[Guest Post by Kingsford Consulting. Follow Kingsford on Twitter @KingsfordConsul]
After talking to and working with hundreds of business owners – each with their own success stories and challenges – this compilation highlights the top 10 strategic lessons we’ve learned and passed on time and time again.
1. Simple is good
The more complex a solution, service offering, model etc is, the more expensive it will be to implement, the harder to sell, the more difficult to manage and so on – Think Google Search page.
2. It is equally important to know what you should STOP doing as it is to know what you should be doing
No one has an extra 8 or 10 hours a week to implement a new strategic direction. Something has to go.
3. The role of a business coach is not just someone telling you what to do
S/he has to give you a reality check, hold you accountable, someone to bounce your own good ideas off etc, and to give you some deep insight and other perspective when you need it.
4. Think global now
Design your business with the whole world’s customers and competitors in mind.
5. It is easy to jump straight to tactics to try to build a business
But if you do, your organization will always be reactive to the market. Take the time to plan out your strategy and you will be better prepared for the year to come. It could also make you the market leader.
6. An 80/20 analysis on your customer base can be very enlightening
Particularly if you find that 80% of your revenue comes from just three customers.
7. You don’t need a large corporate budget to market your business
Focus your marketing activities on only the customers you want to reach and utilize all the free tools that are out there.
8. Keep your brand top of mind in everything you do
Your brand is the perception the market has about your organization. It is impacted by everything from the actual product or service to how the phone is answered. Set some rigor and guidelines around your brand image to ensure a consistent and positive outlook.
9. Streamline your business with process
Draw out all the steps from lead to happy client and highlight areas that are repeatable. This is where you can put processes into place to shorten up your sales cycle without losing quality. The areas that are not consistently repeatable are areas of practice where individuals can add their own value and expertise. Having the right people in the right positions for their expertise will maximize the value added to your organization.
10. The best way to win is to change the game
Disruption is not just about technology – it’s even better when you change the way a market does business – it’s a lot more fun and so hard to compete against!