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Getting started in business (whether it is for your homestead or not) can be SCARY there are so many different words and phrases that feel like they are flying over your head.
When I first started I felt like I was learning to read all over again. (Which was already pretty rough for this dyslexic girl who didn’t read until she was in the third grade)
And that is pretty much what you are doing. You are learning a whole new world as a new homestead business owner. And that is going to take time.
Tip: As you go through this post or any other….. I want you to have a piece of paper next to you so you can write down the words and phrases you find that confuse you or you are just aren’t sure what they mean. Then once you are done with the current piece of content you are reading you can go figure out those words.
I am going to give you a full guide on what a business strategy is so you can create a business plan for your homestead.
I’m also going to try not to make it seem too “corporate” (yes I made that word up) so you don’t start nodding off and end up with drool on your phone from sheer boredom.
But I also want to be able to explain some of these words you might see in this online business world so you know what they mean.
Now, I want you to simply take a breath and understand that growing a business takes time, and if you are willing to give it the time it needs you will have a successful business. But you need to be patient.
Business Strategy Definition
This is my simple explanation of what a business strategy is. This is your overarching goal for your business. Don’t get it confused with how you are creating content or what social media platforms you are on. Those are different.
What is a business strategy: A business strategy in its most simple form is this. It’s WHAT you are doing in your business and WHY you are doing it.
But a little more detailed and techy explanation is this:
It has the steps the company will take to accomplish its long-term vision, including the resources, tactics, and approaches required to ensure success.
A business strategy is your filter: You should use that business strategy to help you decide which actions to take in your business but also help you to say no or not right now when an opportunity — that does not align with those goals presents itself. Your entire organization or homestead business should be run by this strategy.
Who puts together a business strategy: A business strategy is a plan of action put together by you as the business owner.
IMPORTANT NOTE: (You are going to see a lot of these along the way because they are things I have learned that will save you a lot of stress and honestly confusion. Because they are parts of business that people don’t talk about) — Before you go any further I want to make something very clear. This is the area where yes you should hear what the people who are bigger and better than you have to say. BUT if you don’t feel that what they are saying is right for you, or your niche, or maybe they don’t totally understand the goals and mission of your vision. TRUST YOUR GUT. I had a lot of people try to put me in a box for a specific niche for years because it was a simple business niche that they could see. I lost years of progress because I didn’t trust my intuition. Most people mean well but they don’t know what’s right for you.
Ok moving on.
What you need to be clear on to put a good business strategy together.
To put together the most effective business strategy you have to understand:
- The business model (the way you are going to make money)
- The niche or industry.
- The competition. (A competitive market is things like beauty, fashion, food….)
- The market conditions (how ready are people to buy what you want to offer).
The sole purpose of the business strategy is to give a high-level business plan for achieving the goals for the business over a specific period of time. It is a roadmap that guides a business owner through the various stages of growth.
Remember complicated doesn’t guarantee success. The simplest business strategies are the easiest to accomplish. The more complicated you make it the harder it is going to be to stick to and follow.
Pieces of a Good Business Strategy
Important Note: Your business strategy should be fluid but the goal should stay the same. It takes years to grow a full-time business for most people (a brick-and-mortar store takes 5 years before they start to see a profit) and the whole online landscape can change before you reach your goal. Causing you to have to change the plans or steps you take to get there.So yes make a plan. But be flexible enough to allow change to come as well.
There are six key components to think about when developing a strategy to reach long-term success.
First, what is your long-term vision?
Where are you going and what do you want to achieve with our business? But I would also add that you need to know WHY you want it.
The why is what will keep you moving on the days when you just want to stay in bed. It keeps you motivated to feed the animals in freezing temperatures.
This long-term vision provides a framework for the rest of your decision-making.
Next, setting clear goals helps a company create a roadmap for success.
Businessy word: Some people will add “objectives” in this space which simply means what is the RESULT you want to create. 50k in revenue, reach 1000 people on social each month. Things like that.
These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Next, create strategies to achieve those goals based.
Figure out what you need to do in order to reach those goals. This is where you need to be flexible. Resources, markets, platforms and so much more are going to change along the way.
As you move into the implementation stage you should be setting certain amounts of time that you are going to test each strategy out to see if you are getting the results you want. And if you’re not. You need to choose one thing to change. Test it out for a time. And assess the results again.
Testing and tweaking is all a part of growing a business.
Next, the implementation of the strategy.
It requires clear communication of the strategy, even if it’s just you working on the business. Knowing the step-by-step actions you need to take is key to not spinning your wheels and making progress much slower than you otherwise could have.
Choose 1-3 things you are going to focus on at a time. This is where people get burnt out on growing a business. If you are 1 person starting a side hustle you are going to struggle if you try to build all the social platforms, run a website, learn this new world of online business, oh and get customers on top of it all. You will see much better and more motivating results if you focus your efforts on just a few things at a time. Then once those run well by themselves you can add another piece to your business growth strategy.
Set clear actions you need to take for your business every week so you make the progress you are hoping to make.
Just going at it whimsically will not help you grow your business. You need to take consistent action every day to make progress.
Why Should You Create A Business Strategy?
It is a crucial part of any successful business and allows a business owner to create a plan of action to achieve the goals they want to in business.
Without a defined business strategy, a business will struggle to keep up with current market conditions and not reach the success the business owner is hoping for.
It’s so easy to keep trying new things hoping for the magic bullet because one person promised that they had the answer. But your business strategy is your strategic framework for building the business that supports the lifestyle you want to live.
Common Business Words And What They Mean
Ok lets get into some of those big business words and what they mean. This will help you feel a little bit more like you are standing on solid ground instead of floating in the water.
In the context of Business Strategy, Competitive Advantage means the advantage a business has over its competitors.
It’s what sets a business apart and helps it thrive in the market. Some people will use the phrase unique value proposition to refute to the same thing.
Your competitive advantage ( the thing that makes you different) could be:
- Your level of customer service. — Or the unique things you do for your customers that you don’t see anywhere else.
- You make your products more affordable so your customer can get them at a better rate than your competitors.
- Your branding and the vibe you present to the world could be different than your competitors.
- Maybe you create innovative products for a completely different market than they are normally used for.
- Maybe you have unique values in your business like being all organic or you are creating the best quality produce possible.
This is one area where you need to listen to your customers and find ways to stand out from the croud.
Looking for reviews of other products or people who have a similar product type as you can help you as the business owner discover innovative ways to address customer pain points. Making you stand out from your competitors.
Types of Business Strategies
There are several types of business strategies that you can use depending on your goals and market and the customers you are trying to reach. Let’s look at some of these to help you decide which ones are going to be the best fit for you.
Having The Best Price For The Quality (cost leadership)
Which means offering products or services at a lower cost than competitors while maintaining the same quality.
This type of strategy aims to attract price-sensitive customers and typically involves streamlining operations and processes to reduce expenses. — This is most common for homesteaders who are selling products in more rural areas.
Exception: If you are able to get into a farmers market that is in a bigger city where people are after farm fresh produce for the novelty of it you will be able to charge a good amount more than if you sold it elsewhere.
This leads me to the strategy that somewhat ties into this.
Another type of strategy is differentiation (Or Market Position)
Which involves offering unique features and qualities that set the company’s products or services apart from competitors.
This can be in terms of design, features, quality, or branding. Differentiation aims to attract customers who value these unique aspects and are willing to pay a premium for them.
You should never take advantage of people but if you can tweak your marketing and focus on a specific customer base that will be willing to pay more this is a smart business move.
This is why learning as much as you can about your potential customers is important in creating your business strategy.
How To Create Your Own Business Strategy
Developing a functional business strategy seems scary but you can do it because it will help you ensure your homestead business success.
Here is a short breakdown of what you need to do.
- Defining long-term vision and goals.
- Choose a strategic framework to take action on those goals.
- Whether it is money or time you have to decide where to put your efforts first ie. resource allocation, and what is most important to work on at that time. (Allocating business resources)
- Making decisions about the types of business models to go after.
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Defining the Your Business Mission, Vision, and Values
Defining the organization’s mission, vision, and values is the first step in developing a successful business strategy.
This step helps set the overall direction of the business and aligns with the main goals of starting the business in the first place.
- To define the mission statement, businesses should consider what sets them apart from their competitors and what they hope to achieve.
- The vision statement should be a reflection of the long-term goals and aspirations of the organization.
- The values statement should be an accurate representation of the company’s culture and beliefs.
While these shouldn’t be made lightly you should not let these things stop you from taking action on getting your business out into the world.
You will figure these out over time and they may even change as you grow and change. Create your core business model and have it at your fingertips you see them every day. But also be willing to acknowledge when something needs to change in your current business situation. Ok?
Know What Your Strengths and Weaknesses Are
You will see this written about as “Identifying internal strengths and weaknesses” which can feel really over your head or even like EVERYTHING is a weakness.
But I want you to think of it a little bit differently.
In the beginning, you have to do everything yourself. There is no deligating it out or highering help like so many business coaches or strategists encourage us to do.
As you start to build your business I want you to pay attention to the things you are good at (your strengths) and the things you’re not so good at ( your weaknesses).
Doing this is a critical step in creating a successful business strategy and a life you don’t grow to hate.
This could be anything from your marketing strategy and how you get eyes on your business. To the way you make money and create products.
Remember that hard is different than not being good at it or it being a weakness. You have to work at something to get good at it.
But if you have been trying something for over a year or so and you have been working to improve your skills at it daily AND the results are not happening. Then it could be time to consider it a weakness.
HOWEVER, a weakness can be strengthened. Just like weak muscles in your body.
What Should You Do If Something Is A Weakness
If there is something that you are not good at or something that is a weakness for you. You need to first figure out how important is this one thing to your business success.
Can you still make money without it.
If the answer is yes. Then simply let it go. BUT if your business is going to have a hard time getting customers or growing then you need to find something else to take its place. Or you need to learn to get better at it.
I don’t like social media. But if I chose to drop social media completely I would not be able launch TIMELY products for my digital business as well without it. I would souly be relying on the size of my email list.
You can’t do product launches or sales as well with only getting Google and Pinterest traffic to your site.
So I needed to learn to do social media well enough to see results. AND create systems around it so I didn’t feel stressed out by the thing I struggle with.
If something is a weakness answer these questions:
- Can I get better at it?
- Have I given it long enough TO get better at it?
- Are the results I am expecting realistic?
- If I drop this thing will I still make money or be able to market my business.
- If the answer is no, what will take its place?
Analyzing External Opportunities and Threats
This is the area where people need to be careful. It’s good to look at other people’s businesses for IDEAS but not for comparison or to use them as a measuring stick.
Its so easy to try to emulate what other people are doing in hopes to see repid growth. But the problem with that is they are not you or your business.
When you are truly being yourself that is when you will see the engine of growth start to move.
What can some threats look like?
- Changes in political policies or laws.
- Economic fluctuations may pose a threat to your profitability.
- Social trends and shifts in consumer behavior.
Setting Objectives (Ideal Results) for Growth and Profitability
Setting clear and measurable business goals is instrumental in achieving growth and profitability.
If you don’t you are going to be doing tasks that seem important but are not going to impact the bottom like or your brand and business awareness.
You HAVE TO have things set out in front of you that you are working towards. You don’t need to know steps 20-100 you just need to know the first step or to and the rest of the steps will appear as you go.
You have probably seen this before but your goals need to be:
Examples of effective business objectives look like this:
- Increasing revenue through new sales channels
- Keep customers coming back more often.
- Optimizing operational efficiency.
- Expanding product lines.
- Enhancing the company’s digital presence.
BUT!!!!!! These goals must align with the company’s values, be measurable, and be achievable within a specific time frame. You can take those goals and set a time frame and percentage of growth you would like to see for that goal to make it a goal that you can take action on.
If you take number 5 as one you are taking action on it should look like this.
I am going to grow my business’s digital presents by posting 5 times a week on Instagram for 1 month. I am going to measure the results by paying attention to new comments, DMs, account reach, and assess if we will continue to post this often in order to see sales growth.
NOTE: you need to give a platform at least 6 months to one year before you can decide if it is helping you make sales.
KPI’s – The SPISIFIC result or Thing That Tells You That The Action You Are Taking Is Working
KPIs act as benchmarks that allow you to measure your progress and determine if their goals are realistic and achievable.
By using KPIs, you can track your progress and adjust accordingly.
Strategic Planning for Long-term Success
Strategic planning is essential for businesses that want to achieve long-term success. You are working for the long game not the immediate gratification. Because 9 times out of 10 you are not going to get it.
You will have failures and if you are trying to operate by generic strategies you will struggle to grow.
- Take time to regularly assess your business goals and plans of action to make sure you have a competitive strategy.
- Make sure to look at your key performance indicators.
Remember that you are a business leader even if it is just you working on your business. and remember to stand in your decisions and execute with confidence.
This is where everything can go wrong and cause you to give up on your dream.
Oh my friend. This is when the rubber meets the road and you have to decide if you are in it for the long hull or not.
While it may seem like creating different levels of business strategies are worth the time and effort I promise you these are the things that will keep you going on the days you want to give up.
You need to have things you can look at to remind yourself of why you are going through these hard things. Look at the key elements of your homestead business plan will help you put aside your emotions and tiredness, choose the next step of action you are going to take and keep moving forward.
It’s definitely not done without some grit and determination.
It’s time to get your money-sucking hobby to pay for itself!
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