If you have been following the previous blog posts, you will now have your vision, values, and purpose all written down on your strategy on a page. This time, we will get into the business strategy territory.
First, I want you to look at what makes you different from your competitors. This process is called “recognizing your unique selling point.” For example, mine is that I am flexible, so my clients can call me even later in the day. I am the kind of consultant that you always get. I will be able to know your company and how it works, unlike a corporate where you may be assigned different people because they care more about numbers rather than their clients.
Second, look at your target market – who are the players, and what approach do they take? How much of the market would you like? How do geography and demographics play a part? The marketplace is both the sector and the physical location. If you are not in the right location for your client base, then the business will not be as great as you would like.
Now is the time to think about what customers will get from you.
What do you want clients to say about you? This part is about how you want your company to be seen. Clients want consistent results. All clients should be treated equally.
Third, Foundations are important. You wouldn’t build a house without a good foundation because you want it to be standing for a long time. Well, the same goes for your business. You need to build it with a strong foundation. To grow without the building crumbling, the foundation needs to be strong – which is your business strategy. Take the time to do these steps because, in the long run, they will pay dividends. There are some core pillars that you should be looking at as part of the business strategy:
These are Marketing, Sales & Service. How do your clients find you? What social media do you use to be visible to clients? Mine are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. On operational processes, I have enough admin time for doing my accounting, writing my podcast episodes, and recording. I also post my books to prospective clients – I am a coach so I write my profiles for those platforms. I complete CQC applications on behalf of clients that work 1:1 with me. How about you? How effective are your processes? Have looked at them from the perspective of your client?
Planning and playing with your strengths in creating your business strategy
One thing that helps me with my operations is my planner. I use an electronic calendar for appointments. However, for my in-depth tasks, I use a physical planner which I write in all the tasks for work and personal life. I organize my schedule every Sunday, at the start of the week. For us not to stray on the topic of business strategy, I will be talking about in-depth planning in another blog post.
How good are you at delivering your services? How easy do you make it for clients to book appointments? How do you nurture them? How do you ensure that supplies are adequate and not going out of date? In my experience, I saved one clinic £250 pounds just for one month, by creating a stock control sheet for them. They were not doing any kind of inventory, discarding expired items, and bleeding money.
Finances: I look at my budget and do a lot of self-development in order to ensure that I don’t overspend on training courses. I invoice on a monthly and I chase invoices. I use Quickbooks to keep track of my numbers and my bookkeeping. My accounting is automated, so it’s easier to keep track of the numbers for me. In each month I can see my income, expenses, and profit.
Leadership: My leadership comes into play when I mentor. I don’t have staff but my mentees look to me for guidance in certain areas or clarity. By using my leadership skills, I have supported them in the areas where they are having challenges. Yours will be how you manage your business and what tools you give the staff to empower them to do their tasks and roles to the best of their ability
Distribution channel: For most people, it will be their clinic. For me it’s mainly online on zoom, I also have an e-learning platform that my clients can utilize to enrich their learnings. My clients can also listen to my podcast to quickly learn about the CQC.
To enable you to look at all the pillars, think about all your partners – These will be groups and associations you belong to, people from who you get referrals, etc. So for me, my key partners are those who I refer to. Those groups to which I belong – like a business network, the Association of Business Mentors. My publisher Rethink Press, Engagement Multiplier, Brian Mayne, for whom I am a coach and facilitator on goal mapping for personal and business. So all these partners help me to move my business forwards. These partners are a huge part of my business strategy.