When a person has an idea for a business, most of the time they will try to get it off the ground immediately without too much thought. However, if you want to start a business, you need a strategic plan.
Sadly, 10% of startups fail within the first year. There are a lot of reasons for it, but it’s mostly because these entrepreneurs don’t map out a strategic plan. With this plan, you can ensure your time and money aren’t wasted because you know what goals you need to focus on.
Communication is key
No amount of careful planning can get your business off the ground if you only keep that plan to yourself and don’t share it with the rest of the company. Your employees are the ones who will breathe life into that plan and execute it, so you need to communicate the plan to them.
When you create your strategic document, make sure it’s available to all of your staff. Additionally, reference the plan frequently during company communications so you can ensure everyone knows and understands the plan, realizing what direction the company is supposed to go in.
A communication breakdown can cause serious issues, but sometimes some managers and business owners aren’t that good at expressing their thoughts and needs. If you’re struggling with communication, you should give communication coaching a try and let the experts guide you through the process.
Manage your team
The process of becoming a good manager starts even during the hiring process. When you’re interviewing people for a position in your startup, you should determine whether they will be the right fit.
People have different skillsets and personalities. When choosing your team, you need to find employees who will be able to do the job right but also those who have the potential to work well together.
Once you have your team, here are a few things you can do to manage them successfully:
- Hire a business/project manager. As an entrepreneur, you’re a visionary and you may not have the right skills to lead a team. If you have the budget for it, hire an expert who will be the middleman between you and your employees and make sure everyone is doing their job right.
- Don’t micromanage. If you hire the right people, there won’t be any need to hover over them and constantly check in on their progress. Instead, create systems and processes that will help your team focus on important tasks.
- Show respect. A good manager always respects their employees and shows them they are a worthy asset to the company. Some ways you can show respect is by giving your employees proper compensation and not having expectations that are too high.
And finally, you need to use tools. Some important tools managers often use are Jira, which is used for project management and issue tracking, and Slack, which is one of the most popular business communication tools. However, you should take a look at Jira Slack integration if you want the best of both worlds and combine the features of these two popular tools.
Know what your goals are
One of the most important parts of creating any strategic plan is to write down your goals and how you want to achieve them. If you start your business with only a brief idea of what you want to achieve, you won’t know what areas to focus on.
There are two types of goals, short-term and long-term:
- Short-term goals range from six to twelve months and startups should focus on these goals more because they are easier to achieve and take less effort.
- Long-term goals can last for anywhere between two and five years. New businesses often need to have a period of research and development before they can accurately assess what they want to achieve long-term.
When writing them, be as specific as you can in your explanation of what you want and how you want to achieve that.
Develop a marketing strategy
According to the Pareto principle, 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. However, you can only achieve this level of loyalty if you have a good marketing strategy.
Every good marketing strategy starts with identifying all target markets that exist in your industry and determining the best one for you. This will allow you to focus on the people who are most likely to become your customers.
Once you find your target customers, you need to come up with a good combination of tools and marketing strategies you want to use. Remember that your goal always has to be to educate your target market about your products or services and prove your business is trustworthy.
Marketing takes a lot of time and effort and if you don’t have any experience in this field, you should look at different marketing strategies your competitors are using and learn something from them. Therefore, always be on the lookout for cheap ways to improve your marketing.
Building a business from the ground up is no easy task and startups often fail when the entrepreneurs don’t have the right plan that will help them stay afloat. Running a business isn’t a game, so if you want to succeed and come out on top, strategic planning is a necessity.