Working out how your business is going sustain itself and grow is key to its future. A good business strategy is one that creates insight, fosters a common understanding and provides an agreed 'success path'. It's your roadmap for where time, effort and money is going to go.
Developing your business strategy should be enjoyable and inspiring. It may simply formalise and verbalise what you always had in mind, but in many cases, it also challenges direction. There are a number of core elements that must be considered when approaching your strategy. At a minimum, you should clearly understand:
The value we add comes from having a set of established tools, and the experience, needed to quickly set in place your strategy. Shed Light can help you develop your strategy by assisting with:
We also love developing strategies that can be creatively implemented so that both quick wins and long terms success are generated. As we are often asked to assist with the implementation of strategies and plans, we know how important it is to have realistic and detailed actions that support any strategy.
Your strategy will identify where effort needs to go and how to get there. This could be a greater focus on R&D, looking to new markets, expanding current customer spend or getting the right people and skills on board.
One area that is often an outcome from planning sessions is sales boosting. This is particularly common for established business which already have a strong product or service offering. For these companies, strategies around effective marketing and business development lead to growth, so working out how to get the most bang from a sales, business development and marketing budget is key to improved performance. Small gains in marketing and BD effectiveness can generate large returns on the bottom line.
There are a number of areas where we regularly see the opportunity to boost sales. Below in our section on Implementing Business Strategy, we run through a few methods around boosting sales.
The reality is, for most businesses, there is a need to work hard on retaining and growing existing clients, as well as bringing in new business. If you already have an established client or customer base, there are some good reasons to make sure your business gives customers already using your products or services the right focus.
Many studies present the costs associated with business growth from winning new clients and customers as being anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than what's required to increase the spend and turnover from existing clients and customers.
Obviously, the actual cost of bringing on new customers will vary depending on which sector you operate in, so it's worth working out roughly what it is in your business or industry. If you're not sure then sometimes an industry association may have some ball park figures. One aspect to remember is that the newer a company is, often the larger the costs and longer the time frames are to gain new clients. The catch 22 here is that this is exactly the type of client they need to find.
Building more effective systems and skills within your team, is a cost effective way to keep and grow existing customers.
How we can help:
- Deliver client and customer management programs that build staff awareness and skill sets.
- Work with team members to deliver targeted client management plans that include well defined sales and marketing activities and measurable outcomes.
- Business development and networking training so your team can increase depth of relationship within client organisations and actively target new opportunities.
If you have an important project coming up, or need a short-term skill set, then our team can help. This could be working with you, your senior management group or your business development and marketing team on an upcoming deliverable or tender, providing senior business development advice or simply understanding if you are getting the best out of your team.
The right tools and systems
Business tools and systems are vital to all areas of an organisation as they help to make sure that the correct activities are being undertaken and that results are easy to measure. Marketing and business development activity is no different, and should be managed in the same way. It's even more important when you consider that business development. sales and marketing activity is an indicator of future financial outcomes.
Advertising and promotional activity obviously needs to generate the brand recognition, sales or customer activity that you were looking to achieve. Success however, must be measured by carefully by understanding both the results created and the costs of the activity. This will help you to make informed decisions about future activity.
Some marketing activity is fairly easy to evaluate, such as Google Adwords. With the right analytics, you can get your click through rate, cost per click and cost per sale. Assessing the value of other business development activity, such as client events, sales training or advertising with traditional media, can each require their own unique evaluation techniques.
To find out more about how we can assist with creating or implementing your business strategy, please get in touch.