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Developing a Business Strategy

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Time flies, and here we are, another year is flying by. Evaluating your business strategy and setting a clear path for the future is crucial. Where does your business stand today, and where do you envision it going? These questions are pivotal in steering your company toward success in 2024 and beyond.

Crafting an Effective Business Plan:

A well-crafted business plan serves as a roadmap for your company, helping you outline your strategy, establish achievable goals, identify key stakeholders, and allocate resources. While it may seem like a daunting task, a comprehensive business plan is essential—especially if you’re looking for financial support. In the past, some businesses have held misconceptions about business plans, but it’s time to debunk these myths and recognize their true value.

Myth #1: A One-Time Endeavor:

Gone are the days when a business plan was a one-and-done affair. In 2024, a business plan should be viewed as a dynamic, living document that you revisit and revise frequently. It serves as your guiding light, providing direction and clarity in your journey. So, let’s abandon the notion of shelving your business plan and embrace it as an indispensable tool.

Myth #2: Sales Trump Strategy:

While sales are undeniably crucial, a solid business plan complements and enhances your sales efforts. It’s not an either-or scenario. Your business plan acts as a strategic compass, aligning your sales activities with your long-term vision. By integrating sales and strategy, you’ll have a powerful combination for sustainable growth.

Business Model Canvas

One of our favorite tools is the Business Model Canvas, initially proposed by Alexander Osterwalder. It’s a one-page template that includes the highlights of a traditional business plan. One page is much easier than thirty pages, right?

As the video explains, there are nine categories. We encourage you to print the template and complete it with your team. We like that it’s a hands-on tool that encourages discussion and analysis. You can also easily refer to it throughout the year. If you already have a business plan, I would dust it off and refer to it to complete some of the sections. For example, your plan should include a detailed target market analysis. Use that information to complete the ‘Customer Segments’ section. If your target market has changed, be sure to update your plan. We recommend completing one section at a time.

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This easy-to-complete tool can be downloaded via the Strategyzer website. An app, book, and training program are also available.

Schedule a Strategy Session

A strategy session can help you and your team determine your strengths and weaknesses. Where is the company performing well? Are there issues that need to be addressed? Poor customer communication or incompatible devices may be slowing down production. These are some examples of issues that should be addressed.

Strategy sessions are also a great time to discuss new ideas. Claire, in accounting, might have established a new and more effective way of handling invoices. The team should discuss the method and determine if it should be implemented. That naturally brings me to the importance of bringing your entire team together to discuss their work. Duplication of tasks and poor communication are far too common. Not every organization can have weekly meetings, nor should they if they aren’t effective. Conducting an annual strategy session can at least get everyone on the same page.

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What are you waiting for? We’ve discussed the importance of developing a strategy for your company. Goals help the team move forward and obtain results! You have a variety of ways to organize your thoughts, whether you utilize an existing business plan or adopt the Business Model Canvas. There is no one size fits all, so select the method that works for you. We’ve only mentioned a couple here today. Contact us with any questions or schedule a free consultation. We want to see your business thrive.

*Images from Hamacher Resource Group & YouTube.

Author Bio

Leila Shaver is the Founder of My RIA Lawyer, a law firm that provides compliance and legal consulting for financial institutions. With extensive experience as a securities attorney and compliance expert, she has served as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel to RIAs, BDs, and TAMPs with billions in assets under management.

Leila understands the challenges RIAs face and is committed to helping RIAs streamline their processes, mitigate risks, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. She received her Juris Doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and is a West Georgia Young Lawyers’ Association member. Leila has received numerous accolades for her work, including the Carroll County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 2017.

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