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Hope is not a strategy.

Need help defining your business strategy?

The number one problem keeping many people from creating an online business that works as intended is rushing into social media marketing activities without first having defined their business strategy. It’s important to get the order of things right. You can’t possibly use social media and other marketing tools effectively unless you first know what your overall business strategy is. Only then can you decide how to best put these tools to work for rather than against your business-building goals.

Here are 6 questions to help you organize your thinking in that regard:

  1. What are my highest-level aspirations for my business?
  2. What concrete goals can I track to measure my progress in achieving my ultimate vision?
  3. Considering the entire field of opportunity open to me, where will I play and not play the game?
  4. In the field where I’ve decided to play, who are my top 3 competitors and how do I choose to win against them?
  5. What capabilities will I need to build and maintain to win in the way I see myself winning on the playing field I choose to compete in?
  6. What management systems will I need to create to run my business in a way that allows me to build and maintain all the capabilities I need to have to win?

How this works

This is an iterative exercise. The answers to these questions must align and reinforce one another. Start by thinking a little bit about your aspirations and goals, then about where you want to play and how you want to win and then consider how these relate to your high-level vision. Make any tweaks needed, then move on to thinking about the capabilities and management systems needed to consider whether what you think you want is really doable. Then just rinse and repeat until the answers you’ve put down on paper are consistent with one another and make sense.

That’s the best way to ensure that when you do get to purchasing tools and technology and start setting up social media and other accounts you will know exactly where you need to be and how to use your presence there to better support the vision you hold for building your business. At the end of the day you’ll spend your money more wisely, waste less time, and save yourself a whole lot of pain and disappointment. Just sayin’.

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

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