If there is an overused, misunderstood, eyeroll-causing word in the business dictionary, it has to be “strategy.” Bear with us. We’re going to cut through the clutter and make it simple, clear and actionable.

What is Strategy?

Strategy is the story that explains why and how your business should be an economic success, which means that it will generate great returns for a long time.

At its core, strategy is just the combination of two things:

  • Your Value Proposition – what you do, who you do it for and why they should choose you over someone else
  • Your Business Model – the key set of things you do to get the customers you want and deliver your Value Proposition to them

Things to note:

  • Strategy is the foundation of sustained, profitable growth. No matter how well you execute, if the economic rationale for your business is weak, you’ll be pushing on a wet noodle.
  • Strategy is not “strategic planning.” This is the name many companies give to their annual process for setting sales and financial goals. Your strategy should change only when market conditions require it, or new opportunities arise.
  • A great strategy should fit on a postcard. If it takes more than 1-2 sentences to explain your Value Proposition and a handful of bullet points to describe your Business Model, it’s too complicated.

Making it Strong

For your strategy to be strong, your value proposition needs to be clear, compelling and as unique as you can make it, and your business model needs to dovetail with it perfectly. That means focusing on specific customers with specific wants/needs, and then making sure that everything you do in Sales and Operations is aimed purely at acquiring those customers and meeting those needs. As obvious as that sounds, it’s amazing how rarely we see it. For good measure, it means doing all of this in ways that are difficult for competitors to copy.

For most companies, the single hardest part of this is narrowing down their Value Proposition. Choosing to focus on some customers means choosing NOT to focus on others, which is scary. It feels like you’re being asked to pass on potential revenue. But what you’re really doing is making it easy for the customers who value you the most to find you. Those customers will buy sooner, buy more, pay higher prices and stick around longer, all of which drive the value of your business up.

When your strategy is strong, everything else in your business gets easier. Here’s how it plays out:

Next Steps

If you’re frustrated by slow growth or low profits, get clear and aligned about:

  • Exactly what you do
  • Who you do it for
  • How you do it
  • What makes you unique

That will put the wind at your back. If you need some help, that’s what we’re here for. Click here and we’ll get you on your way.