Lots of people talk about it, lots of people are interested in it, and lots of people profess to have one.
UK government figures show that 80% of new businesses fail in the first 5 years of trading.
From our own experience and research, 95%+ of these businesses don’t have a developed, fully understood strategy!
Even more interestingly, of the businesses that survive beyond their 5th birthday, we found that over 90% have an established, well understood and well communicated strategy that is formally reviewed at least every 6 months.
So, what links business success and having a clear strategy?
As is so often the case, it’s mostly about clear thinking.
Whenever you decide to do something, how often, however briefly, do you imagine what it’s like to complete it? How it will feel, what it will look like, what actions you will take to complete it, what others might say or think, or what sounds or smells may be associated with your achievement?
Well, in many respects, what you’re actually doing is forming a modest strategy.
Probably the most important reason for developing a clear, detailed and well thought out, and achievable strategy is because of how it helps give you and your business clear direction. It provides a focus for all of the effort taking place within the business – much in the same way as you create your own focus when you decide to do something.
Don’t get me wrong, a strategy isn’t, nor should be, set in stone – in fact very few last more than a year without some amendments.
What causes so many businesses to miss out on having a strategy then?
This isn’t so easy to establish – the main issues are that some cite a lack of time (you’ll have plenty of time if your business doesn’t make it!), some that that they don’t understand how to put together a strategy (you don’t have to!), some that it involves too many numbers (honestly!), and some that they don’t see the point (yes, really!).
Remember when you needed advice about your tax or accounts? Who did you go to? An Accountant?
When you were ill, who did you go to? A Doctor?
When your car needed servicing, who did you take it to? A Mechanic?
My point is that when we need specialist help, we find that turning to someone who is a specialist in that field is usually the right thing to do. If we can find a specialist who’s got a fair bit of experience, or even comes with a recommendation from a friend or business contact, all the better.
Also, when you have enlisted the help of a specialist, how valuable has it been to you and your business? That’s right – the amount they charge is often less than expected, and certainly considerably less than the value they provide to your business.
There’s the rub!
- Having a clear business strategy makes your business 95% more likely to survive beyond its 5th birthday than if you don’t
- Turning to a specialist to help you create, monitor and communicate a strategy that is right for you is likely to be the right thing to do
- Getting a strategy started, with the aid of a specialist, can take as little as just a couple of hours
- The cost of a strategy specialist is likely to be less than you think and far less than the value provided to your business
Your success is in your own hands – but you don’t have to do it all on your own!
What are you waiting for?
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