When it comes to growing your business, there are strategies and there are tactics. And this question is designed to deal with your strategy.
What is your strategy for growing your business? Do you have a strategy for growing your sales and profits?
Generally speaking, when we think of strategies versus tactics, the strategy is sort of the overall approach. The strategy is the overall game plan, whereas the tactics are the specific actions that you’re going to take in order to have your strategy come to life.
So your strategy, when you’re putting it together, and if you’re taking notes at this point, one of the things that you want to write down is you want to ask yourself, “what is my strategy for growing my business? Do I have a strategy? If so, what does it cover?”
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Because essentially your strategy for growing sales and profits should cover things like who are you going to go after? Part of the strategy would be to say, "what types of accounts am I going to go after? Where or how am I going to find those types of accounts?" These overall types of decisions are going to be determining what your results are going to be, and they're also going to determine what specific steps you'll take or what specific tactics will help you to get to that. For example, you may determine that your strategy is to target companies with a certain number of employees or more, or companies that have certain gross sales. You may determine that you're going after companies that are located within a particular geographic area or in particular industries. So this is overall strategy type of stuff that everybody needs to do in order to accomplish what they're looking to accomplish.
Your strategy might include establishing yourself as an expert with people, and if so, then you'll need to have specific ways of making that happen. It may include getting those people (that you've established yourself as an expert with,) to express interest in what you do, and your strategy might include following up then, only with the qualified prospects.
So it's important to have that starting out, or if you didn't have it starting out, it's important having it going forward, so that you know essentially what you want to be doing everyday, what you want to be working on every day and what you want to be focused on every day. Without having a clear strategy in mind, it's easy to get bogged down and distracted and focus on various activities that are not helping you to produce a high multiple of what you want to be earning or what you want to be producing.
So when you think in terms of your strategy, those are a couple of the things that you need to look at. Also, it's important to understand that your overall strategy, your business strategy, your strategy for growing sales and profits, it can and should change based on what's happening in the real world.
If you have an inflexible strategy, you say "I'm going after a certain type of client in a certain market," and it turns out that group of clients in that market are not particularly productive at the moment, then obviously you have to be flexible enough to be able to change your strategy around so you can adapt it so that it actually works for you as well as possible.
And then another important component of it is revisiting your strategy often. It's a good idea if you can bullet point out what your overall strategy is and tape it to your computer monitor so that you see it every morning and you can reconnect with it. Because what you'll find is if you do that, if you did something even as simple as that and said, "okay, this is my strategy, this is what I'm going after, this is where they are, this is how I plan to approach them." And you tack it up on your computer monitor and you look at it every day. I can pretty much guarantee that over a period of days, and certainly over a period of weeks, you'll end up changing it. You'll end up adapting it. You'll say, "well, I want to tweak what I said here because this doesn't really fully describe what I'm looking to do and what I'm looking to accomplish." And that's a really good exercise to do. That's a really important exercise to do, because what ends up happening is it helps you to further clarify exactly what you're looking to make happen and how you're looking to make it happen. And every day, every experience you have is going to help you to further hone that. So having it planned out like that can be extremely helpful.
Your Business Strategy
- Identify Your Strategy. What is your strategy for growing your business? What is it? What does it cover?
- Determine the Steps. Which specific steps or tactics will you take to implement your strategy?
- Adapt. Review your strategy and tactics frequently to be sure they're achieving your objectives.
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