What’s Your Plan? – How to Write a Business Strategy in 7 Clear Steps
As a business owner, you likely have a vision for where you want your company to be in the future.
However, without a clear and actionable strategic plan in place, it can be challenging to achieve those goals.
In this article, we will explore the seven essential steps to creating a clear, effective business strategy.
We will begin by discussing the importance of clarifying your vision and aligning it with your values and passion.
Next, we will cover the importance of defining your unique selling proposition, targeting your audience, and setting priorities for growth.
Additionally, we will delve into the importance of conducting a gap analysis to identify potential weaknesses and threats.
Finally, we will discuss the need to embrace inclusivity and emotional intelligence within your organisation.
By following these steps, you can create a strategic plan that empowers you to achieve your business goals and succeed in today's competitive market.
What’s your business vision?
You may have spent time envisioning where you want your business to be and how you want it to look in 3, 5, or even 10 years’ time. You may have an idea of how and when you want to scale, or you may have your exit in mind and an idea of how and when that will happen.
That future vision is all well and good in itself, but have you translated it to and aligned it with a strategic plan of action? The clear action steps that will take you from point A, where you are now, to realising that vision in the future and at the prescribed time?
I’ve worked with many business owners and helped them define their business vision. I have also supported them as they navigate how to write a business strategy that will work for them and their business. If this is something that you are currently grappling with, then here are my 7 steps to a clear, actionable strategy for your business.
How to write a business strategy – 7 Steps to Clarity
Clarify your vision. This is your snapshot of the future. Your ideation of what your business will look like at specific points in the future. In order to create this vision, it’s important to take a step backward and identify the business “story so far” – what has been working in your business, what hasn’t, what you enjoy doing and what you don’t and look at turnover as a whole, as well as for each individual segment of your business.
With this information, you can then detail your aspirations for your future business, aligning it to your values and, importantly, your passion or “why” – the reason for starting your business in the first place. Your vision will articulate exactly what success looks like to you in terms of what you do, who you serve, and how you serve them. (If you would like help in clarifying your vision, download my FREE Business Vision Workbook from my website, https://juliangapocoaching.co.uk/free-resources/)
Define Your USP- What is it that makes your business unique and sets it apart from your competitors? Many business owners make the mistake of believing this has to be financially defined, but your competitive advantage could equally be around your excellent customer experience, your dispatch times, or your no-quibble guarantee. At the heart of this is identifying how your business can offer unique value to your target audience.
Clarify Your Targeting- This underpins your whole marketing activity, which in turn informs your sales strategy. Firstly, identify any niche and/or specialism. Secondly, identify clearly who you are selling to, and lastly identify what resources you have and how they are to be deployed to maximum effect.
Set Your Priorities for Growth- A vague idea that you want to scale a business without a clear idea of the areas that are ripe for growth is short-sighted and counterproductive. Instead, identify the areas or segments of the business which are crying out for investment, whether through tech, human resources, or equipment and focus on creating actionable steps to grow in those areas. Remember that all steps need to be SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, particularly around the results that you expect to receive and in what time frame.
Look Around the Bend - Many business owners who want to know how to write a business strategy focus on the next quarter only. Although it’s impossible to create a contingency for everything that might happen in your business, it’s important, strategically, to create a long-term view, which remains flexible enough to contend with anything that business life throws at it. Similarly, it’s important to regularly review your plan to check that you and it are still aligned. Your strategy should never be a “one-time effort, then forget about it” exercise.
Create a Gap Analysis - Whilst it is important to understand your competitive advantage, it’s also imperative that you identify any weaknesses in your business. A simple SWOT analysis can help to identify any weaknesses and threats and help you to formulate how to mitigate these. Companies that are able to identify any external threats are most able to adapt and keep ahead of the market.
Encourage E.Q as well as I.Q - To be truly effective, it’s important that you embrace inclusivity and promote a feeling of transparency within the company. Gone are the days when leaders’ and managers’ value was based solely on their IQ. The modern world requires an equal measure of emotional intelligence, particularly around the traditionally feminine energies of compassion, intuition, and nurturing. (Read more about the advantages of bringing your feminine energies to the fore in business here) Your strategy should therefore detail how you intend to demonstrate inclusivity and attract the “right” people to your organisation.
How to write a business strategy – In Conclusion.
Your business strategy underpins every action within your business and should be the basis to inform how, when, and why you scale your business.
Having said that, it needn’t be complicated. It’s important to create a “living” document; something that will flex with the times and with each new challenge that you and your business face.
If you would like support in clarifying your business vision, in effective steps to scale your business, or a wingwoman to support you, then get in touch.
I offer 1:1 coaching sessions, but if you’re impatient to get your business strategy done and dusted so you can implement it straight away, then why not book a VIP Business Breakthrough Day?
This is an intensive full-day programme of small business coaching to empower you with the tools, actionable strategies, and mindset you need for business success. We will look at your business vision, explore how to write a business strategy that fits your business, your values, and your future plans, and identify the actionable steps to create momentum, gain focus, and propel your business forward. If you would like more information regarding any of my services, book a call by visiting my website:https://juliangapocoaching.co.uk/book-a-call/