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Better Business Direction With Strong Strategies

Aug 17, 2007
After completing the Vision and Mission Statement portions of a Business Plan, the next step is to come up with strong strategies that will make the business successful.

Along with setting the direction of the creation and maintenance of your business, strategic planning establishes a guide for evaluating the important business decisions that must be made. With a clear set of strategies it is much easier to keep a business on track.

These strategies are sometimes thought of as "industry practices." If you are new to an industry, you can learn more about these practices and the challenges and opportunities you will face by reviewing industry trade association journals. This information is critical for you to build and manage your business successfully.

Another helpful resource for identifying and selecting crucial strategies are those who support your business. These include your banker, accountant, attorney, various vendors, and even your employees. They can all contribute valuable insight into your business.

Why reinvent the wheel by running into problems blindly when you can benefit from the experience of others?

Usually there are four to six core strategies that businesses follow in any industry.
They are easy to understand and are fairly stable over time. Naturally if there are significant breakthroughs or shifts in your business, you will need to reconsider your strategies. An example of this in the financial services industry has been the shift from commission to fee-based income structure.

There are both internal and external influences that are either affecting your business now or may affect your business in the future. We'll use Certified Financial Planners as an example as we look at external and internal concerns and possible strategies for handling those concerns.

External strategies capitalize on opportunities present that can help the company grow. They also look at possible outside threats.

Fee-based planners are living in the shadow of the commission-based brokers who often have conflicts of interest in the products they sell to their clients.
There is a lot of prejudice among the public that perhaps the client's best interest is not the major concern of any financial services person.
Some large firms have developed a negative reputation that can work against individuals working for those firms.

Education for consumers both individually and in the mass media is important for them to understand the difference between commission-based and fee-based practices.
Planners write articles for the local newspapers and state journal.
They do speaking to organizations and on the radio.
Their websites inform the public as to how they do business.

Internal strategies are those that relate to the company itself. They look at the culture of the business, its strengths, efficiency, and profitability.

Here are some examples of concerns faced by Certified Financial Planners that require some internal strategies.

Advisors who fail to identify priorities for their best productivity may not have good work/life balance.
Understaffing can prevent accelerated business growth.

Analyze how time is being used and what tasks can be delegated.
Hire support staff either to work onsite or virtual assistants that can take over simple tasks.
Develop a system for various operations of the company so that others can take over tasks that you normally do.
Consider partnering with another business to offer more value to your clients.

Both external and internal strategies are critical for prudent planning.

Market leaders use strategies to achieve desired growth and profitability.
Even though the statements can be quite broad, they still create definite focus.

The bottom line of strategies is an answer to the question, "What will it take to sustain success in this business for the long haul?"

Get some strong strategies in place for better direction in YOUR business!
About the Author
Exuberant Productivity Coach, Suzanne Holman, MAEd, works with financial service professionals, realtors, and self-employed professionals determined to create a healthy bottom line plus quality time for family and FUN. For a FREE Exuberance Assessment and tips for increasing your productivity and having a more satisfying life, visit
Exuberant Productivity.com
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