The strategy driven company can create plans. The plans will be developed with the strategy in mind. If the following 7 Strategies are not familiar in your company, big or small, make the time to work through them. Don’t spend your time simply doing the work that is staring you in the face. Sustainability (in economic terms) comes far, far sooner to those that have a strategy for how to achieve it.
Sales Strategy – How are we going to create and maintain relationships with the buyers of the appropriate categories with the retailers we want to do business? How do we find them? How do we educate them? How do we treat them?
Trade Marketing Strategy – How are we going to become visible and relevant to new retail customer outlets? Do we send catalogs? Do we attend shows? Which ones? When and Why?
Consumer Demand Strategy – How are we going to ensure that we have a growing group of consumers who care about what we do/make? In store message? Social Media? PR? Website?
Distribution Strategy – How are we going to ensure that our products can be sold at all the locations that we want to attract? How will fulfillment be handled? How will products flow from wherever they are made (or even within the supply chain) to wherever the retailers are located?
Product Development Strategy – Where do we want to be in stores in next year, in 3 years of in 5 years. What kinds of products might we need to get there? Which ones sooner? Which ones later?
People Strategy – What kinds of people do we need to have on the team (full time, part time, contracted, consulting) in order to be able to do all of the things above?
Finance Strategy – What kinds of financial capability do we need to have in place in order to become a $XXXX company, or to grow by triple (or tenfold or whatever it is for you) in the next XX months/years?
These 7 strategies are vital to the medium and long term success of the business. They should be vivid in your mind and documented somewhere for ongoing reference. They are your guide to all decision making. If you don’t have plans that you are pursuing that integrate into these strategies, you are likely expending resources in areas unnecessarily. If you’re too busy to do this, as a company owner, you have other challenges you need to address quickly. This is THE essence of making your business sustainable. Without this you are winging it – which is not sustainable.