I walk into many companies that lack a business strategy but are asking for a marketing strategy. It doesn’t work that way. Marketing is not that important. You need to first know what you are doing with your business, before you worry about marketing; or even sales.

So what is a business strategy?

For me it boils down to one thing: what are you going to sell that gives you an advantage over everyone else? How will your business produce something of value to the customer? What will you be faster at?, cheaper at?, higher quality at…

Your business strategy needs to enable your business to do something different to everyone else. What will you be better at? And how? The business strategy needs to explain this. Only once you are clear about this, can you bring the marketers and salespeople onboard. You can only promote an airline once you have a plane.

Many small businesses lack a strategy. The owner, or even worse, owners, or even worse, husband and wife team, run around like headless chickens. What are you doing?  – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? – is an appropriate question often not asked. It is madness to carry on doing business without clarity about strategy- it lacks logic.

The more I read about strategy and work with entrepreneurial clients, the more I realise the immense power of simplicity and focus when trying to build something. It allows you to quickly uncover mistakes and build on successes. Yet this focus is so elusive. Entrepreneurs hate it because they think to focus is to exclude opportunities. Yet, due to a lack of focus they are stuck in a rut.

What are you doing? What are you focusing on? What are you making? For whom? And what makes it better? These are the questions of business strategy. These are the questions that should precede any marketing and sales effort. It should precede any customer appointment too. Too often SMEs employ people to try and get them out of the mess, meanwhile there is no business strategy.

I’ll say it again: marketing comes second. Before you call the marketing agency, or launch your website, think through your business. What are you doing?

If you would like to know how “Using Social Media to Build Your Consulting Business” can help grow your business, then join me on the 6th of September at 17:30 at our offices in Parktown North. Full details here: https://www.meetup.com/10-Slider/events/253638508/