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Startup Success Starts with Strong Strategy

I guess you could call me a serial entrepreneur. As I’ve often said publicly, I truly love what I do. And while that’s true, my entrepreneurial endeavors aren’t just about fun and games.

 

Every business venture, whether it’s a small startup or big company, needs a powerful strategy to keep it on the right track if it’s to grow, flourish, and be successful for the near and distant future. You can’t necessarily control the economy, the whims of the marketplace or trends that come and go. But you can, and should, create a roadmap that determines the direction your company is going to take next week, next month and next year.

 

And that’s how a solid strategic plan helps you succeed. Part of it is based on known factors and part on predictive analysis, but all of it is necessary to help your business get from point A to point B.

 

You need a business plan to get bank financing or investment from venture capitalists or angel investors. That’s a given. But where it can help you beyond that is by defining, on paper, what your company is, what you plan to do, when you plan to do it, how much it’s likely to cost, and more.

 

A good business strategy takes certain very important things into account. For example, a profile of your target audience(s) and their wants and needs, as well as a competitor analysis based on scientific research and hard numbers spells out whom you’re going to be competing against, what market share those other companies enjoy and what you’re planning to do to compete successfully. And that’s where your value proposition comes in.

 

Call it a brand or a unique selling proposition, but you’ll want to think about how your company is going to position itself in the marketplace, possibly by offering some point of differentiation that, hopefully, your target market will find valuable, appealing or that satisfies a need or addresses a pain point better that the competition currently does.

 

A good strategy also considers your balance sheet: how much you’re going to invest into the company vs. profit projections that assure that you’ll be able to take a salary, meet payroll, cover your accounts payable, and, most important, reinvest into the company to keep it competitive and operating.

 

Think about it this way: your strategy articulates where you are today and where you’re going to be tomorrow. This is the document you’ll be reviewing on an ongoing basis to ensure that your plans are staying on track, as well as the one you’ll modify as needed to correct issues and address marketplace changes that occur when you least expect them.

 

Because your strategy is extremely important, I’d advise that you seek expert help in developing it. This could be a successful businessperson you know, a resource that provides this type of insight or even an investor who has substantial experience in strategic planning. In my own career, I’ve often sought advice and insights from professionals I’ve trusted, and doing so is more than simply helpful. It’s crucial.

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