Developing a business strategy for any brand big or small, new or old is a very essential part.
It helps you prepare a realistic plan for whatever vision you have with your business. A strategic plan is different from a business plan.
A business plan is about setting goals and deciding steps necessary steps to achieve them but strategic plans are focused on business goals and the strategies to achieve them.
Working with a predefined strategic plan also helps in unifying your team and putting a focused effort in a single direction.
What’s in it for me?
Before starting to plan a business strategy, you should develop a statement that can summarize the goal of the company. In what direction is your company headed? What do you want your organization to become?
Spend time with yourself. With the other people involved in running the organization and then decide. This statement is how your employees and customers will perceive your company.
Your current situation
It does not matter you have just started up just or you are an old player. You should be well aware of your current resources and realities, be it in terms of funds left in your account, or if you are in the business for a while, which areas of your business worked in your favor the most.
Only after analyzing these things you should make a decision for your companies future growth strategy.
Although you can make use of this in multiple situations currently we will look at it from the perspective of using it in a running business or an evolving idea. This technique is used to assess the current position of your business or idea, very useful in deciding future business strategy.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It may be quiet intuitive that SWOT analysis is used to understand the Strengths and Weaknesses of your business and idea, and identify both opportunities you have and threats you may face.
- What advantages do you have?
- What resources or contacts you have access to?
- Recognitions you have received?
- What are your current skills?
- What are your intangible assets?
- What do you lack?
- What can be improved?
- Which are the gaps that need to be addressed?
- What should be avoided?
- What opportunities are available to you to take advantage of?
- Which are the opportunities in your niche that you could pursue?
- What are the trends that might open new opportunities?
- What obstacles do you face?
- How many resources does your competitor have?
- What is your competition up to?
- Are the requirements for your company changing?
- Are you having any cash flow problems?
- Does any of these weaknesses seriously threaten your business?
Genuinely answering these questions will give you a clear picture of your business or idea. You would clearly know, what things need your immediate attention, what things seem to work in your favor. And how can you balance these two for the best and fastest result.
Now that you have figured out, what resources you have currently, you can decide your future operation strategy/business strategy.
Suppose you have a product company. Will you manufacture it, or you will buy from someone else and brand it in your name and sell. If you are low on funds obviously you have to choose the second option. It zeros the factory setup, land rent, machinery, and so many other costs that you have to bear if you choose the first option. But on the contrary, your profit margins on each sell will also decrease.
If you are a service-based company, will you yourself give the service, hire employees and pay them a salary to do the service work, or will you outsource the work to some other company and take profit from between.
Will you take the franchise of a famous brand, or you want to start your own brand.
You can also work in different stages, suppose when you have just started your business so you outsource your clients’ work, later hire a team to do it.
You can figure out answers to all these, ones you have a clear picture of all your resources.
7 p’s of marketing
Now we move on to the most important part of a business. Marketing. Ones you have decided product or service, and also decided the operational structure of your company.
Next thing is to reach out to your customer and to do that let me introduce you to the seven P formula of marketing.
Seven Ps are used to continuously evaluate your business activities. The seven P stands for Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Packaging, Positioning, and People.
As the product needs of customers keep changing rapidly, it is a wise thing to keep rechecking these seven Ps to stay on the right track and achieve the maximum results.
It refers to what are you offering to customers. What advantages and benefits will the customer get from buying your goods or services. While marketing your product, you need to highlight the key benefits customer would get. It can be quality, style, or maybe something else.
This refers to the price you set for your product or service. A low price usually represents inferior quality, and high price showcases superior quality. Before deciding a price you should do some research about your target audience. Usually how much do they pay for your type of product or service. Also keep in mind your spending, payment accepting charges(if any), profit margins, seasonal pricing, and discounts you may give.
They are strategies used to make your customers aware of your products or service. Regular promotions boost brand recognition and recall. Some forms of promotional strategies are TV, radio ads, print media, digital marketing, PR and Sponsorship.
This refers to the location your product or service should be most visible. The goal is to position and distribute your product in such a way that it is easily accessible to your potential buyer. For example, a luxury product selling company should primarily focus on distributing its products in the cities rather than villages to reach more potential buyers.
They say that people form their first impression within the first 30 seconds of seeing you or something about your company. Therefore it is important to give attention to every visual element in the packaging of your product or service. It has been seen multiple times that small improvements in the appearance of a product leads to increased sales volume.
Thus make a note of every touchpoint of your customer during the purchasing process, and improve them visually. One of the most important things to consider here is the colors used and there is a whole science of using colors in the right way under the banner of Color Psychology. Do spend some time understanding it.
It is arguably the most important part of your brand. The way you position yourself in the market is how your customers will perceive you. Are you perceived as a luxury brand or a mass-oriented brand depends on how you do your positioning in the market.
To know your brand’s positioning in the market, listen to what people think and talk about you and your company when you are not around.
You are looking at it as the last element of the seven Ps. But let me tell you, this is more important than all the above elements put together. Even if you spend a lot of time and plan the best marketing and other strategies for your brand. The execution part has to be done by people in your organization.
Thus it is of utmost importance to select, recruit, and retain the proper people who the required skills to do the different activities that have to be done in your company.
Before starting to spend your money and other resources on marketing your business you should be well aware of how much should you spend on customer acquisition, and calculating Customer Lifetime Value, helps you just do that. So do check out that blog.
I hope you got some clarity for planning a growth strategy for your business. Now the next step is to take action. So go for it! Make that awesome business strategy, that will lead your company towards growth!!
According to a survey of some businesses, email marketing had the highest ROI for them. But this varies a lot from business to business. Thus, you should check this specifically for your business domain.
Business strategy refers to the steps that need to be taken to execute your business model, and this keeps changing with time and different situations that come up. The business model is how your business makes money and how does it operate.