In everything I write and teach about strategy the first step is always to understand what is really going on inside your business.
You need data, information and you need to analyse and understand it.
From a right brain objective perspective, that’s it. That’s Step 1.
Right Brain Objective Data-Driven Step 1
The fundamental information you need to analyse will give you insights into where you and your team are investing the most time and energy, and whether or not that is returning the most to your business:
- P&L performance year on year
- Ratios of direct and indirect expenses to sales
- Client analysis
- Who are your profitable clients or customers and why
- What is the source of your client base
- Where do they sit in the Value-Relationship matrix
- Products and Services
- Which are your most profitable products
- Margin contribution
- Sales contribution
- Inventory complexity and SKU management
- SWOT Analysis
- Internal review of strengths and weaknesses
- External review of opportunities and threats
- Cross-matching of SWOT strategies
In addition to this right-brain focus, for many business owners it is also essential to take another look at their business.
Left Brain Subjective Heart-Based Step 1
It is also important to take a left-brain subjective look at where you would like to take your business and your life.
When you first start your business, and again when you’ve been doing the same thing for some time, it is not uncommon to wonder what else you could be doing. There’s no reason you can’t keep on the same track, but is it what you really long to be doing?
I remember pursuing a path in my marketing consultancy many years ago because I could, not necessarily because I wanted to. My head (and the numbers) said to proceed, but my heart wasn’t in it.
Heart-based considerations include:
- Dreams – what have you always longed to do?
- Is your business an enabler of your life or is it tethering you to the same place?
- What have you been putting off or waiting until ‘one day’?
So Step 1 for your 2021 Strategy Roadmap is to consider both sides of this perspective.
Just as we have a left and right side of our brain, we need to make these two components of your business and your dreams work as one.
Good luck with Step 1. It isn’t easy which is why you need to get started now if you want to create a cohesive and compelling roadmap for 2021.
Good luck and have fun!