1. Goals/ Desired Outcomes – the desired outcome dictates everything. This is therefore the first thing that needs to be considered. Not “what are we going to do”, but “what are we going to achieve” is the question to ask.
Why get in the car and start driving if you don’t know where you want to end up. You may not have all the details of the route mapped out – but it is crucial you know where you want to end up, as this will determine what strategy you need to use to get there.
The desired outcome will determine the direction of flow in the business. Without a clear outcome there is no direction, and consequently nothing moves, and nothing is achieved.
2. Strategy – is all about the big brush stroke concept of what you’re going to do to achieve the goals. Strategy is long term. It’s an approach, a way of doing things. It shouldn’t shift and change short term.
Strategy should always be aligned with the strengths of the business.
If the business is a marketing machine, it shouldn’t suddenly decide to outsource the marketing, or change the nature of the business to take this focus away. It’s the same on an individual level, or for businesses who are run mostly by an individual influence. If an individual’s best strategy for generating wealth lies in say being able to buy and sell a commodity and make money on the margins, for example, their focus shouldn’t leave the trading nature of the business. If anything, more time should be spent increasing the flow of goods/ cash through the business, and leveraging this ability.
Successful businesses are those that can join the individuals’ strengths and align them with the needs of the business for mutual benefit. These are the businesses that have internal integrity, and power.
3. Tactics – on the other hand are how you’re going to implement the strategy. This is the nitty gritty of what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to do it. An example of a strategy would be to generate sales through direct-mail marketing campaigns. The tactics would then involve going into the details of what copy to use, who to target, where the database comes from and so on.
Tactics need to be monitored. The results they produce need to be tracked, and the variables recorded. It’s a lot like an experiment – except your goal is not to prove a hypothesis. The goal is to develop a working model (a series of tested hypotheses) that you then optimize to yield the maximum amount of cash for a given input (set of resources).
4. Obstacles – only once you get down to your strategy/ tactics level will you know what your obstacles are. Obstacles only begin to materialize when you’ve set the destination and decided which route you’re going to take. For this reason, tactics and strategies can be changed to mitigate obstacles that would require too many resources to overcome or circumnavigate.
The next task it to list all the obstacles and then overcome them one by one. Often some of these obstacles are only perceived obstacles. Other times they only become obstacles are a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Most of the obstacles I deal with in coaching entrepreneurs and business owners are obstacles in perception. They believe a certain thing about a market place, so they don’t take action, so they never find out any different. Preconceived beliefs built on hearsay are the single biggest factor in slowing down individuals working on their own. They come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they can’t do something, or why they don’t want to take action, and what it boils down to is a belief.
Take our analogy of water flowing down hill, like a business in flow, and these obstacles in perception become very rocky ground which slow down the flow of the business, take out its moment and increase the amount of resistance it experiences.
Being aware of the beliefs that are involved in your decision making can help minimise this problem. It will make you seriously more astute than your competitors. As you become more aware of the limitations caused by your beliefs you will become bolder in testing them. In testing and challenging your beliefs you can get a more accurate read on the business, and make more insightful, and better business decisions. This is where real business and personal transformation occurs.
5. Immediate Priorities - Only once you know what tactics you are going to employ do you actually have enough detail to pull together a priority list.
This list should be very short in its first level – an overview of the things you need to get done in order for the strategy to be implemented.
e.g. Choose databases to market to, set up method of taking payments (website/ call centre), target market research.
From here, you can then drop down to a physical to-do list. But it’s not the to-do list that is important. Short term – on a day to day, week to week basis, you should be focused on that first level of outcomes you need to achieve. The to-do list is just a set of action items. Activity.
Be wise to confusing activity with outcomes. The outcomes are having the website up and able to take orders, and having the market research done so that you can give an effective brief to the copywriter for example. The activities may include emails, meetings, reports etc – but never fall into the trap of thinking that activities are results.
So there you have it: an approach to turning struggle into flow, by having your strategy and tactics aligned with your outcomes. For more insights into picking a strategy that is right for you and your business visit http://www.wireyourselfforwealth.com.