Every self-employed person should have a Business Plan to force specific thinking about ways to make the business stronger. Examining individual parts of a Business Plan, we’ve looked at Objectives and Mission Statements for small business owners. Strategies are also important for that Plan to be effective.
What is a Strategy? To put it simply, each Strategy is a broad look at the ideas, concepts or changes needed to help us meet our Objectives.
For instance, here are a set of Objectives we looked at earlier, with possible corresponding Strategies:
Objective #1 - Generate a reasonable income for me and my employees
Strategy 1-A: Determine an hourly billing rate that will maximize earnings.
Strategy 1-B: Introduce the business in a compelling way to potential new customers.
Objective #2 - Build a loyal base of repeat customers.
Strategy 2-A: Make sure that each customer is satisfied with the work done.
Strategy 2-B: Remind past customers that my business is interested in serving their current and future needs.
Objective #3 - Reflect my personal values of respect and responsibility.
Strategy 3-A: Train my employees to represent my values.
Strategy 3-B: Clearly state company values to customers, prospects and vendors.
As mentioned in Why We Need Marketing, every business needs to have Strategies that focus on getting and retaining customers. In addition, our Strategies may address how we will:
We need at least one or two Strategies for every Objective. If we cannot come up with any, the Objective may need to be re-considered, at least for now.
We may identify more Strategies than we can accomplish in the near term, or even in the next year – or two. As you think of them, include them so they will not be forgotten or overlooked. There are no wrong answers on this roadmap to the future. And, if our ideas are documented, we can build on them as appropriate.
Strategies are somewhat vague by design, to help us look at the big picture (i.e. what important steps should we be taking) rather than getting tangled up in the details (i.e. what are we going to do). Once we have identified our needs, we will develop clearly defined Tactics (i.e. action items) to go with each strategy.
What Strategies are you using to help achieve your Objectives? Which ones should you add? Or delete?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend
The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC. Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton. Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.