Remember, as entrepreneurs, we are responsible for both developing strategy and implementing it. As a member of the leadership team, we must remember that we should have bias towards action. Moving forward, we focus on a ready, fire, aim strategy framework. As entrepreneurs lack of progress for extended periods of time is not acceptable. All businesses go through transitions and the faster we move through them, the greater our success.
Here are the six questions to ask as yourself or fellow team members as you begin developing your business strategy.
1. What does your business do? How does your organization impact others? Said another way, what is the purpose of your organization?
2. Where do you choose to play? This question is about picking early opportunities with the idea of leaving more challenging markets behind until your organization can favorably compete in these additional markets. The choice of working in the right markets is critical to your organization’s success. As entrepreneurs, we don’t have the resources of our larger competitors and targeting the right market is critical to our organization’s success.
3. How do you build your business to allow you to win more often? How do you create a unique value proposition for your target markets? What is your competitive edge? Are you able to clearly define it in terms that focus on the results your clients achieve through using your products and services?
4. What capabilities must be in place to achieve your goals in your selected markets? How do you leverage your current capabilities to achieve early wins and goals? How do you get your people ready for the next stage of the business? Remember, the clearer you become about your vision, the easier it is to attract the right people to your organization.
5. What management systems are required? The answers to these questions help you create the right systems, structures, and measures that support your earlier decisions in strategy. These systems should be flexible enough to take advantage of new opportunities presented to the organization. These systems provide the foundation for future growth opportunities. As you grow, these systems continue to evolve to help you manage your business more effectively.
6. The final step of this process involves taking action on your strategy. You must be constantly taking ACTION if you hope to grow the business of your dreams.
Since there is a leadership team involved in your strategy, you must have the tools you need to help your fellow leaders understand how your strategy will be put into action. I have found several questions can help you refine your strategy. For a reality check, ask yourself or fellow team members:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your confidence level about the path you’re taking?
- What is your gut telling you about what you’re doing?
- How does the work you’ve done so far compare to your expectations?
- Do you have any questions about the work you’re doing?
- What are you doing today that you would not get into again if you had to do it over – knowing what you know now?
These questions allow you to step back from your strategy and decide if you’re ready to take action on it. I’ve found that many entrepreneurs have a higher level of intuition and emotional intelligence than corporate leaders. By asking these questions, you can decide if you are ready to move to market with your strategy. They also provide critical check-ins along your way to success.
Want to see how to apply strategy to sales you might also enjoy How Do You Build a High Growth Sales Business?
Next week, we begin talking about how entrepreneurs can increase their early results by creating a strong culture within their organization. See you here.