We are excited to have a guest blogger this week!
Leyla Razeghi is a consultant for Business Strategy and Optimization, with expertise in business modelling, strategic planning, tools for a customer centric business, metrics and process efficiency. She has helped more than 50 brands and business work on their strategy and grow.
Leyla, over to you:
Do I Really Need a Formal Strategy?
As a solutions provider for small and medium size businesses, I always make sure my clients understand the importance of setting up the right strategies in their business; without clear goals and tactics, you might be able to subsist, but you won’t go far. (Click to Tweet) You need to prepare to face your competition and make sure your customers will prefer you and recommend you.
I started my business to help small and medium sized businesses be more competitive and grow, and I believe that the biggest obstacle they have is that they don’t focus on their strategy – a lot of them make decisions “on the go” and don’t think of the future. In addition, I have encountered many businesses that invest in branding and marketing but don’t really work on business modelling and strategic planning. Some think that planning is something that they can do in the future, while some simply avoid it because it sounds overwhelming.
Setting up an executable business strategy is of vital importance for entrepreneurs and managers, since a strategy is a plan for success! It answers the questions “where do you want to go?” and “how will you get there?”
It’s a Process!
First, strategy requires clarity, and starts with setting up a mission statement and a vision statement, both of which should be based on a “why” and a “purpose”. (Why am I doing this? The answer to this question explains your motivation and your reasoning behind the company or business.)
- A mission statement shows how things would look in the near future where you are satisfied with the results. It is something attainable that you can demonstrate easily.
- A vision statement shows the destination. It is where you see yourself ultimately and ideally. It is something close to your final goal.
Second, you also need the right engagement from all key stakeholders. Engaging people early in the process (perhaps even as a first step!) will ensure that:
- The strategy gets translated to each department in a way that resonates with their unique needs,
- Each department, partner, and employee is clear on how they influence the strategy and impact business success. (An employee that finds his/her work meaningful and impactful will be more satisfied, will work harder, and will stay at their job longer.)
- Each employee and partner is motivated to work towards the strategy, and
- Your customers understand your strategy and what makes you different.
Third, you need the tactics, actions, and timelines that will deliver on your mission and vision.
- What has to happen, by when, and by whom?
- What are the metrics that will show you’ve reached your goals?
- What is your process for checking in to ensure you’re not straying from the path, or if you are, you’re doing so deliberately, and with due consideration of the consequences?
If you don’t have a defined business strategy, I encourage you to get on it -now! It is your path to success – it needs to be customized to your business and environment, and it must not stay on paper. Great leaders ensure its flawless execution, which is, of course, an entirely different subject!
Good luck, and I hope to see you on Nov 5 & 6 at Whiteboard’s course!