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Creating a business strategy
If you don't know where you are going, you can't know where you are at
I can picture it now: A lovely wedding in an outside garden, the bride radiate in a white dress and a groom smiling ear from ear as he gazes at his stunning bride. The preacher, struck by the passion that these two people have for one another, looks at the man and asks if he will take his love and keep her for life. The groom, choking back tears, says from the bottom of his heart, “Ahhhh, we’ll see what happens.”
I can safely assume that no legitimate marriage or business is started with the hope that sooner than later it is going to fail. For many small businesses, though, it’s hard to focus on tomorrow when the stresses of today are as distracting as a child having a temper tantrum in the grocery store. With over 50% of businesses failing in their first 5 years, knowing who you are and where you want to go should be a top priority.
A strategy is a 5 to 10 year game plan for your business. In it, you should have your company’s vision, mission statement and short and long term company objectives. Many companies I have talked to and worked for have said they have a strategy, but it was either out dated or never written down.
The worst part about not having a written strategy is that what you have in your mind might not look as good when on paper. I have had a lot of great ideas in my head that once verbalized and written down I have realized were completely infeasible. Case and point: sandals…you can run in. There are probably better ways to break your ankle.
Many smaller or niche companies still don’t see the use of having an internet presence. Reasons range from low online sales to old fashion company mentality. These companies do not have an up-to-date strategy. The internet is one of the most efficient and effective ways to generate awareness and demand for a company’s products or services. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Instead, it will just make a company more likely to continue falling into obscurity.
It might seem like a daunting task to write a 5 to 10 year strategy when you are simply trying to stay afloat today, but your competition is planning for the future and if you are not, you might not have one.