3 Ways to Develop Your Business Strategy

Today’s headlines are filled with uncertainty.

We are one month into the government shutdown with no end in sight. The volatility in the stock market is causing investors to rethink their portfolio strategies.

And the escalating trade war with China is raising the costs on inputs and goods that small businesses depend on.

While all of this news can be overwhelming, business owners are well positioned to tighten the reins and navigate their firms through the current business cycle.

Although January is almost over, there is still time to cement this year’s growth plan. Here are 3 ways to develop your business strategy.

Customer Reviews

As the decision maker, you want to know what your customers are thinking about your brand.

We will certainly hear from them if we’ve dropped the ball or if they’ve had a negative service experience. If your product or service met their expectations, you may never hear from them. You’re missing out on valuable intelligence.

If you’re a business to customer (B2C) company, make it easy for customers to share their thoughts and experiences. Review sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, and even Facebook will help you keep your fingers on the pulse of what you’re doing right. And what you can do better.

Consider incorporating this feedback into your customer service delivery process.

Industry Trends

Many industries are undergoing rapid change and new technologies are leading the way. There isn’t a sector or industry that is immune.

Machine learning, digital transformation, and automation are facilitating the development of unique processes and companies.

How do you complete?

First, look at your competitive advantages. What are you doing better than your competitors? And how can you continue to stay ahead of the competition?

It may involve streamlining your accounting processes by moving to QuickBooks Online. You may decide to outsource your marketing efforts to a digital agency that specializes in your industry.

Not only are these solutions cost effective, they free up valuable resources for you to deploy elsewhere in your company.

Incorporate Best Practices from Leading Companies

As a small business owner, we are constantly searching for ways to improve our firm. One of the best ways to do that is to adopt the best practices from leading companies.

For example, Amazon is known for having excellent customer service. They usually resolve customer complaints with one call. This is a valuable service for time strapped consumers. Companies such as Slack make it easy for their employees to work remotely. This removes the stress and costs associated with commuting while increasing workplace productivity.

Which practices can you adopt to enhance your business model? By incorporating best practices into your strategy, you will see significant benefits; which will flow through to your bottom line.  

We’ve all heard the phrase, “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to lay out a business strategy. Don’t let the fact that we are three weeks into the new year deter you. It’s never too late to lay out your plans for the future.

Let your strategy guide you from where you are to where you want to be.

(Levar Haffoney is a 2016 Network Journal 40 Under Forty honoree. He is a principal with Fayohne Advisors LLC. You can connect with him at www. fayohne. com, LinkedIn and Facebook.)