Why should I bother with a Strategy?
The first question you may be asking is “what do I need a strategy for?”. Now you’re right to ask that – there are lots of businesses out there that don’t have a strategy set down on paper. They manage perfectly well, right? Well yes… and no. A strategy is, in theory, just some ideas written down on paper but it is not equal to the sum of its parts. A well written, thought out, revisited and reviewed strategy underpins everything you do. Struggling with a business decision to do with your customers? Re-reading your Strategy document will help you with that. Not sure where to go with your next marketing decisions? Re-visiting your document will help with that. Hit a really quiet patch and not sure what to do about it? Guess what – re-visiting your strategy document will help with that.
Ok, but HOW do I write a strategy?
Assuming you are now sold on the idea, or you came here because someone suggested it might help, let’s move on to the “how” question.
This is the million dollar one and a really good strategy document takes practice and learning. I’m going to be honest with you; your first one or two probably won’t be that good. But you know what? We all start somewhere and having something in this area is a gazillion times (technical term) better than nothing.
So now the pressure is off let’s look at a few tips and tricks to getting this right.
Start by heading over to the Templates page and download the relevant documents including the Strategy template.
The key documents here are the SWOT and the CANVAS Business Model. Both of which are a great place to start to get your individual business needs/wants in focus. If you do not have a super clear picture of the pressures you face, who your customer is, and who your competition is your Strategy will probably be lacking. In each template, I have included some key questions to ask yourself for each section.
Now start to have a think about what you want to achieve. How can you get from where you are to where you want to get? Don’t try to “fill out the form” rather use the headings and the notes under each to think about your business. From there you can gather all those thoughts to put them in one cohesive document. As a result, your Strategy Plan should be a blueprint of who you are as a company, what drives you and where you will be this time next year.
Don’t just put you Strategy document in a drawer!
Follow up is the next hurdle where people tend to fall; don’t just fill it out and never look at your Strategy Plan again. This is a living, breathing document and should be reviewed every couple of months. Achieved all your goals after 6 months? That’s fantastic! Now add some more for the next 6 months. Discovered that a direction you went in a few months ago wasn’t quite right? That’s fine – change the direction and amend your Plan. To drive your business forward, therefore, take some time every few months to check the direction, speed, and stability of your heading and make sure everything is still ship shape!
Have you done a Strategic Plan? How did it help you move forward? What advice would you give others?
If you want some pointers or help to complete your any of these documents, book your FREE 30-minute consultation.