Mapping Out Your Strategy

When I started my 2nd business, I ran into it head first full of spit and vinegar. I said “give me some business cards and let me loose! I’m  ready to go!”. 5 years later, I sold that business and felt somewhat successful. I had this gnawing feeling, though, that if I had done things slightly differently, I could have had a much better result.
Shortly after that business, I took a position  with a company selling businesses. In that position, I learned a bunch of fundamental concepts that I realized had I known and used those concepts in my previous business, I could have potentially made a bunch more money on the sale of that business.
Here were my problems in retrospect:
1.      I did not have a strategy for getting new customers other than “go get ‘em”
2.      I did not formulate a budget or timeline to Market and create brand awareness
3.      I did not have a Marketing System or a Sales System. Maybe I should say I had one, but it was always changing and never constant.
I guess you can say that if I had a better Strategy, I would have solved my problems in hindsight.
After selling that business, I had a 3 year non-compete that I honored. Funny thing happens when you have 3 years to look back in retrospect and analyze (perhaps over analyze) your accomplishments and your set backs. You become a little clearer about what you want to accomplish and the target for that accomplishment seems to be very obvious.
My biggest revelation was that I had no structure and no strategy. In further mapping out my last venture (in order to map out my next venture), I found some massive irregularities and areas that when adjusted would seemingly flow easier. That has proven true.
My next business, I was able to put into motion all of the ideas and concepts which I had put to paper. That being said, here are the results so far:
1.      I have accomplished a higher profit on the first year of business of my 3rd business than any other year in business during my 2nd business.
2.      I have made a much bigger impact in 6 months of my 3rd business than I did in 5 years of my 2nd business.
3.      I have had on a scale of 1-10 a rating of 8 in my satisfaction on the 3rd business versus a rating of 6 on the 2nd business ( I Really enjoy doing this business, last one I felt more like an employee at a job).
I attribute the success to three things
1.      Marketing Strategy. Coming up with a target and shooting at it repeatedly helps to land the big game
2.      Experience. Having done it before made the road well traveled and I understood the terrain.
3.      Knowing enough to know that I didn’t know enough. I went and hired a few outside coaches and it was the best money I have ever spent.
You don’t have to sell your business, wait three years and do it all over again in order to have this same Success. I still have room to learn and grow, but it becomes much more interesting as well as a challenge that is fun (like a sport that you are trying to master) and is exciting.
I challenge all of you to take a look at what your strategy is for your business and if you are heading in the direction that you thought you would be going when you started your business.
Until Next Week, Here’s to your success!
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