How to Develop an Effective Business Strategy

Business strategy is the foundation for how your business will compete. The most successful companies in the world have carefully crafted strategies for how to achieve their long-term goals. They map out how they will market their offerings, how they will allocate resources, which projects to pursue, and how to target their demographics.

Understanding Business Strategy

Business strategy includes product strategy as well as marketing strategy, financial strategy, and operational strategy. At first glance, that list might seem complicated. To make the work easier, the business world is inundated with tools to organize your efforts. There are SWOT analyses and financial modeling, competitor analysis and more.

While those resources work well for some people, they aren’t for everyone — and there is no point in using any of those business resources unless they benefit you. The big problem with trying to use these common business resources to map out your strategy is that they are too complicated. Don’t bother. Crafting a good business strategy can be easier than all of that. Just keep it simple.

What Are Your Goals?

Start by defining your goals. If you have an idea for a technology product, maybe an app or a program, what is that you want to do with that concept? For instance, if you have the capabilities to create a calendar app, try to define your target user. In this example, you may want to target parents juggling the schedules of their children’s extra-curricular activities, or you may wish to focus on freelancers who often need to plan out many individual projects in the course of a week.

What Do You Do Well?

Next, look at what you do well or what you do that is unique. Many companies offer calendar apps. What is about yours that will attract users? The ability to categorize entries by project or child is one possibility. You might also want to offer a variety of color-coding options, the ability to share calendars with colleagues, or the ability to sync with third-party apps. These features will form the basis of your advertising as well as your competition.

Is There a Market?

It is also important to consider whether there is a demand for your idea. You might be able to do something unique and identify a market to use your concept, but that doesn’t mean people will buy what you are selling. In some cases, you may be able to adjust your offering to be more appealing to your market, say by lowering your price or increasing the number of features offered. Other times, you may find that you’ve reached a dead-end. That’s OK too. Not all ideas are marketable.

Business Models

Finally, consider your business model. What works for you may not work for another company and vice versa. Amway has been using a direct sales business strategy for decades because that is what works for them. This strategy involves employing salespeople to sell Amway products and instead of paying them a salary, the company pays them a commission on the items they sell. Before they can make money online with Amway, team members have to pay to register as a salesperson, but in exchange for that fee, they receive training on how to run a business and how to sell in particular. Your company could adopt a similar strategy.

Conclusion

When you try to use a tool that is not intuitive for you, you may get mired in the details and lose sight of your true objectives, or you might be frustrated trying to use the resources and get turned around. Instead, keep it simple. Look at your goals and examine what you do well. Also, look at whether there is a market for your idea and the best business model for your concept.

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