Before you launch any business, effectively making your winning idea a reality, you must first devise a solid business strategy. Coming up with a business strategy requires deep thought, careful analysis and a little fortune telling. It’s not something that is imagined in a day, nor is it something that you can copy from someone else. It is deeply personal, highly researched and polished until it is just right. That is the only way to be sure that the business idea, business behind the idea and business strategy will all flourish. To put a strategy together that gets you excited and motivated for what the future holds, here are five questions to ask yourself.
What Are You Reaching For?
A solid business strategy begins by identifying the specific goals you hope to achieve. Maybe you want to make a million dollars with your business idea; maybe you want to sell a million widgets or maybe you just want to make enough money to quit your day job or retire way before your golden age. Whatever your goals happen to be, write them down and start considering smaller goals that you can reach in the interim; before you actually hit the big time.
Setting larger goals that take some time to achieve and smaller goals that keep you feeling accomplished and motivated as you move steadily from goal to goal are important to have as the cornerstone of your business strategy. After all, your strategy will quickly lose steam if you don’t have a concrete outcome to actively pursue. Aim high and don’t be afraid to think the impossible. With the proper strategy, you will be capable of anything you set your mind to.
What Market Will You Enter?
If you have an idea for a product or service to offer, search your target market. Use the search engines to find your competitors by using relevant keywords associated to your idea. Find out what those competitors are offering and how you can do better. Then search social media and blog comment sections, popular forums and other online – or offline – locations to find your target consumers. Start looking for ways to fill one or more of their needs, wants or desires; and find out what they will comfortably spend on such an offer.
This type of market research takes time, but social media makes it easy to do from anywhere and at any time. Keep the research ongoing, even after your solid business strategy has been enacted, to keep up with any trends or technological advancements that could affect your business in any way; and so that you can adapt accordingly.
How Will You Achieve Your Goal and Surpass Competitors?
This is the part of your solid business strategy where you describe the vehicle with which you plan to make your riches that will ultimately lead to your financial and professional goals. Do you plan to sell a product or service, or both? What sets your product or service apart from the competition? How will your product be produced?
Whatever you happen to be selling, it must be good enough that customers will gladly pay for it, and it must be innovative enough to keep the competition at bay. Finally, the product or service must be marketed in such a way so as to cause prospects and consumers to stop what they are doing at any given time and pay attention.
With the proper research, a good idea and enough gusto behind the business strategy you design, your product or service will quickly surpass your established sales goals.
What Tools and Resources Do You Have At Your Disposal?
This is the part of the business strategy where you list everything that you need to establish your market dominance and achieve your goals. This includes free and paid-for implements like WordPress and Adwords for online marketers, for example. This list can be short and it can be extensive, depending on the type of business you hope to create. They should still be listed, however, so that they can be tweaked and upgraded as times and technologies change. After all, you never know when a better tool may come along a month or a year from now; and you will want to be able to alter your business strategy accordingly.
The resources that will help your business achieve its end result includes all of the important people that you will surround yourself with, as well as all of the capital that you will need to put your strategy into action.
Even if you are running a sole-proprietorship and even if you consider yourself flat broke, you should still list connections and friends, family and neighbors who happen to be in the business; anyone who may help you get a leg up and a foot forward. As far as capital is concerned, write down fund-raising possibilities, such as holding a garage sale, selling things on EBay, asking for donations on social media or from friends and family, and so on. You never know when money will flow when you just so much as ask for it.
How Will You Spend Your Days Until Your Goals Are Reached?
This is where you list your day-to-day processes, weekly processes and monthly; all the actions you expect to take to keep your solid business strategy constantly moving along. Write these down and adhere to them; and then create a set of set-in-stone to-dos that you will be required to follow in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. If you have done your homework and your business strategy is indeed as solid as you say, you should achieve your goal before you know it.
Just keep tracking your progress, alter your plan if you need to , such as if a new technology emerges or you end up setting a new, even further away goal, and you will see the end of the tunnel. What a sweet, sweet day that will be. To get there, you only need to get started.
Image Source: Stefan Erschwendner on Flickr
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