Strategy is not mission and it’s not your values. Those types of business development concepts help to shape business strategy but, they are not themselves your strategy. The choices about who your customers are and are not, that’s strategy. The markets you choose to participate in, that’s strategy. Lastly how you are going to provide so much value that you can’t be ignored, that’s strategy.
Strategy has to (at least in the beginning) be deliberate.
When there is a disconnect between your strategy and what’s going on in your market you end up with a growth problem. The growth problem is your inability to take the actions you need to take to go out and get the right kinds of customers for your business.
Yes, there is a wrong kind of customer.
As an entrepreneur you have to deliberately choose how you are going to try to get new customers, measure your efforts as you attempt to land those customers and continue to develop how you communicate to your customers. If it feels like a lot it’s probably because your strategy and the behaviors/systems you have in place to grow your business are misaligned.
Let’s start aligning.
Growing your business in a way that supports your mission and vision is what, in my opinion, most independent businesses want. You want to feel good as you’re growing your business. You have to move beyond just looking for those good feelings and clearly identify:
1. The specific need you provide for.
2. The specific customer you provide for.
3. Communicated (sold) in a way that is most responsive to your specific customer.
4. Continue to learn and develop your skills as a business developer.
Notice that none of those points have anything to do with mission or vision. Your mission is why you are doing what you do as an entrepreneur. It’s your motivation. Your strategy and business development behaviors are your how. Both of those need to be on the same page to be most effective.
Think about any high end ultra-premium car. Do they try to sell to anyone who may be in the market for a car? No! They are trying to appeal to a very specific kind of buyer. Their strategy to do so is perfectly aligned with their sales behaviors. The result? A market that will healthily bear the sales of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta starting at $318,000.
Sounds simple when you read it, right?! At the core of aligning your strategy and your business growth is your behavior. Are the sales behaviors and sales tasks you create in your business reflective of who you’re ideal customers and market are. Or, are you just out there selling to anyone that is willing to listen or read?
Everyday you are going to run into changes in your customer’s tastes and expectations. Technology will change. Culture changes and markets evolve. Your sales and growth behaviors need to adapt with the changes that are happening around you. If you have a clear strategy that you revisit often it will be easier to keep the integrity of your mission or vision. You’ll be constantly working at it and responding to change almost as quickly as it happens.
This is my challenge to you. Think about how you are currently trying to find growth for your business. Do your day to day sales activities align with your business’ strategy? If they don’t you should really spend some time to get clear on the value you offer and to whom you offer it. Then build your strategy and sales activities from there.
I also challenge you to sign up for the Strategy School Newsletter! With your signup you'll get access to the Strategy Canvas to help you better articulate your strategy so you can be better a growing your business!