Business is a journey to try to get better. Very often there's going to be something that keeps you from achieving your goals.
So, when you’re not converting at your target rate, or when your customer satisfaction rating is not quite as high as you want it to be, what are the barriers? What are the things that have been holding you back in that area? Focus first and most intensely on those areas you have decided are goals for the year.
Once you’ve decided what you want to accomplish, you're going to have to draw a plan to overcome the barriers that stand in your way.
Take it barrier by barrier and use the diverse thinking of the group to ideally identify multiple approaches to overcome each barrier and then choose which ones to try.
Now you will need to implement the plan. Assign owners for each component or process and schedule periodic checkpoints where those owners can report against goals and ask for help in areas that they may be facing challenges.
Your plan may not be perfect the first time out. In fact if it is, it’s a miracle. Continue to evaluate what is working and what is falling short. If the chosen plan to overcome a given barrier is not working, consider going back to some of the other approaches to that barrier you identified in step 4 and trying one of those alternatives, or making up a new one based on the feedback you have gained from your efforts to that point.
Success is almost always achieved through iteration, not through shooting the arrow and hitting the center of the bull's eye the first time.
These are the seven business areas to think about when you’re going through the six-step process for planning your strategy.
Now, not every business is exactly the same. But, here’s a model consisting of seven business domains to which you can apply these six steps that we just talked about. This model is going to work for most companies, although you may find that not all areas are relevant in your organization.
MARKETING: telling your story of differentiation and driving interest
SALES: engaging with customers who show interest
OPERATIONS: fulfilling your promise to customers through delivery, services and support
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: the overall journey customers have as they engage with all parts of your business
FINANCE: how money is handled, from debt to taxes to reporting
PEOPLE: how engaged, effective and collaborative your team member are
INNOVATION: driving improvements to your products, services and customer experience large and small to remain a preferred choice for your customers during the rapidly changing times we live in.
There's no way you can stay the same and continue to have the same level of relevance to the world. You can't win without keeping up with the times.