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How to Create a Good Business Strategy in 2016 and Beyond

How to Create a Good Business Strategy in 2016 and Beyond

In today’s hectic world, changes are fast and every entrepreneur has to operate a business in a constant state of flux in order to keep up with those changes and always stay on top. With the fast spreading of information via the Internet, it is paramount to stay up-to-date with the latest business strategies, in order to be able to reach your target audiences all over the globe.

Developing a good business strategy is an essential step for every business owner and it needs to be done very carefully and with clear focus. It is the basis for business success and it should address the keys for achieving the company’s ultimate goal. When creating your business strategy, it is crucial that you have your goal in mind, but concentrate on everything that will help you on your path towards achieving that goal.

Your business strategy should address the sole purpose of your company and, with the changes happening daily on the market, it needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted to ensure that you stay on the right path. Read on and find out if you need to implement a little bit of adjustment, to keep up with the latest trends in business, as we tackle some of the best business strategies of today.

Make Your Professional Website Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that more than half the visitors to your website go online using their mobile phones? If your website still isn’t mobile-friendly, stop for a second and think about all the people who tried visiting via their mobiles but couldn’t, so they went straight to your competitors.

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That’s out of the question – you need to make your website mobile-friendly. With the extremely increased use of smartphones and tablets, you will get a much larger number of customers if people are able to visit your website wherever they are. You can also consider developing a smart-phone app for your site, since that will attract even more customers.

Provide Your Customers with Plenty of Useful Information

You need to keep your customers up-to-date and provide them with new information about your products. The key to accomplishing that is having great content on your website. Treat your content as your product, since content is your best marketing strategy.

Provide your target audience with the exact thing they are looking for when they visit your website and, not only will you engage them with your quality content and make them interested in your business, but you will also have them always come back for more. Content is the key factor in your business strategy. It will attract more customers and drive more traffic to your website, leading only to more profit and expansion possibilities.

Work on Your Site’s Appearance and Function

Another area you need to improve is the quality of your website. It was already mentioned that you need to make it mobile-friendly, but you need to increase its speed to make it more responsive in general. Since your website is basically your store at the same time, it is in your interest that it should  have a smooth flow.

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In other words, you might need to change your host and opt for a provider with better tech support, with better features and Add-Ons, and better user interface. To make a more sound decision go through various reviews and customer feedback, and measure the pros and cons of different hosting services. Make sure the hosting provider fits in your future growth plans and that it can support the growth of traffic on your website.

Mix Traditional Marketing with New Trends

It goes without saying that every good business strategy requires a good marketing strategy. Now, try not to focus on one type of marketing only, but instead try and combine several different tactics and merge them into your own marketing blend.

Mix traditional marketing that includes sending direct mails to your customers and providing them with promotional gifts, with new approaches, such as having ads on social media and engaging in SEO, as well as working on your content marketing and including automated CRM apps that can identify your potential customers and help you with your sales process.

Engage in Social Media Marketing

Due to the immense popularity of social media networks, you need to think about promoting your business via social media. Share your blog posts on different social media networks and you can be sure that you will gain more popularity and attract a larger number of customers. Everyone is online pretty much all the time, so the chances of getting more clients are higher than ever. Therefore, social media marketing is another strategy you need to implement to successfully grow your business.

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Train Your Employees

Everyone in your company needs to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest technologies and the latest trends in business, so you need to consider investing in your employees’ training. Your team needs to be productive, so you need to help them improve their skills for the overall benefit of your company.

It’s important to watch out for people who lack skill and experience, but managed to land the job because their resume look really good – you’d be surprised how many people scammed their way into important positions by lying in their resumes.

Each and every one of your employees is an important link in the chain and they need to be treated as such, so it’s your responsibility to introduce them to new trends which can help speed things up. You need to remember that your team is the heart of your company and you are the one who can help them achieve their full potential, thus leading your business to success.

Focus on Your Goals

The most important thing for your strategy is to always focus on your company’s goals and create your strategy based on them and their realization. You need to consider your company’s needs and resources and focus on what you want to accomplish. You need to make sure you are taking all the right steps when leading your business towards success.

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Make sure whether you are making progress. Your team will be one of the key factors that will help you achieve your goals, so you need to have good communication skills and implement the right management strategy to keep them motivated and productive at all times.

If you want to prepare for the upcoming year, you need to do your research carefully and consider the right factors when developing your strategy, so that you can secure the future of your company. Invest your time and money in creating a good business strategy that will include the aforementioned tips and you will be one step closer to being sure that your business will thrive.

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Vladimir Zivanovic

CMO at MyCity-Web

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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