Practical Guide on How to Create a Business Strategy That Works

Often strategy is only as good as the implementation. West Point grads learn that strategic plans are a function of intelligent planning. What, then, can you glean for your business?

Many new or small business owners created a one-page business plan, but they did not learn how to create a business strategy.

Strategies have the power to guide you through a storm while also learning how to manage it. When you succeed at formulating a business-level strategy, you succeed in your business.

A group of leaders work on a strategy around a conference table

Read on to discover the best business strategies and how you might use them.

How to Create a Business Strategy 

You cannot “hope” your business will work and pivot with your clients. Yes, you must understand how your business fits in the marketplace, what your competition is doing (or not doing), and how to do it better. But hope has no home in a solid strategy.

How do you react if what you think you offer differs from the customer’s experience? How do you react when you learn why people buy from your competitors and not you? 

Rather than create a reactive strategic plan, a proactive one empowers you to be prepared. In addition, Forbes suggests that you can incrementally improve by leveraging your product vision and customer feedback. For example, rather than release 1000 widgets, release 50 and make changes.

How to Test Your Business Strategy

When learning how to create a business strategy, don’t neglect the testing phase. Marketers constantly perform A/B testing. They change the font, colors, images, and overall feel to elicit a positive response. Applying this to your business, test your products with people outside your organization to gain a feel for utility.

Air BnB’s Business Strategy

Starting with three air mattresses on their floor, the founders earned $80 per night per bed. Other listings popped up on their site, but bookings did not match the same growth pattern. 

On a whim, the founders hired photographers to take better photos for their high-dollar listings. Within a relatively short period, bookings increased. 

Thus, original photos were lacking, but professional images were compelling. Further, everything is scalable in this example. Finally, the quality of camera phones at this time made it the perfect storm.

Tesla’s Business Strategy

Next, consider Tesla’s business strategy of selling the Roadsters with zero profit margin so later they can sell the Model X, then Model 3, with some profit. They knew they could not scale in a meaningful way right out of the gate, so they played the long game. 

With a market cap of over $500 billion, they are far above their competitors as of the writing of this article. They created the demand for a luxury electric vehicle. At the same time, they integrated themselves into the supply chain of the batteries so they could scale later, and it paid off. As a result, it studied the industry, environment, and competitors. They realized their strengths and positioning—and built their business strategy around their findings rather than the status quo. 

How to Make Your Business Grow

There are many ways to help scale your business. However, when learning how to create a business strategy, you have to be honest with yourself. Can you do it alone, or will you need a coach or assistance? Can you do everything yourself, or can you hire people to take on important tasks?

According to Entrepreneur, this is how to expand your business:

  1. Create a sales funnel
  2. Use a customer management system (CMS)
  3. Research the competition
  4. Create a loyalty system
  5. Identify new opportunities
  6. Build an email list
  7. Form strategic partnerships
  8. Leverage global platforms
  9. Licensing deals
  10. Franchise model
  11. Diversify offerings
  12. Build passive income streams
  13. Acquire other businesses
  14. International expansion
  15. Create a webinar series

To this list, I would add “hire a coach.” You might not know the best business strategies, but a coach can help you determine the best path forward. A good coach will encourage action, planning, and hard work.

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Coach Dave

 

 

Dave Schoenbeck
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