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3 Questions Essential to Defining Strategy

image - SMARTSTART Strategy

If you don’t know where you are going, hire someone to help get you started.

There are three questions you must have the answers to before you can define a strategy for winning the game of business. Yes, there are many aspects to consider but focus on these first, in this order, before making any decisions about what strategy(ies) to use going forward.

  1. What are you going to sell in the future and how?
  2. Who are your target customers and why?
  3. How can you differentiate yourself/what you sell from your competitors?

It’s quite rare to work with a client who is clear on all three but it’s not really their fault. The voice of the majority in the online space has distracted them by confusing the rewards of success with what’s actually required to be successful. So, if you are a coach or consultant, you must first take the client back to the beginning and help them appropriately direct their thinking.

This may require some gentle reminders.

First, it isn’t enough to know what you want to sell today, you must also know what you want to sell tomorrow and how you see yourself doing that.

Second, your target customer is not everyone. Trust me. It is NOT. What you sell is for a specific someone. You must be crystal clear on every aspect of that someone before you start creating what you intend to sell if your marketing is to have any chance at all of being effective in reaching them.

And finally, competition is everywhere. No competition means no market.

I know you are anxious to start making money in your business. You are not alone. But “spray and pray” is not a strategy that works.

The more you know about your competitors, the better you can position yourself for success by differentiating what you sell from what they offer. Don’t guess; don’t assume. Study the competition and know what makes you the better choice for your customer.

That then is the story you want to tell in a way (and in the places) the message can be heard by your target audience. Strategy is simply how you deliver it to them.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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