Janelle located her executive recruiter office on the second floor of a small commercial building with the window facing the commuter train station platform. She hopes to attract the attention of commuting executives ready for a move or those seeking executive level help. That’s Strategy!
Carlos opened his restaurant on a low rent block at the fringe of an area being actively redeveloped . His low rent allows him to offer good quality, well- prepared food at great prices. He figures people are always attracted to a bargain. That’s Strategy!
Catherine is a real estate developer who decided to identify all properties in an upscale area which has an appraised value lower than tax valuation. She believes there will be several properties among these that are ripe for development. She’ll approach the owners to see if they are open to selling. That’s Strategy!
Strategy is thinking through logical options and asking the question: if I do X (Action) how close will I come to getting Y (Goal). The Strategy you choose will be the one you believe will take you closest to your Goal. Having a well thought-out Strategy is smart. It increases the odds of success from your efforts.
Before considering a Strategy, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Think about the Priorities facing your business n0w and select one or more SMART Goals, http ://www.topachievement.com/smart.html, with a target date for achieving each one of them. I find it’s easiest to work in 90 day planning segments.
Creation of a Strategic Plan involves only two basic steps: analyze pertinent information and make decisions.
Analyze Pertinent Information
– Look at what past actions have produced current results.
– Using your best judgment analyze what worked in the past, what didn’t work and why.
– Considering trends, limitations and your business history brainstorm logical options.
– Project probable outcomes and potential ROI on selected options.
– Determine resources you have to work with (or have access to).
– Consider who should be involved and responsible.
– Project the cost to carry out your Strategy.
– Consider what else may be needed (more capital, more staff).
– Commit to the tasks you and your research have determined will produce the results you seek.
– Write these Actions in sequence on your Plan.
– Decide who will be responsible and how they will be accountable.
– Using your target dates as a guide, select the weeks and days where tasks will be carried out and make the commitment to a specific day and time on the calendar.
– When distractions and challenges occur (and they will) refer back to your Strategic Plan to help you stay focused on what is Priority.
Strategy is the thinking part of the process. It involves inquiry and judgment. Planning is the part where you decide the Actions to be taken and in what sequence they will be carried out.
Robert was just starting his IT support business. He provided service on software, computers, peripherals, networks and mobile accessories. One of his Priority challenges was how to pursue new business while completing work for existing clients. His Goal was to have 5 warm prospects in the pipeline at all times.
Questions he asked were:
1 – How can I make marketing efforts produce more warm prospects?
2 – Do I need a better incentive to get people into the pipeline?
2 – Will it be cost effective to hire someone to generate leads?
3 – How much time and money should I spend to run a test?
4 – What result will be satisfactory enough for me to continue the process?
In his research and information gathering phase he learned that clients didn’t require the same person who sold to them be the one who provided the service. By asking current and former clients he learned they would be open to a small monthly retainer that would provide a pre-paid account from which he could provide basic maintenance. It was expected that using this method would also reduce the frequency of unexpected problems.
Decisions he made were:
1 – Contract with a tele-marketer to generate leads and set appointments. Run a test for 50 hours over 2 months time.
2 – Offer a “basic service package” with incremental additions to fit different sizes and types of businesses.
3 – Have a standard follow-up process for leads and for those who set appointments.
His Plan included the steps to create the new basic service package, develop the marketing material, interview and hire a tele-marketer, write the basic script for calls, select the calling list, create the standardized follow-up material and communications to keep the pipeline flowing.
Robert’s Actions proved successful enough that he decided to continue using the tele-marketer for another round. He attributes his results to having taken the time to create a well-calculated strategic plan.
Dismissing or skipping over this step in the planning process could set you up for unnecessary disappointment. Be smart….think it through. That’s Strategy!
Strategic Planning is one of the major steps in the Business Success System Course. You’ll learn all the steps to success and be led through each one in sequence. This System includes everything you need to know to prioritize what to work on first, what to do second, and so forth. That’s why my clients have gotten such great results from it. All the lessons, materials, interactive tools, examples and coaching audios are in there. It’s so easy. Get your copy at http://primestrategies.com/business- success-system.