Business strategy is important for small business because it helps you develop not just how your business will function right, but how it will function in the future. "Strategy" is a nice word we all use that boils down to the processes and procedures we put in place for each area of our business.
The business strategies chosen by a small business have an overall goal of helping you as the business owner fulfill the mission of the business. It doesn't matter whether you're bootstrapping and handling as much as you can (or even everything) on your own or whether you're fully staffed. Business strategies affect the ultimate success and profitability of your business.
Your business will have more direction, have a way to measure success, be able to better assess current trends, adapt to meet the needs of your customers, and can even help you make better decisions.
Additionally, business strategies are also used as a driving force to determine operations for each part of the business. You'll recall earlier in this section that strategy is a word used that encompasses the processes and procedures for each area of business.
Business strategies serve to guide the operations of your business. However, this is generally referred to specifically as an operations strategy. Let's learn more about how strategy affects operation.
How Does Strategy Affect Operations?
Of course, we all initially think of strategy when it comes to things like marketing, but many small businesses don't really think about how it affects operations. Your business strategy affects your operations because the strategy is used in every area of your business. Each function of your business requires some form of strategy.
When business strategies don't include operations, it can become more difficult for small businesses to meet their goals, fulfill their overarching mission, and may find that as they grow, each department operates under its own set of rules which may ultimately become a problem.
Operations strategy must be included, even if different parts of the business must have their goals and efficiency measured in different ways. It's the only way to keep the entire business moving toward its objectives.
What Is Operational Strategy?
Operational strategies are methods used by businesses to meet their goals. Generally, they are used to help support both short-term and long-term goals as well as to establish how each part of the business will operate. That is the simplest way to understand the term operational strategy- how the business will operate.
An operational strategy helps determine the best way to use company resources to understand how various departments will operate to meet their goals as a department as well as to contribute to fulfilling the mission of the business.
Examples include the hiring of employees as well as the skills of the employees required, the processes that will be used in each department to complete required tasks, the details related to the quality control methods that will be used, how goods and services will be provided to customers, etc.
Operational strategies may also be influenced by customers as they provide feedback on their experience with your business. While not all feedback provided may necessitate a change to your existing operational strategy, it is important to point out that customer feedback is an important component of the process.
All of this information is documented in writing known as policy and procedure manuals. Generally, the operational strategies compiled are based on the industry's best practices as well as innovative procedures and customer feedback.
Effective Business Strategies
Effective business strategies include those that help you-
Reduce your hiring expenses by helping you find and retain the right employees for the job. This helps cut down recruiting and training costs.
Refining your marketing strategy that helps your target market better understand who you are and what you do.
This includes your logo, the messaging that goes out to your target market, how your customers are approached and treated, and more. It is much easier to continue to sell an existing client than to attract a brand new customer. Marketing does not stop once a lead becomes a customer.
Develop and refine your sales strategies for both inbound and outbound contacts. How will your business talk to people who contact your business? How will your business contact customers and potential customers? What will they say?
Set up pricing strategies. This is not something that is only done once.
Determine operational strategies for each department. This helps each department understand and better measure their goals, understand how what they do plays into the overall mission of the business, and creates a framework for how each department affects the customer experience.