Having a successful business doesn't happen by accident - it's a mixture of all the right elements. Careful thought and planning, focus and discipline, strategic marketing, being 'real' and proper execution.
As a business owner, your biggest investment is yourself.
You'll need to be at the forefront to keep up with changes in your industry so continually developing your skills is a MUST!
When you think you've learnt all that there is to know, you're done. I always say "Stay Green, You Grow. Go Red, You Rot". And it's as simple as that. There is always something more to learn and ways to improve.
Here are some strategies to ensure your business success...
Thought & Planning
The idea behind a strategic plan is to provide a useful focus to energise and move your business toward its overall goals and objectives. Once you have a clear mission and purpose for your business, you can break it down to manageable segments.
For example, this funnel has been used as a starting point for identifying your customer base. Ideas have been brainstormed and they are then filtered down to how they tie in with the identity of your brand. From this stage a pricing strategy can be established moving you toward how you will reach your customers.
It's important to remember that every element of your business needs careful thought and planning and should always be brought back to the fundamental 3 keys:
Who you are (Strengths and Weaknesses)
What your customer wants (Opportunities and Threats)
What you stand for (Values, Purpose & Mission)
No matter the answers to your questions, don't lose the ability to differentiate yourself from your competition - find your unique niche and go with it!
Focus & Discipline
The key to having focus and discipline is to manage your time wisely and understand when you are most productive.
For me, I'm super-great first thing in the morning until around 12.30pm. Then my energy starts to dwindle and I pick up again around 2pm and I'm good until late in the evening.... Can you see how there would be NO POINT in keeping my most important task until 1pm?
Start your day with the most important thing first, that way, even if very little else gets done, you have achieved the most important thing for the day.
Have the discipline to stay on track and keep to your schedule. For many people who work from home or run their own business, it can be so tempting to finish off another task or take a detour because of the flexibility - this is fine, every now and then, but if you find yourself doing more 'other things' than working, you're business has little chance of thriving.
In a world of technology it's so easy to be distracted by notifications left, right and centre and before you know it, half the day is gone and the work still remains.
Ask yourself these questions:
Am I happy with my working environment?
What distractions can I remove?
Have I achieved everything I set out to today? If the answer is no - why not?
No matter what your business or industry, the key to success is always aligned with focus and discipline. It's a matter of blocking out the noise without detaching from the things that really matter. Just remember, if you're not getting it done - someone else is.
When it comes to marketing strategies you will need to understand everything about your target market and carve out your own niche methods to appeal to them directly.
Understand who your target demographic is by considering the following:
Status - Married/ Single / Family
Don't forget to take into account the psychographics of your target market - these are the segmented personality traits:
Values & Beliefs
Hobbies & Interests
Once you've researched your target audience, deliver your marketing material in a format that will be most appealing for them and will fit into their lifestyle.
What features of your product or service are most appealing to your target market? How and when will your target use the product or service? What are the benefits of choosing your product or service? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?
No matter what the advertising method, highlight your unique point of difference and keep a track of all marketing so you can pin-point what works and what's not so great for you.
The world is big enough for you to be yourself!
Be real and be you!
We live in an age of social media where filtering and editing every image of ourselves and our brand is second nature. But remember, successful businesses are built on real relationships and real communication.
Keep in mind that each business transaction has a human being at both ends and those who are authentic and strive to remain unique in their product or service will have a huge advantage.
Listen to feedback that you receive, welcome constructive criticism without defense and most of all trust your intuition.
Focus on building real relationships in the real work and you will find that people will genuinely relate to you and understand what you're all about. Don't hide behind a social media profile or persona!
It's all well and good to have a great plan and excellent marketing strategies but if you don't execute it properly - what's the point?
Execution of a business strategy is a disciplined process itself and this is the element where all of the dots connect to set you up for success.
Don't be afraid to re-evaluate and make changes where needed.
The most successful business owners are the ones who can dissect the plan and strategy and make changes for improvement.
In this ever-changing world, adaptation is key, but rather than reacting - shape it the way you want it to be. Be a leader and stand in front of the pack.
Love & Light
xx Sandra Stoitis xx