A new decade has dawned, and the first thing I want to do is to give a huge “thank you!” for an incredible 2019. We’ve helped nearly nine thousand companies with their strategic execution, and the feedback we’re getting on our Strategic Planning tool has been spectacular.
This is going to be my sixth decade running companies. I’ve been incredibly blessed, but I’ve got to tell you, all of the success I’ve had started with strategic planning.
No Strategy, No Success
A real strategy is a clear-eyed understanding of your Target Customer, and really good insights into what they are going to want in the future. It’s not difficult, if you follow the process we guide you through in our Strategic Planning tool. The pattern is always the same.
For example, back in the 1980s, everyone was getting into the computer market. I was already there, running one of the first mail-order hardware companies in the world. If you wanted a computer, you would buy a box with the basic motherboard in it. Then you would buy the additional cards and the memory you thought you needed to make it capable of the work you wanted to do on it. Then you selected a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse—every single part of it had to be purchased separately and assembled by you.
It was a huge hassle for our Target Customer, and at a strategic planning meeting with my executives—exactly the sort of meeting you need to hold NOW if you want to succeed in 2020—we thought through their challenges, and we came up with a solution.
We became the first company to sell complete systems, rather than just parts. We created a package for graphic designers. Another one for musicians. Another one for video producers. And so on. For each system, we created a “Good,” “Better,” and “Best” version, and priced them accordingly.
Our Target Customer would no longer need to do all the hardware research on their own. We did all of that for them and optimized it for their budget.
Strategy Is About the Future
It seems like an obvious idea now, but that’s what made it such a great strategy then. Our revenue skyrocketed. We once had a booth at a show that was only three booths down from Apple Computer. We made a killing. No one bought the “Good” version; everyone got either the “Better” or “Best” ones.
Ideas like that are right there in front of you, right now. If you can’t see it, then hold that meeting. Set aside two or three days, and follow the process in our Strategic Planning tool with your leadership.
By the time you’re done, you’ll know what your Target Customer is going to want this year. That’s what matters. That’s the plan you need, and that’s the plan that will inspire your entire workforce. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, 71% of the employees at the most successful companies in the world understand exactly how their work supports their company’s strategy. That’s what the full ResultsBI platform does for your business.
You cannot effectively grow a company without a strategic plan — and we are not talking about an excel sheet was created by your CFO, that is just a simply a forecast based on assumptions. A true strategic plan is the key to your success. Putting together a strategic plan is a foundational layer that must be laid down first—then, and only then, can you grow!
DO IT NOW
If you’re one of our North American readers, and if you haven’t created your Strategic Plan yet, NOW is the time to do it. You MUST kick off your year with a clear vision, or you risk losing your business. If you’re one of our New Zealand readers, you have until March 31 to kick off your next fiscal year with a strategy that will work.
If you were to break down how much value you, personally, as an owner or executive, add to your company every hour, you would find that creating your strategy and then making sure it is being executed is by far the most valuable use of your time. Both of our products are designed to help you do exactly this.
If you don’t have a strategy, you are planning to fail. Go through the proven process that works, and put your business on a path to success.