Too often rigidly sticking to a business strategy is a sure fire way to steer a company away from the very goal it believes it’s aiming at. Creating a successful business plan is more than just jotting down where you want to be in five years. It takes a great deal of patience, number crunching and talks with your business partners, key personnel, and your customers.
Understand your competition
Ignore your competition at your peril. In a fiercely competitive market place you cannot ignore what other businesses are doing. Keep an eye on their achievements, new product launches, and how customers and end consumers react. This will give you much needed guidance on how you can perform better.
Aim to be the best
Being the best is tough. It takes a lot more late nights and early wake up calls, but if you truly want your business to be successful you have to aim high. By creating a high standard for your business you are more likely to succeed.
Do the math
Check and re-check every forecast. If you have been relying on industry reports published by other organisations, check their facts and figures are right too. It’s the lazy option to just accept every number that comes into your in tray. If you don’t have the skills in-house to do this job effectively, hire in an expert to help you prepare the numbers that you are basing your whole business strategy on.
Grab some face-to-face
Email, Skype, text, phone calls – they’re all very good for keeping track, but they should be supporting face-to-face meetings. Regular meetings with your staff, important investors, industry advisors and your key customers (although not necessarily all at the same time) is a more effective way to keep everyone training their thoughts on the business goal.
Flexibility is a vital component of any strategic business plan. You need to be able to act quickly to new ideas, without losing sight of what is already working, and where you ultimately want your Dubai business to be. Give yourself room to change branding designs, ingredients in products or the type of benefits you are offering to stay ahead of the competition.
Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow
There are times when you need to push yourself and your team really hard to get products or services out into the marketplace in time to beat off the competition. But there are also times when you need to sit back and analyse what has happened and how it fits into the business strategy. You have to differentiate between the times you are working flat out successfully, or just grinding everyone down needlessly.
Know your customers
Focus groups, long business lunches, trying it out on your friends and family – you have to know who your customer is and what they really want. Are you expending huge amounts of effort on a product that nobody actually wants to buy? Have you asked yourself that question yet? Most businesses do ask it of themselves all the time, but you need to test, test, and test some more to create the absolute best product in your industry.
Revise your plan
Every business plan needs revising. When new information comes in, when the number crunchers turn up some unpleasant or if you’re lucky, some welcome surprises. Keep your business strategy close to hand so you can easily revise different parts of it as you go along.
A business should be organic, changing continually because you are shaping it to be as successful as possible. Invest some time and energy into creating a really robust business strategy that will grow as your company grows.