Imagine that you’re applying for a job to train a professional soccer team. The interviewer will ask you what your goals are, how will you help the team become better, how will you lead them to achieve those goals, etc.
Then, let’s say that you lead your team to the final game of a prestigious championship. You have to prepare your players to face other players that have been training hard and are very talented. How will you tackle this?
Everything is part of a strategy from the very first moment in planning your team’s goals – how you will train the players, what players you want to play, what players to bench, etc.
How does that translate to business? Well, as the trainer, your business is your team. You need to set a course of action to know what you want to achieve and how you are going to make it happen.
If you don’t train your players, if you don’t plan what to do, if you don’t even sit down and think about what you want, you will lose the game. The same goes for business: without a clear strategy, you will lose time and lose money.
What is a business strategy?
A business strategy is a course of action and the set of decisions that a business makes to help them achieve specific goals. The main objective of every business is to generate profits.
Remember that all businesses are different, so every strategy is unique to a specific organization. A good plan is like a map: it tells you which steps to follow if you want to go from point A to point B. However, the uniqueness of a business strategy includes an in-depth study on the business itself to understand what it does, what it wants, and how to achieve those wants. It also consists of studying its resources (human, financial, structural, etc.) and how to use them.
The process of creating an effective business strategy is called strategy development.
What does it take to develop an effective strategy?
Strategy development requires knowing the organization in order to set a course of action to achieve its goals.
Every single business has its way on how they develop their strategies. However, some steps are considered general and work for almost everyone. Some essential steps in strategy development are:
Being clear about corporate identity:
The terms “mission,” “vision,” and “values” are part of the corporate identity. To develop a business strategy, you need to know:
What do you do as a business?
What kind of business are you?
Where do you want to be?
What values are essential to this business?
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses:
Know which stages and sectors you need to work on, what you have to change, and what you can count on to keep growing.
Analyze your market:
Your competitors will tell you a lot about how the market is working, what is trending, what the public prefers, etc. Analyzing the environment will give you valuable information that you will later use.
You need short, medium, and long term goals that will serve as the destinations to your plan. Goals will give you a vision of what you want to achieve as a business and motivate you and your workers to keep producing high quality work and service.
Strategies need periodic reviews to ensure everything is working as it should. Reviews will tell you how things are going and what changes you need to make if things are going in the wrong direction.
Is this related to marketing?
Of course! They are part of marketing strategies, and they give you a direction to follow to successfully promote your products/services.
The development of any marketing campaign also requires a marketing strategy. That marketing strategy includes a process of study, research, and planning. Marketing strategies are necessary; improvising can be unsafe for businesses. Remember that every decision taken also means money and time investment and your business does not want to waste any of those.
How can you develop a marketing strategy?
Conducting research will provide you with your market’s data and you can use it to decide which ones will be beneficial to you. The information you collect from doing research will help you understand how your environment works and how you can direct your marketing strategy and message.
Set goals: Goals are important because you need to set a destination for your map. Having a specific goal can help you determine if your strategy worked or didn’t. If you succeed in achieving your goals, you can take notes,see what helped you the most, and continue in that direction.
Target your market: Once you have a product or service in mind, you need to know who will buy it and which specific group of people will be interested in it. The people you target can vary in demographics such as age, economic condition, gender, interests, professions, etc. Targeting your market will ensure that you deliver the message to the people that are most likely to buy your products.
Evaluate and adjust: Marketing strategies aren’t perfect, so you need to keep a constant eye on them. If you reach a goal or fail to do so, study what went right and what went wrong – determine what you can change. That way, your strategy will continue to evolve and become better.
When it comes to business success, you cannot leave it to fate. Planning, studying, analyzing, and setting actions according to the information you collected will ensure that you are doing the most useful things to grow and achieve your goals. The development of business and marketing strategies is a process that will show you a lot more about your business than you thought, and it will make you understand what the most logical solutions and steps to follow are. We hope you find this information helpful in the development of your marketing strategies, Hatago Consulting is here to help you growing your business strategies.