Small Business Strategy : How Strong is Yours ?
1. A strong strategy is simple, focused and makes logical sense
Have you really boiled your strategy down to the basics? For a long time strategy has been considered one of the relms of business that you need an MBA to understand. Not true!
The best and most effective strategies are simple ones.
If you want people to be able to help you implement the strategy, that is, you want to turn words into action then it is highly important that people understand what you are on about. People need to be able to break the strategy down into tasks that can be implemented on a daily basis.
Furthermore, focus is absolutely critical if you are leading a small to medium sized business. We only have limited time, resources and energy! If we want to make sure our efforts are effective then it is important that we concentrate our resources. Think of it like an arrowhead, the sharper and more pointed the arrowhead the greater impact it has when it hits its target.
2. The 'numbers' work from different angles
You need to crunch the numbers. The financials are often the starting point - but they are only the starting point. You need to check that the strategy works from a cash flow and profitability perspective. Then also closely examine the strategy from an implementation perspective. For example...
- What will your sales and marketing conversion ratios need to be like to achieve the sales you want? Is that practical? What makes you think you can achieve it?
- How hard will your people need to work? Do they need to miraculously become more productive?
- Where are your bottlenecks going to be?
- What will be the risks and issues?
3. A strong strategy 'feels right' and is compelling
The last check is an emotional one. Does thinking about the goals you want to achieve make you jump out of bed in the morning? Does it intuitively feel the right thing to do?
If you don't feel motivated by your strategy and plans then no-one else will.
It's important that you and your team are passionate about achieving the outcome. It's a long journey and not being passionate about it will almost certainly mean you won't make it. Finally, always work with your intuition. Thinking one thing and doing another has always been a recipe for disaster no matter what part of your life it's in connection with. Stick with your intuition and you will find you'll sleep a lot easier.
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