Crafting a Strategy for the Years Ahead
4 Steps to Discover What’s Next for Your Business Strategy
Kudos to you if you are an entrepreneur. You can relate to the pains of establishing, managing, and keeping your business alive. You put in years of hard work to stabilize your business, been through many twists and turns, faced many challenges, and still, held your ground. Now have reached a stable point in your life. You made it!
Business is like a living organism that is constantly evolving and growing. So, even if you have reached a point where you feel that things are looking up and you have achieved financial stability, you must ask yourself the big question: what is next? Anything stagnant over a period of time dies or loses its relatableness. This is why it is crucial for entrepreneurs and business owners to have a growth mindset and be on the lookout for opportunities to expand their vision and business.
This article is not going to give you tips on how to expand your business. Instead, this article is designed to help you explore the possibilities and strategy for your organization’s future.
To understand the growth aspect of your business, it is essential to understand how your industry is growing with an open mind. Don’t be afraid to explore untraditional segments. Look at the example of Careem Network, which started as a transport company and expanded into restaurants and grocery delivery; they also offer parcel pickup and delivery services. Or a home cleaning app, Urban Clap, which later grew into home spa and home repair services.
Invest your time researching what your customers want: Do they want an enhanced version of your existing product or a different product than what you offer? Research what similar businesses are offering. Engage with your customers in surveys and take their feedback. Study your sales reports and understand why the sales were higher in some months than others.
Customer data brings valuable insights when it comes to product design. Successful companies invest millions of dollars in focus groups to understand consumer behavior and needs.
We live in an age of opportunities where business visions are no longer shrunk to an orthodox approach. This is an era of expansion and growth. Be open to ideas about inspiration, product elevation, and consumer experience enhancements.
Step 1: Take a moment to think about when you started. What was your vision? The resources you had, the capital you invested, and how the business evolved over time. How much has it grown over the years, and where you are now. (You can write these down on a Word document or piece of paper).
Doing this will help you realize the journey and observe if you are still on your path or have derived from it. In some cases, it is customary to start with one vision and expand or completely shift into another dimension as long as it is still relatable to your end goals and values.
Step 2: Write down how this journey makes you feel
This is to acknowledge your achievements and disappointments (if any), giving you a headway to what you need to work on.
Step 3: Write down 3 goals you want to set for your existing business. These could be factors you want to work on or improve to grow your business.
The goals could be related to any dimension related to your business, such as:
Relocating to another office space
Having a higher consumer reach
Improving customer service
Partnering with other businesses
Expanding into another segment
With each goal, write down the notes:
Why is this important for your business?
What value would it bring to the organization and your customer?
What is the new vision for your business?
Once you have set your goals, it is essential to do your research. Understanding what your competitors or similar companies are doing can help you upgrade your ideas and give you tips on implementing yours.
Step 4: Implementation & timeline
Break down the steps of how you are going to implement the plan.
Set a timeframe for achieving your goals.
Be flexible in your goals; you might need to tweak them later. Be very realistic about the feasibility of your new plans; as long as you are realistic in your approach, you can always adjust the timeline accordingly.
As an entrepreneur, you can understand that it is easier to explore new ideas and develop an evolved version of your vision, but the real work goes into implementation. You may encounter and deal with some setbacks, but having a detailed plan will always be your guideline to stay on your path and move in the right direction.
Ensure your financial feasibility for the growth before you implement your plan. You should have a few years of steady revenue growth and a substantial flow of existing and new customers. If you plan to have investors on board, ensure you have the business plan ready to present, and meetings lined up.
With decent resources, business expansion can be easier and more manageable. This is why the sooner you start, the better it is for the future of your business.
Growth is not easy, but to grow, you must change. This is an empirical law. There are no exceptions to this!
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