In the first phases of starting a new company or crafting a new product, it’s crucial to implement strategic planning in order to minimize risk at the outset, and in order to put yourself in a position to create opportunity once you’re out of the beginning stretch.
When launching a new product or service, you first get it to market, then build your business on top of that. The costly endeavor of creating a start-up makes it even more valuable to utilize a strategic plan. It isn’t easy, and that’s why we’ve compiled these five basic steps to help you get the ball rolling on creating your own strategic plan.
- Set SMART Goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. By utilizing these criteria to create your SMART goals, it can help you and your team understand remember what you’re trying to accomplish within your company.
- Do Research. Never assume that your product or service is what you think it is. Take the time to test the market. Look at your competitors. Market sizing, competitive review, industry trends – this is all necessary information you need before launching.
- Formulate a Strategy. If/then statements are useful when building a marketing or business strategy, and strategic frameworks can make it even easier. Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning are helpful, as well.
- Build a Brand. Don’t make the common marketing mistake of thinking your brand is solely a simple logo. In this day and age, customers are seeking a connection with values. Brands have to be dynamic, stand for something and have a story. When done correctly, the branding process will present you with a prime opportunity to position your product as something with much more impact than a simple commodity.
- Execute and Measure. Create a complete plan of execution and a research your most effective methods of measurement. Whether you’re planning a simple campaign or a full data-driven content marketing campaign, you will need to have a clear plan of execution, as well as a way to know if it performed well (or didn’t). By knowing at the beginning what you expect from your strategy, you can optimize it to perform at its best.
Building a culture of alignment around goals and strategy will give the best start to your start-up. Throughout the beginning phases, make sure to consistently share clear goals, research, strategy, branding and plans of execution in order to keep everyone on track and keep your organization learning and growing.
Read more by Tanya Korpi Macleod over at Business 2 Community.