We all pressed the pause button on future plans in 2020, and many businesses are finding that in a post-COVID world, they will need a new business strategy. It’s important to establish a strategic direction for your business, to ensure yearly goals are met or exceeded. Luckily, COVID changed the world for everyone, demolishing the best laid plans and leaving behind opportunities for growth. We are all starting on the same left foot, and there are several things you can do to build a winning business strategy in 2021 and beyond.
Planning & Preparing
There are several metrics used to help plan a new and winning business strategy. For example, how much did your company grow last year? If you hope to continue to grow, you will want to tweak your business strategy. Next, consider your growth timeline. If you need to grow fast, consider short-term solutions like pay-per-click advertising. If you can invest a longer amount of time, consider a change to your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing business plan. It’s important to watch how the competitive landscape changes. Watch your competition! If they are ramping up a particular vertical or marketing campaign, you should consider how it might help your own business. Finally, in this new normal, how saturated is your market? If you find yourself alone but see future growth, you might want to take the risk! If you find yourself in an overly saturated market, it’s time to consider changes to set you apart.
Now that you’ve done the planning, it’s time to take action on your new winning business strategy!
It takes money to make money. No matter the size of your business, backing can be a key element of growth and enterprise maturity. Even if profits are stable, investment in your business can go to enhancing your marketing or branding. Many start-ups or established businesses hoping to expand, approach friends and family for funding, or seek out angel investors, crowdfunding, or go traditional routes and get loans from banks.
Consider Your Audience
Knowing your audience will help you reach the right sub-section of consumers. For example, a lumber yard selling materials in bulk will want to target their business strategy at contractors and developers, over individuals. If individual consumers are the biggest market, consider pivoting your business strategy to cater to their needs.
Build Your Brand
Brand is critical to a successful business strategy. Ensure your brand logo, colours and voice are cohesive across all your marketing platforms. Carefully plan before presenting your brand to the world. For example, physicians use blue in their logos, as blue signifies credibility, trust, knowledge and power. Brands that focus on reds often want to convey a sense of speed and passion – not something you want in a doctor’s office.
Use the Internet for Marketing
50% of humans visit social media sites daily. The internet can be the least expensive marketing option with the fastest exposure, if you use it correctly. You can see how this could be a hindrance rather than a help, if you’ve not completed your business strategy and planning. Assuming you’ve followed the steps and have a good plan, social media platforms will become the most direct line between you and your customers.
Tell Your Story
Readers remember stories over statistics, but it goes beyond creating an “about me” section on your website. For example, if safety is an important part of your business, consider deploying and advertising a commitment to safety culture in the workplace. Tell the story of your business journey, why customers need you, and what they can expect when they patronize your business. By telling a relatable story, you’ve automatically built an emotional connection with your brand!
Focus on Customer Service
89% of consumers will purchase a product based on an excellent customer experience. Some customers even stay loyal to a terrible service provider because of excellent customer service. It’s important to carefully toe the empathy line, while still protecting your business. Train employees on listening techniques, as many issues can be resolved with a sympathetic ear. Instead of setting KPIs on just the number of calls your customer service reps make, consider rewarding them for creating customer happiness or resolving complicated issues with a smile.
The name of the business strategy game is flexibility. Be flexible enough to know when your plan is, or isn’t working, and be brave enough to make necessary changes. Branch out into new avenues of outreach and marketing, using social media and SEO writing. And never forget the importance of speaking your customers language, and listening carefully with an open mind, committed to satisfying the consumer – the nucleus of your business and the goal of creating your most successful business strategy yet!