One thing I noticed in my earlier days of management was that to truly succeed, you need to work ON the business and this requires a strategy.
How is your business? Are you simply working to keep your head above water? Are you drowning in areas that, quite frankly, are avoidable? What plans have you made for tomorrow, next month or a future point? These are all reflective questions I would ask people to look at.
With a strategy model you can formulate a plan to truly promote your great product or service. Lafley & Martin 5-Step Strategy Model has some interesting elements to consider.
- WINNING ASPIRATION – The organisation’s goal or objective. Not simply about making money but market placement and establishing YOUR aspirations.
In coaching, we use the ‘Rocking Chair’ tool where we ask clients to mentally move away from today and cadge a lift in Dr.Who’s Tardis to drop them at a time in the future so they can envisage on how their business is doing.
Here you can see where you are compared to competition. Do you aspire to be #1 or increase your percentage of market share etc. Be realistic as much as optimistic. Know where you wish to be in a given time. “A dream is but a dream, but a goal is a dream with a deadline!”, set that deadline and imagine what your endeavours now will lead to.
- WHERE WILL WE PLAY? – Know your market, the players and the customers. As a business coach, I can work 1-2-1 either face-to-face, over the phone or Skype so potentially my clients are global. However, when I run workshops, at the moment I tend to keep them UK bound due to the return on investment. I specialise in ‘Business Coaching’ rather than encompass other areas such as Youth or Retirement so I become a known specialist that helps businesses flourish.
If you sell a product, get to truly know your market and your target audience. Is it B2B, B2C, OTC, Local, European, Global? Establish this clearly and focus your energy in a given direction rather than scattergun.
- HOW WILL WE WIN? – After research comes ‘Strategy’. This is where the most valuable time is spent.
Careful consideration is required here to establish your position in the market and where your competition can challenge you! Look to incorporate your Unique selling Proposition (USP).
Quite simply, your audience requires a good product/service at a fair price. Think about quality and time frame, know what your market requires and create a strategy towards that.
- CAPABILITIES NEEDED – Your action list. As a coach, I helped one client ascertain his team’s skillset. It became apparent that some were better in certain areas than others. We juggled members around to fit those they were more proficient in and productivity increased resulting from staff being in the optimum place.
What of technology, do the team work with laptops or have they to return to base wasting valuable time, possibly even as a lack of trust? Complaint procedures, route to market, your organisation’s infrastructure all of these require consideration and planning and not simply to be left to chance as you meander forward.
- MANAGEMENT SYSTEM REQUIRED – Up to now, it has predominantly been management. This area refers to the ‘Leadership’ of people therein.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said “Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it.” So the key is to have the person who ‘Leads’ to drive the passion of the businesses objectives through those who actually make a difference.
Avoid top heavy, glory seeking and self-promotion management structures. Delegate sensibly and without ‘dumping’. Understand your team’s workload and apply pressure NOT stress (there is a fine line!).
Although extremely simplified to serve this feature, it opens thought processes that time spent creating a workable with focused strategy is valuable. Much like a swan on fast running water, looking beautifully serene on top while paddling away frantically just to stand still. Whereas, with less effort, one which knows its surroundings better will fly to where the same effort put in will cover so much more ground reaping better rewards.
Should you or your organisation be looking to create a strategy bespoke to your business, then contact Neil by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or 07761 187238 to discuss how Coaching to Success can help you.
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