Ever embarked on a journey without a map? How about one with no end destination in mind at all? Sure, there’s some adventure to be had, some unexpected twists and turns to encounter, and some unforeseen discoveries to be made. But that’s not what you want in business, where your livelihood and your investment depends on clarity. And when it comes to clarity, it’s all about having a strategy in mind, where you know the destination you want to reach and have a clear roadmap for how you intend to get there. In fact, a clear business strategy offers a wealth of benefits, ranging from planning for growth, planning for the unexpected, and providing clarity along the way. Here’s how you can create business growth and clarity through strategy.
What is strategy?
By definition, ‘strategy’ is a ‘plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim’. And there are a few words I’d like to unpack in that sentence. Plan – A plan is a roadmap. It’s how you get from where you are to where you want to be. Planning defines the most effective route to your ultimate destination. Action – These are the things you need to do to get where you want to go. No strategy is successful without taking action. Aim – The aim is the end destination. It’s what you want to achieve. You can’t make a plan or have a strategy without an end-goal in mind. That’s why strategy is essential to business. It allows you to create a ‘plan of action to achieve a long-term or overall aim’.
In business, the aim might vary at different points in your journey. It might involve starting-up, scaling up, shifting course, stepping back as the business over, or handing over the business reins. Often, however, that aim is growth. It’s about taking your business to the next level with more customers, more products or services, more outlets, or more income.
For each of these aims, a plan is required. This plan answers the question of ‘how do we get from where we are now to where we want to be?’ And planning should be consistent throughout the life of a business. For every milestone or aim you hope to accomplish, there should be a plan for what is likely to happen, when.
Within that plan there will be the actions that are required. These are the incremental steps that need to be accomplished to achieve the overall aim. The actions might range from systems and procedures that need to be put in place, to the human resources that will be required, and the capital that’s needed for that to occur. These actions should be achievable, delegated, and measurable. They should consider who is responsible for completing that task, how it will be measured, and when it needs to be achieved by.
The outcome is clarity
Ultimately developing a strategy gives your business journey clarity. It keeps you accountable as the business owner and charts the course that your business will take to achieve its overall aim. When shared with your staff, it ensures every person knows what they need to achieve to propel the business forward and attain that aim. It keeps the business on track, sets milestones which can be met and measured, allows you to understand what’s working and what’s not, and ensures you keep taking steps in the right direction. Whether it’s growth or another aim, strategy is essential in business. It’s the difference between lost time and ongoing questioning and a business with a clear path and map for success.
Talk Strategy with Clive
With more than 30 years’ experience in mentoring small to medium-sized businesses around Australia. Clive works with company owners and their teams to grow their business and achieve goals through strategic coaching.