Every business owner wants the same thing as you for 2017 – to get off to the best possible start and make 2017 their best year yet! Thing is, if you want to see greater marketing results this year, you’ll need to quickly set the stage and be prepared for 2017. Remember, we’re already at the end of January (gosh how time flies), so you’ve got just over half of Q1 left. The good news is that during the next few blog posts, I’m going to be looking at what you need to do to develop your business strategy – not just for 2017, but for years to come.
Step One – Be Prepared
The best way to get going is to gather your sales and marketing team together for a series of planning sessions. The main aim behind these “planned sessions” is to ensure everyone in your sales and marketing teams are properly aligned and headed in the same direction. But wait, what “direction?” I’m glad you asked! If you had a business strategy setup for 2016, you should’ve had one setup for 2017 too. If you don’t have one, give us a call on 800-764-1875 and the Momentum Strategy Team will get you setup with a business strategy that won’t just raise the bar, but will blow it right off its hinges!
What is a “Business Strategy?”
Many of the business leaders we work with here at Momentum used to really struggle with their strategy. They didn’t fully understand just how important it was to have strategies in place. Without a good working strategy, it becomes super difficult to align decision making in any businesses. Many of our clients clearly understood that it was near impossible to observe, manage and control everything in their organizations, even though many of them wanted to do. Many of them wanted to develop a good strategy and some even understood the theory behind a good business strategy, but when it came down to the nitty-gritty of crafting a strategy, they either procrastinated or found something else to do.
As they experienced, this was unfortunate, but as I said, it’s definitely not that surprising. It’s a direct consequence of confusion about what a “business strategy” is… and is not. Here’s my definition: A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision making. So what is a business strategy? It’s a list of decisions the “key decision-makers” in your firm need to make, but more importantly, it provides you a platform on how to allocate resources in order accomplish key objectives. Some entrepreneurs call it a “roadmap”, and that’s what it is. Your strategy or roadmap should consist of a set of guiding principles or rules, that define the actions people in your business should take, as well as pinpoint the actions they shouldn’t take. It should also paint a picture of the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals.
As such, a strategy is just one element of the overall strategic direction that you – as a leader – must define for your organization. Don’t get “strategy” mixed up with a “mission”, because it’s clearly not a mission. Missions (or mission statements) can sometimes take on a life of their own, especially if they elaborate into specific goals and performance metrics. A strategy is also not the value network, which is the web of relationships with suppliers, partners, customers, employees, and investors within which your business co-creates and captures economic values. Finally, a strategy is not a vision, which is an inspiring portrait of what it will look and feel like to pursue and achieve the organization’s mission and goals. Visioning is part (along with incentives) of what leaders do to motivate people in the organization to engage in above average effort.
Here at Momentum, we’ve got strategy templates that can quickly and easily be tailored to your business. Get in touch and we’d be more than happy to get your started on building your first, great business strategy!
In the next blog post, we’re going to look at “Budgeting for Success”. Trust us, putting together a great budget isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s vital to your business. So stay tuned for our next blog post in this series!