Setting your Business Strategy for 2020

9 Jan 20

‘Tis the season…

…of vision boards, goals and resolutions.  But spoiler alert!  Vision boards and goals won’t get you where you want to be in 2020.

The reality is that to get where you want to be in 2020 you need a strategy which includes an action plan. A realistic one.

I’d love to lose a couple of stone and run a marathon (actually scrap that last bit – just be fit enough to keep up with my teenagers without collapsing in a heap in front of a screen and bottle of wine at 9pm each night).  My “vision board” would be full of pictures of supermodels/insta fitness celebs, runners, yoga poses and healthy foods.  Funnily enough just having that vision/goal doesn’t make it happen.

The only way to do that would be to have a strategy to eat less and exercise more. This would require a nutritional plan (a good one – probably with the help of someone with expertise in this area) and an exercise plan (again it needs to be the right one to meet my goals – the plan for a marathon is quite different to having energy to keep up with teenagers). It would require a schedule. It would need to be realistic (for me – so no getting up an hour early to exercise – I’ll only hit the snooze button). It would also require some contingency for when things go off track (as life always gets in the way).

Needless to say I have had this goal before. And not been successful. It is important to consider why. I mean if we keep having the same goal, do the same thing each year (start off keeping off the booze, eating a bit less and going to the gym) only to falter by mid January) and don’t make progress then we clearly need to do something different. It may be that the strategy was wrong. Perhaps time to get some help with this? Or it may be the strategy was fine but it was not followed through. In which case I need to think why and what I can do this time to ensure that I don’t do the same.  The dog in this video eventually realises that you need to do something different if you want a different result (he’s pretty cute to watch too).

Business is no different.

You need a strategy to move your business to where you want it to be. And that strategy needs to include a plan of action that is realistic.

Your Business Offer

First of all you need to consider whether your offers (be they products or services) are right for the people you want to work with and for what you want to achieve. Say you’re a personal trainer charging £30 per hour and can work with a maximum of 20 clients per week then you’re not going to earn £50,000 per year. Unless you have a strategy to increase your hourly rate, your number of clients OR do something else to replace some of this (eg run group coaching where you can train more people). And then you need an action plan to move from where you are now to where you want to be.  Maybe you need to raise your prices.  Work more hours.  Or add in something different.

Of course your goals may not be just financial.

They may relate to the kind of work you want to do.  The kind of people you want to work with.  The kind of hours you want to work.

Again, you need to think about whether your current business set up is the right one and, if not, what the right one is and how you will go about moving towards that.

We worked with a few businesses last year (including Elisabeth Hancock coaching and Pinc Marketing) that were looking to change both their offer and who they worked with.  This meant a significant change to their marketing too – including a new website to appeal to a slightly different audience.

Marketing Strategy

You then need to look at your marketing strategy. Are you reaching the “right” people. Are you then converting those people into clients? If not, why not?

Realistically, what has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t?

Like many people I spend too much time scrolling through social media. Facebook has been the platform I have used the most.  But I get very few clients that way. It is a pretty poor RoI (the investment being my time). So in 2020 I am going to change the way I attract, nurture and convert customers.

I am going to focus on 3 “platforms” – my email list, LinkedIn and my facebook group. Each week there will be 1 topic which I’ll cover on these (this week it’s business strategy in case you hadn’t guessed!). The focus will be tailored to each, but I am hoping that a single focus will mean it takes less time. I’ll try and do a blog post too (this week I kind of wrote the blog post first and am taking this as the base for the different posts on each platform) and I’ll also look to repurpose content on my facebook page and on twitter where I can. But these are very much secondary.

I’m also going to look at how I “convert” people into clients and will probably seek expert help on this.  I’m a big believer in investing wisely where someone can help you move your business forward.

Making It Happen

As well as a strategy, an action plan if you like, you need to ensure you keep to the plan. Or at least close enough to it.

I remember one of my jobs in banking. We’d have a weekly team meeting (at 8am…) The head of our department (ex-army) would go through the list of actions and publicly bawl people out if they hadn’t done what they said they were going to do (or if they hadn’t done it properly). One poor chap used to get humiliated pretty much every week (he must have had the skin of a rhino or be a masochist). It’s not a tactic I would endorse but it was certainly effective at getting stuff done.  No-one wanted to be on the receiving end of such a public display…

If you don’t have the self will power to motivate yourself to keep to the plan then you need to find someone to be accountable to. It can be a coach (the only way I go to the gym is if I have a pt session booked), a friend (booking to exercise with a friend also means that I go) or another buddy in business. But use them to hold you accountable, not just listen and empathise with your excuses.

So that’s the strategy – you need a plan and a means of sticking to the plan.

In the meantime I have a sofa and bottle of wine calling my name…

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