Mandy Nicholson

The Creative Genius Corner

Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’

Strategy is NOT a scary word.

Strategy is one of the most overused words in the online business space currently. The rise in online entrepreneurs has opened a huge market for programs and courses created by experts to help people fill their skill gaps and focus on strategy. This is to be celebrated, however, there are a lot of these so-called guru’s and experts to whom you are just a number. Their course or program may help you, but they are not personally interested in YOU, just packaging what they know and selling it…

This is the basics of business, and it is a common strategy so beware when you are consuming… do your research. Don’t be one of the people who pay money out and don’t see any real ROI, and if you are, let it go and move on to a better strategy.

I am going to start by explaining that a strategy is merely a plan with some intentionality. The word can be applied to everything you do including your own personal development strategy. 

E.G. You want to grow as a business owner and make more money. Your strategy is to find people in your area of genius who are already successful, follow them, connect with them, and decide who you resonate with best. You do this with a clear intention of working with them to improve your business. THAT is a sound strategy.

Let’s talk money! A strategy that enables you to earn £10,000 every month is a common marketing hook with course and program creators. You will have seen the taglines ‘I am a six-figure coach’ or ‘Millionaire Mentor’.

These numbers are very achievable, but it takes time and a solid strategy to move you towards them. Nobody has achieved this overnight without years of work behind the scenes. Apparent overnight successes come with years of prep, training, investment, hard work AND a robust strategy.

A strategy is a long-term plan on what to do to achieve a certain goal. ... When talking about the near future, people often use the word tactics. Military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said, "tactics is the art of using troops in battle; strategy is the art of using battles to win the war".

The art here is to have a set of tactics to operate your business so that you can use that operation to win the war when it comes to your goals. Your business operations are the guiding principles that when communicated and adopted generate a desired pattern in decision making and action taking.

Three key components for a solid business strategy are…

Create your method of operation

Finding the right method of operation for your specific business is like making sure you have the best possible troops to go to war. If you are an artist and you want to make more money in your business then your operational procedures may be: Create work to sell in galleries, online and at markets. Set up a method for this such as a list of galleries who want to take your work; markets and craft fairs you will attend in a 12-month period and a social media strategy that sells your work online predictably. You may also add additional income streams such as workshops, online teaching programs and books each would have a method of operation to bring in predictable income. These are your troops or income streams all presented and ready to be used in battle.

This is the hard work behind the scenes and takes the most time to create.

Imagine you were recruiting troops; you would look for the best qualities and then train them to a high standard. It’s the same with your operational procedures, find the path of least resistance, the easiest and best way to generate leads and make sales. Invest time and money in getting this part right and you are set up to take your battle to the online space.

Create a map

A good strategy is like a clear roadmap; you stick a pin in where you want to go, and it will tell you the best way to get there. On this map your roads are your rules and values which define actions and behaviours in your business for you and others. Mapping out the actions to take (and not take) and the things that should be prioritised (and not prioritised) means that you are holding yourself and others accountable and being clear in your communication, the traits of a great leader.

Become a General

As you develop the actions and roadmap for your business and step into this leadership role, it is vital that you understand your responsibilities to win the war (sales). Your vision of where you want your business to be in 12 months, 5 years, 10 years must be crystal clear then you can base your operation (troops), implementation (training) and action (battle) firmly on this destination. If you try and take your business into a future with no vision and no supporting goals, you won’t win. This is why 20% of businesses fail in their first year and 60% go bust within 3 years.

Create a Mission Statement and Vision Statement that capture your guiding principles and build your goals from these. Think about the General going to war and how clear he is on strategy, what comes to mind? Think about a large table with cannons, troops and a map of the land and the leaders’ talking tactics and strategy to win! 

I really hope that this blog has helped you to think about strategy in a different way and that you can go away and re-visit your business set up and look for the weaknesses in its operation.

It is important to remember to think like a leader and be a bit clinical, you are not weak nor is your business, but both may need training or systems which make the overall strategy stronger. 

I want you to go to war fully equipped with all the right tools and tactics and a rock-solid strategy to win.

Now go and create your roadmap!

Love & Colour

Mandy x

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