In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking through the seven telltale signs that you need a business strategy.
Regardless whether you think you have a business strategy or not, I want you to listen along to this podcast episode and just look for any of those warning signs that the business strategy you have isn’t clear enough, isn’t the right strategy for you, or you actually think you’ve got a strategy, but you don’t.
When people ask me about which tactics they should employ to get more customers, one of the most common problems I see is a lack of one clear, overarching business strategy.
As they start a new business, a lot of people think they know which specific social platform they’ll work on, or they’ve laid out specific tasks they think they need to do in order to get paying clients. Over time, they simply add more tactics to that plan.
You might initially start working on Facebook, join a couple of groups, and then realise you really love Instagram so you go on Instagram as well.
You run a webinar here and there, you run challenges, you do sales conversations, you’ve got VIP services, you’ve got people working with you in group programs. You’ve also got a book on the way…
And all of a sudden your business process to get paying clients starts to look a little bit like a Frankenstein. There are bits bolted on here, there, everywhere.
And when I ask people: What’s your core strategy for business growth over the next couple of months? They cannot answer my question. Or they give me a list of 35 different things.
I’m going to go through what core business strategy is, and the seven signs that you may need one.
A core business strategy is a focus.
It’s the one overarching core focus you use to grow your business, get clients, and deliver in the next two to four months.
Your core business strategy can pivot and adjust over time. It incorporates some of the tactics you might use to get out there, reach people, convert them into paying clients, and then deliver your products and services.
But what is not a core business strategy is 35 different things all taped together with sticky tape!
So here are some of the signs that your business strategy isn’t as focused and clear as it could be, or that it hasn’t actually got that overarching core approach.
1. You just want to serve, you don’t want to sell.
If you see marketing and selling as something separate from you being of service and helping people, then chances are you don’t have an overarching business strategy.
When you’re spending most of your business life trying to avoid marketing and selling activities that get people in the door, then you haven’t got a core marketing and business strategy that actually works to bring in paying clients.
If you find yourself with that feeling of “Oh, I just want to serve and do the work. I don’t necessarily want to do marketing in my business,” then you may need some help to create a business strategy that’s going to work for you and for your audience.
2. You have “many guru” syndrome.
When you’re scrolling on Facebook, just chilling out and looking for fun things to engage with, you are very susceptible to those ads telling you if you’re not doing this, you need to do it because you’re leaving money on the table.
If you find your inbox contains hundreds of people telling you what to do in your business, or there are dozens of people telling you what to do in your business on the regular, then chances are you haven’t found the overarching business strategy that is right for you.
When you don’t have confidence that taking specific actions will grow your business, get the clients you’re looking for, and keep your business on a growth trajectory, then you become very susceptible to all of the fear-based marketing on your social media feed or in the “business besties” grapevine.
I know I have gone through some phases of this, because there have been times where I got a little bit fearful and a little bit worried, thinking ‘oh maybe I haven’t got it all worked out’ and that is when I am susceptible to “many guru” syndrome.
If you’re feeling like you’re missing something, some secret you haven’t been told yet, then stop and check in with yourself: Are you feeling confident in your core business strategy, or not? Chances are, you’re not, and your business strategy needs to be reviewed, or you need to build a better one.
3. You have overwhelming “to do” lists.
I run planning workshops for the Heart and Soul Planning System, which includes 4 focus areas for each quarter. When I work with people in those workshops, they tend to say, ‘oh, I’ve got 16 things on my list for this quarter. How on earth am I going to get all of those things done?’
When I ask them to tell me which 4 are the most important, they can’t do it, because their business strategy isn’t built in a way that is focused on the core – it’s a scattergun approach.
You just end up overwhelming yourself with too many things to do.
And we all know, the more things on the “to do” list, the less things you’re actually going to achieve.
If you have overwhelming “to do” lists for your business, chances are you haven’t got that core business strategy nailed. It’s sent you into a spiral of thinking you need to do all these things, which makes it really difficult to discern what aligns with your strategy and what doesn’t. It makes it difficult for you to prioritise effectively.
4. You feel like you’re doing a lot of work for little result.
I see this happen for a lot of people when they’re just in the early stages of business.
Let’s say you’ve been running your business for 3 to 6 months, and you’ve got a few clients coming in. But it feels like you put 25 hours a week into getting clients and 5 hours a week into actually delivering to them.
You feel like you’re investing so much time into just getting the few clients you’re getting. Then when you think about scaling up and getting more clients or growing your business even more, it feels really overwhelming and hard because you don’t know how you could possibly fit in more marketing time to get those additional clients.
If you find you’re doing more and more work, and it’s not necessarily translating into more results, your business strategy needs to be reviewed.
Chances are you don’t actually have a core business strategy mapped out. So if you feel like you are doing a lot of work for a little result, review your core business strategy, get 100% clear on what that is.
5. Your business is feeling harder as it grows, rather than easier.
When you’ve Frankenstein’d a bunch of things onto your list, deciding what’s important and what isn’t can become difficult to discern. You can’t tell what’s actually creating the results in your business, or the difference between “nice to do” versus “actually working.”
You need to be very clear on where you focus your energy and attention, so you don’t feel overwhelmed, or feel like it’s hard and is going to be hard forever. That is the last thing that I want for you!
6. You have a lot of tactics.
If you find yourself on multiple social media platforms, and have multiple types of freebies, and are creating lots of different products, services, programs, memberships, and courses, you don’t have one core focus.
And when you have lots of different tactics, but not one core focus, that is actually a sign you don’t have a business strategy, and you need one!
7. You sit down to work and don’t know what to do.
You may sit down with an intention of putting in a solid 2 to 3 hours of work into your business, but then not know what to do in that 2 to 3 hours.
Maybe you spend the first hour checking emails, working from what other people want from you. Then you might jump onto social media and do a few posts, and another hour goes by. Then in your last hour you start to panic, doing a bit of admin behind the scenes so you can at least feel like something’s been achieved today.
But ultimately, you’ve wasted three hours because you didn’t know what to do first.
One thing I really love about my business strategy is that whenever I sit down to my desk, I know exactly what I need to do every single day in order to move my business forward.
Believe me, it hasn’t been like that from the very beginning! It’s taken time and consistently reviewing my strategy in order for me to get it down to ‘Where do I need to show up? What is my core value proposition that I can add to my business today? How can I move my business strategy forward in three easy steps today?’
Most days, when I sit down to work in my business, I have 90 minutes at the start of each day to work on what I need to work on.
Then whatever client-facing time I have after that, my work is already done for the day and I know I’ve moved my business forward. I know I’ve taken things off my to-do list, and that my business is going to continue to grow into the future.
That is such a beautiful feeling to get to. I had to try a lot of different tactics to get to that point in my business. I had to see what worked for me, what worked for my audience, and what was converting.
It also taught me how to be very consistent in getting rid of the things that don’t work, outsourcing the things I shouldn’t be focusing my energy on, and really understanding what metrics I need to look at to make great decisions.
All of this allows me to continue to grow my business and serve more people more effectively.
If you are listening to this podcast episode thinking, ‘oh my goodness, I think I am missing that core business strategy – I’m not focused on the key priorities to move my business forward,’ then I have a free resource you might find really helpful.
For those of you who are at the startup level, still not consistently making $5,000 to $8,000 a month in your business, this is going to be a really juicy free resource for you.
It’s called Fast-Track Your Start-Up.
Whether you’ve been doing this for three years or three minutes, if you aren’t making consistent sales online, and you’ve noticed some of these telltale signs we talked about, I would really encourage you to come and check it out.
It’s just over an hour of video-based training, and will help you focus on the activities you need in order to feel like you have a very clear business strategy.
This is really juicy and practical, and will help you determine what you need to sit down and work on day in day out. You’ll also save time because you’ll reach your results faster, and let go of some of those activities you’re only doing because someone along the way said it was a good idea and they managed to get a bunch of people into their business as a result.
You can let go of those things with confidence, knowing you can focus instead on the things that will be most important for you and your business growth.
If you have any questions, make sure you come over to the Heart-Centred Soul Driven Entrepreneurs group, and use the #podcastaha. Let me know which of those telltale signs really resonated for you, and what you are going to do as a result of listening to this podcast episode.
Also, if you’ve got any questions, you can use that same #podcastaha to ask them. Make sure you let me know you’ve been listening to podcast episode number 204.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.