Develop your growth strategy

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How to develop a growth strategy that builds your company’s best future

Now you’ve set your goals and removed the barriers, we get to the good bit – how you’re going to get there. It’s worth pointing out that a common mistake business owners make is to say their strategy is to become No.1 in their field, or to sell 50% more.

Those aren’t strategies. Those are goals. So to be clear on what the difference is – if your goal is to be first across the finish line, your strategy is how you run the race. And Xeinadin Group has an enviable track record in coaching companies to run their best race.

So if you want to know how to build a great strategy, read on.

First – a competitive strategy is not designed in a vacuum. It’s an organic, responsive organism. Yes, you will have your own clear vision of what your company is trying to achieve – how you plan to change the world and why you believe you can do it. But next, you need to define the business opportunity. Shape your purpose to fit perfectly into the hole of the customer’s need. What problems do they have that you can help them overcome, or desires you can help them achieve?

This, of course, means learning as much as there is to know about your customers – When do they buy? Why do they buy? How do they buy? How easy is the customer journey (is there an opportunity to improve this and steal a march on your competitors)? How much do they spend? Do they spend it all with you or is there a possibility to steal market share from a competitor? How long is the sales lifecycle (when will they buy again and how can you make sure they buy from you)?

And naturally, you need to know your competitors. What are they doing and what impact are they having on your industry? What do they do better than you? What do you do better than them? What’s their market share (if they dominate the market, your strategy will be different and you’ll need to adopt a challenger approach)? Are their target customers different to yours (can you carve a niche)?

Armed with this knowledge, you’ve got the building blocks of a winning strategy. 

In his book ‘Jump Start Your Business Brain’, Doug Hall researched over 4,000 businesses and hundreds of variables, and finally identified the three crucial elements to a great business strategy:

1. A Clear Benefit

Get into the mindset that your customers aren’t interested in what you are or what you do – whether you’re the largest independent whatever or sell more than anyone else – They’re thinking “What’s in it for me?” So, you need to identify what they need, what you do to satisfy this need, and then find the clearest possible way to express this. Get it down to a short, memorable promise – in three words, if possible. Think ‘Get Brexit Done’ or ‘Persil Washes Whiter’ or ‘We never let you down’. Bear in mind – you’re not trying to write a tagline, so it doesn’t need to be clever. This is a sincere promise about what you will do for your customer.

2. Reasons to Believe

Offer proof that you can deliver the above. These might take the form of:

  • common sense explanations
  • a “see for yourself” experience (a free sample, free trial, invitation to an event)
  • setting out your pedigree (why you set up your company, why you do it your way)
  • testimonials from existing customers
  • guarantees (put your money where your mouth is)

Use one, a combination, or all of the above to build confidence in prospective customers – you can never have too many Reasons to Believe!

3. Your Dramatic Difference

What makes you truly stand out? Don’t look at what your competitors are doing – look at what they aren’t. Match that against the skillset and capabilities in your company and what your customers say they want, and you have a winning formula!

Most important of all – keep it simple. Your strategy should be no more than a paragraph – a page at most.

Long strategies are only ever looked at twice – the day you write it, and the day you clear the drawer it’s in and throw it away.

Long game plans are harder for everyone to buy into, harder to apply tactics to deliver them, and impossible to measure. Concise plans can be reviewed regularly, adjusted and shared easily around the business, so everyone can understand and own the same vision.

And don’t forget: it’s a roadmap, not a railway track – a guide and not a rulebook. It’s firm enough to lean on, but yielding enough to be adapted to a changing business landscape.

But as tough as it is to write a winning strategy, it’s not nearly as tough as not having one. So, take the first steps now, and start building that better future.

Take action! 

  • Book your free Rise session for ‘Develop your growth strategy’. Visit our Rise webpage to see our upcoming events and learn more about our Rise business growth programme. 
  • Arrange a bespoke Rise session for your team, focusing on your business priorities at a venue convenient for you. Contact our business advisors to discuss further. 

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