SuperPower of the Week:
Strategy = Purpose + Plan + Process
Does running your business sometimes feel like you are herding cats?
Without a strategy, all your ideas and actions will wander around, meowing and looking cute, but they won’t produce RESULTS. Why go to all the trouble if you’re not getting the results you set out to create in the first place??
Not having clear, effective strategies in your business is a lot like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. Translation: ineffective, inefficient, and high risk. You might as well let that herd of cats take over.
If you want to show those cats who’s boss, you’ll need to approach your overall business (and individual projects, programs and initiatives) with a clear, effective strategy.
Ok, you say, I get it. Be strategic. But what does that mean? Strategy is about thinking things through, and making sure that the actions you take are in alignment with the goals you have set out to achieve. I like to think of it as connecting the dots. You should always make sure that all the moving pieces of your business are connected to your overall business purpose, and understand how the smaller projects and parts of your business are connected to each other.
It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how often I see small business owners taking actions that are not directly connected to the results they are trying to achieve. And then they feel frustrated and defeated because they are working so hard but not moving forward.
There is so much I could say about strategy, but let’s focus on the basics for today: Purpose + Plan + Process.
Strategy = Purpose + Plan + Process
You need a plan to achieve your goals. To create a strategic plan, you need to ask yourself these questions.
Purpose: What is my purpose or objective? This is where you get clear and understand what it is you want to achieve and why. Don’t take action in your business without a clear understanding of why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. You’ll save unbelievable amounts of time, energy and resources just by making sure each action you take serves a clear purpose.
Plan: What are the actions that will create the results I want? This is where you think things through and come up with a strategy that is the simplest path to realizing your goal.
Process: How can I organize these actions in an efficient, focused, way? This is where you get into action and do the work that leads to results. If you have multiple actions you need to coordinate or integrate to realize your goal, this is the time to figure out how to orchestrate the moving pieces of your plan.
I recommend first applying these questions to your overall business to make sure your business has a clear purpose, and that you have a solid understanding of the actions that are necessary to fulfill that purpose. At this level, it’s more about your big picture strategy.
You can also apply these questions to create a strategic action plan for a specific project, like a marketing campaign.
Say you are launching a group coaching program. Your objective might be to enroll 20 clients. (Purpose.)
You will need to decide on a few key actions that will help you achieve that purpose. Maybe the plan is to enroll people through free consultations, or maybe it’s through an online marketing campaign. (Plan.)
And then you will need to mobilize your business to execute the plan, and focus on those key activities until you meet your goal of enrolling 20 clients in your program. This might entail generating leads and then scheduling free consultations and whatever else is necessary for you to convert those consultations into clients. Or it might mean creating an online sales funnel and all the moving pieces that factor into implementing a successful online marketing campaign. (Process.)
Unfortunately, many solopreneurs make the mistake of “getting busy” without having a clear strategy. This is especially common with marketing campaigns. They do too many marketing activities at the same time and fail to meet the goal because they took on more than they could handle. Or they invest in marketing activities that aren’t a good fit for the goal they are working toward (or aren’t aligned with their strengths), costing them a lot of time, energy and frustration when they don’t get results.
You will be amazed at how much easier business becomes when you take the time to be strategic. Stop throwing spaghetti at the wall. Stop running your business by trial and error or with the marketing flavor of the month. Think SIMPLE, and be strategic. That is what will help you reach your next level of success.
Activate this SuperPower!
Before you dive into your next project or marketing effort, stop to ask yourself these simple questions and save yourself time, money and frustration.
- What do I want to achieve here?
- What actions will help me do that?
- How can I mobilize my business around those actions to achieve this goal?
Are you inspired to be more strategic in your business? Check out this more detailed article about strategy to help you take some next steps here.