled, on the contrary.
Achieve Your Business Goals
To achieve your business objective, you will implement means and carry out various actions, which may concern all aspects of your activity:
– Your products or services: you can decide to start or stop the production of products;
– Your prices: you can lower your prices to expand your customer base;
– Advertising and communication;
– Your distribution channels: you can create your website, change distributors.
To give overall consistency to your business strategy so that everything runs smoothly, you will have to diversify your actions in each of these areas. How can you imagine, for example, that you can sell new products without wondering which distribution channel will be the most suitable?
Here are two things to keep in mind:
1. A defined duration
You must have goals and actions that take place over a defined period of time.
2. The costs
It is obvious that your objectives and your resulting actions must be in line with your financial means. Be ambitious… but realistic!
What actions you can take will depend in part not only on the number of employees you have, but also on their investment in your business. You need to know how to hold them accountable and that goals motivate them.
For each of your actions, set up indicators that will allow you to measure the results once you have launched them. You will thus be able to measure the effectiveness of your actions and therefore of your commercial strategy, in order to know whether you should readjust it or not.
When you have determined your business strategy, you will need to write it down. This step is essential. First of all, it will allow you to clarify and synthesize your ideas, and this document will also have a place in the development of your business. It will allow you to set your strategy, to be able to present it to potential partners and to subsequently check that the actions you are taking are indeed consistent with your overall strategy. This document could also have an educational scope and serve as a guide, for example, for your future sales teams: it will be a support to explain your future decisions.