It goes without saying that some companies are way more successful than others despite selling the same product in the same industry. But what might seem like a stroke of luck is usually anything but.
In order for a business to succeed long-term, a successful business strategy has to be in place from day one. This is particularly important for entrepreneurs starting out on their journey. If you’re an entrepreneur trying to make it happen, your goals, business plan and overall strategy must be bulletproof. On top of this, your team must be on board with a strategy that fully aligns with your business goals.
Every business big or small has to find out how it can offer a unique value to its customers.
And in your fast paced world of entrepreneurship and start-ups, this Unique Selling Point (USP) is essential when you consider the huge amounts of competition for both investment and the eyes of new customers.
Your competitive advantage doesn’t even have to be related to your product necessarily. You could simply have a better pricing model than your competition or offer better customer service. Your strategy has to both recognise and prioritise whatever advantage it is that you have over the competition.
Alongside this competitive edge, the targets you choose for your business long-term must also be specific and useful. Whether it’s to sell your product in multiple countries or build the most popular e-commerce store in your market, it can be useful to zero in on a specific target and work out a clear path towards reaching it down the line.
It may be important to break the target down into smaller short-term goals too; your goal to enter multiple countries could be “enter one city in France by 2022”. Whatever it is, make sure you’re focused, and keep in mind the SMART approach:
Focused and SMART targets are the basis upon which you can build a successful sales and marketing strategy. Importantly, with the huge range of marketing channels available through the internet nowadays, the process has become much cheaper than ever before.
Importantly, these avenues are also extremely measurable and provide immediate feedback. As your business begins to build its digital presence and you develop a marketing team, it won’t take long for you to discover the best channels required for your marketing needs.
In many cases your entrepreneurial talent may need a bit of financial backing too. “Teamwork makes the dreamwork”, as they say, and your strategy may need to factor in your options if you do or don’t receive the all-important cash.
A professionally written business plan will also allow you to introduce your profitability and revenue generation capabilities directly to those who need to know. If you need a bank loan to get going, the bank will want to see your plan immediately; if it’s an investment firm, the business plan will be an essential part of your pitch.
Here are a few well-trodden paths when it comes to securing investment as an entrepreneur:
You can follow all the best lessons and do all the right things, but if you aren’t disciplined then it won’t mean a thing. If you’re on your own as an entrepreneur, it will be down to you to make things happen every day and stay persistent along the way. If you have a team by your side, then it will be your job to ensure that they are just as dedicated to the end goal as you are.
As long as you are true to your strategy and put in the effort, you’ll know that you tried your best. And when it comes down to it, that’s all you really can do.