The beginning of the year is often flooded with goal setting. Goals are wonderful. They’re motivating. They’re often a way of tracking your success. Goals are great.
But let’s get one thing straight. A strategy isn’t the same thing as a goal. A strategy is the how and the why. It’s choosing what to do and what not to do.
And a business without a sound strategy fueling its actions is sunk no matter how good you’re at setting goals.
Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Execute with a Strategy.
Let’s talk dating. So, in dating:
- A goal for the date might be to fall in love.
- The plan is dinner and dancing.
- The strategy is how to execute the plan in order to give you the greatest advantage in order to achieve your goal.
- A goal might be to turn more leads into sales.
- The plan might be to expand your content marketing to include a higher volume in blogs, email campaigning, and social media marketing.
- The strategy is how your brand will execute the plan in order to gain the greatest advantage over your competitors.
A Strategy of What Not to Do
Developing a clear strategy might be overwhelming. However, often times the best strategy to start with it the most natural to figure out; it’s the strategy of what not to do.
In fact, Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School and founder of The Monitor Group, said: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
You might develop a strategy of what not to do because:
- Your competition is doing it and you want to stand out, not blend in.
- The other methods aren’t viable for your business.
- The strategies you’ve been using aren’t working.
By looking at what not to do you’ll lead yourself to what to do. Learning what not to do could almost be considered as a more important lesson in business than settling for good enough.
Its kind of like how you’re first internships are so valuable because you mainly learn what you don’t want to do. And through that process, you also learn not to settle simply by knowing that one size doesn’t fit all.
No matter how you approach developing your business and marketing strategies, the ultimate goal is to gain a competitive advantage in your industry. Use that as your guiding light.
And if you want a real edge, who you gonna call?? StellaPop Business Management and Marketing Professionals.
(Not as catchy as Ghostbusters, but it still works…right?)