by Granville Triumph
Another New Year is upon us. It’s a time of resolutions, when people latch onto new weight loss gimmicks, hoping for better results than last year. I’m no doctor, but any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you that the key to healthy, lasting weight loss is the ability and willingness to follow an individualized wellness plan and make better lifestyle choices. Ultimately, weight loss is simply a happy byproduct of smart, healthy living.
Business owners should take the same approach. Instead of trying to boost revenues by latching onto a quick fix, the healthier approach is to develop a sound business strategy.
Unfortunately, most senior executives don’t spend much time building and cultivating a business strategy. According to research from the CMO Council and Deloitte, seven in 10 CEOs expect the Chief Marketing Officer to take charge of business strategy. To make matters worse, five in six CMOs don’t spend much time collaborating with senior leadership on business strategy.
A research-based, goal-based business strategy is key to sustainable success. It drives the decision-making process. It helps you maximize performance, productivity and profits. It helps you streamline operations. It helps you keep products and services aligned with current market conditions and trends. It helps you identify areas of need in terms of technology and talent. It helps you determine the best way to allocate those resources. It opens the door to exploring new opportunities for growth, but also helps you determine which opportunities should not be pursued.
There are different types of business strategies designed to achieve different goals. A growth strategy involves launching new products, improving existing products to increase market share, or finding new markets to sell products. A product differentiation strategy is often used by businesses with a competitive advantage to separate themselves from the pack and build brand loyalty. Organizations with an eye on expansion may incorporate an acquisition strategy to penetrate new markets, increase distribution or add new products to their portfolios.
For smaller organizations, a business strategy should focus on minimizing risk while driving steady growth. For example, start by determining how to sell more of your products to your existing customer base. Then develop a strategy for selling your products to a new market. At this point, you might want to try new marketing channels and look for new ways for customers to access your products.
Once you’ve progressed to increased levels of success, it could be time to develop a new product that fills a specific need or desire for your target audience, or acquire a company that already has such a product. Your strategy and tactics will gradually involve more risk, but they’ll also have more dramatic growth potential.
Gimmicks are risky. Even a short-term revenue boost is far from guaranteed. If you want to position your organization for long-term, sustained success, you need a business strategy that provides a solid foundation for growth and helps you make better business decisions.