Hope Is Not A Business Strategy
First…this has nothing to do with President Obama. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s begin. A frequent comment I hear from people discussing their business strategies is this: “Well, we’re going to try this out and hope for the best.” Umm, huh, what? Here’s a quick list of some vital strategies you are going to need to figure out for your business.
Technology Strategy-This is often the one strategy that doesn’t get the priority it deserves. What I mean by that is that there is usually a bigger focus on marketing and advertising as a means of achieving business goals. The truth is that developing a solid IT strategy can save your business time, money and resources. One of your first decisions will need to be whether you will hire staff internally or outsource IT staff and network security.
Marketing Strategy-This will help you to identify the best target markets for your business based on what it is that you offer as a service or goods that makes your business unique. Your marketing strategy should also outline all the aspects of your business-opportunities that exist, your strengths and weaknesses as well as a clear and concise budget. This will allow you to set up expectations and keep track of your spending so that it doesn’t get out of control.
Advertising Strategy-Marketing and advertising are similar-but not the same. Once you’ve built out a marketing strategy, you will need an advertising strategy to determine which methods you are going to use to build public awareness of your business and the services or products that you offer. A “message” as well as a call to action needs to be created and then the determination of which advertising media and channels will most effectively communicate the message. In simple terms, what is the message we want to convey about our business and what is the best way to get that message out into the world?
All three of these strategies require scoping and thorough planning. Here’s a really quick to understand why it’s so important to do the work up front-to avoid spending more money than necessary further down the line.
Take a look at the graph below. In the lower left hand corner is the convergence point of money and work. The bottom line of “work” also serves as a timeline. Say you decide you need to make changes to parts of your strategies-6 week after you have launched. To see how much additional money you will need to spend, move straight up from the bottom line-this is the additional amount of money it will be necessary to spend.
This is proof positive that doing the necessary work up front can save you money in the long run.
Pay now or pay more later. Hoping won’t help to avoid this dilemma-good business strategies will.
This is where the real work is done
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