Business Strategy Outline
There are two essential questions you have to ask yourself before you put pen to paper and begin framing your business strategy outline or template. Where are you at the moment, and where do you want to be in the future? Answer these two basic questions, and you’ll be well on your way to a strategic business plan.
What Do I Have?
Here’s where you list your assets. Think beyond the financial (although that’s important, too!). Who are your top clients, and what are they purchasing? Who is on your corporate team? What are their skill sets? You might have a salesperson who’s also a great photographer – enlist his or her help in your marketing efforts! From this list, you can think of ways to utilize each of these assets. Do you have five stars on Yelp or Angie’s List? That’s a great selling point, and adds to your credibility if you’re looking for financers. This list will help you define your resources and spark new ideas for ways to take advantage of them.
What Do I Want?
You need to set business goals that go beyond just “stay afloat for another month.” Part of your business strategy planning involves defining these goals. Your long-term goal, of course, is business growth, but there are many stepping stones along the way. How are you going to get there? Are you going to purchase smaller companies? Are you going to expand your customer base? Or are you planning on introducing a new line of products to appeal to a bigger audience?
After you’ve set smaller goals, write down the very first step you need to take to get started. Something like “expand my customer base” can seem daunting and even insurmountable. But the first step – whether that’s to increase your social media marketing to reach more people or to hire a customer experience expert – is easy to take. Take your first steps toward each of your goals, and the next steps will become clearer.
As you create your business strategy outline, remember that you don’t necessarily have to follow it to the letter. The marketplace is dynamic, and businesses that want to survive have to be agile and adapt to these changes. Your business strategy outline is just that: a plan. Forethought is important, but so is flexibility.