What is a strategic plan? Do I need one?
Strategic planning is often used to create a solution to a specific problem. For example, restaurants that have great nighttime business but no volume during the day would benefit from a strategic plan specifically focused on increasing daytime business. Small independent bookstores struggling to compete with neighborhood giants would benefit from strategic planning to highlight competitive advantages in order to attract traffic to their shops. A clothing store with high sales volume but slow inventory turns would benefit from a strategic plan specifically targeted improving productivity of their merchandise buys.
Do you see where we are going I am this?
Do you have a directive set of questions to see if your strategic plan is truly "strategic," if not then feel free to send me your concerns to see if I can help you plan to get back on track.
You cannot go into a business unprepared. It is important to have a plan.
Owning or starting a new business entails a thorough and objective SWOT analysis of both your personal abilities/resources and the business resouces/requirements. You need to have a clear strategy for marketing and the creative outcome of prosperity in your business.
A business plan is essential. Even if you do not want to write it all down (especially if you do not have investors), the process of preparing a business plan allows you to think through of every aspect of your business. It makes you think about the viability of your business and helps you avoid costly mistakes.
When starting a business, you base your projected performance on a set of assumptions. If you have a plan, you will be able to test your planning assumptions and create fall-back measures in the event that real life proves to be vastly different from your initial visions.
If you think through your business well, you can discover problem areas early on and initiate efforts to correct the problem. Remember, the business owner with a realistic plan has the best chances for success.
Your strategy should provide the road map to sucess with simple intitives and follow through. This creates a navigational direction for customers or clients to follow the map and drive to you!
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
The first step in developing your strategy is to isolate the best target market for your product or service. Your sales efforts will be most effective if you focus on a group of prospects with common characteristics and similar problems.
Start by defining on paper your ideal customer or client. List all of the characteristics you expect to find in good customers or clients. Be sure to include characteristics that make your product or service valuable to them. Then, use this list to identify a target market. Define your target market in writing.
Where are your current clients hearing about you. Who are your referral partners?