To be successful in starting a business, you will need to generate sales and therefore sell. This imperative will be felt more or less quickly, depending on the nature of your project, but all businesses need to sell to survive. The business strategy is the means you will use to achieve your business goals.
What is Business Strategy?
As mentioned above, a business needs to generate revenue to survive. Selling is a vital function for any business.
The commercial strategy corresponds to the means implemented to achieve your commercial objectives. Its objective is to win new customers and generate sales. This is a particularly important issue in the context of starting a business. You can’t go for it without approaching it.
If so, it should be addressed in your business plan.
The distinction with marketing is not obvious to many entrepreneurs. Marketing’s mission is to analyze customer needs to sell better. Marketing is at the service of business strategy; it helps to achieve business goals.
When should the Business Strategy be developed?
Before defining your commercial strategy, it is necessary to have studied your market and developed your business model. Precise targeting of future customers is an essential prerequisite, as is the analysis of the competition.
Therefore, the development of a business strategy supposes that you have previously defined the main lines of your business creation project.
Once you have launched your activity, your commercial strategy will be regularly readjusted according to your results, your practices’ evolution, and your new objectives.
How to develop a Business Strategy?
The development and implementation of a business strategy is done in several stages:
- Definition of the commercial objectives to be achieved,
- Development of the retail action plan to achieve the objectives: actions, resources allocated, schedule
- Implementation of the follow-up of commercial actions
- Use monitoring indicators to adapt your action plan
Definition of Business objectives to be achieved
After having defined the main lines of your business creation project, you must set goals to achieve. For example, several customers, a volume of turnover, several contracts signed, several prospects, etc. These objectives can also be qualitative, to” improve the company’s brand image or the notoriety of a product or service.
These objectives are necessarily fixed over some time. As a general rule, in the context of business creation, the goals are initially annual. Then, they are broken down over shorter periods, in particular per month, to allow management. It is not advisable to leave for too short periods (day or week). It may waste your time and energy.
Development of the action plan to achieve the objectives
As soon as your goals are set, it would help determine what your action plan will be to achieve them. Indeed, a goal cannot be achieved by itself. It is your commercial actions that should allow you to accomplish this. This is the most important step in your strategy.
A good product is not enough; you have to know how to reach the right audience, communicate effectively and sell. Concrete actions must be planned to achieve each business objective. Of course, there must be a correlation between the means at your disposal and the goals set.
A precise action plan for each objective to be achieved:
- The people in charge of the commercial operation,
- The means of action activated (advertising campaign, social networks, participation in trade fairs, the establishment of business input partnerships, etc.)
- The period concerned by the action,
- The budget devoted to the action,
- Key performance indicators (KPI).
Implementation of the follow-up of commercial actions
Having defined an action plan is not enough; it is then necessary to set up a follow-up to measure the results and steer the commercial strategy. For this, key performance indicators (KPIs) are required. There are many, many performance indicators. It all depends on your needs. Here are some examples :
- The number of appointments,
- The number of phone calls,
- The conversion rate,
- The opportunities generated,
- The average basket,
- The average turnover.
Then it’s up to you to determine what tools you need to track your business performance. Initially, a dashboard developed on Excel or Google Sheets is more than sufficient. Then, as part of your development, a more elaborate tool may be necessary. This is especially the case when you start recruiting salespeople. Perhaps the use of a CRM will be more appropriate.
Adjustment of the commercial action plan
Depending on the results obtained and the information gathered, the commercial action plan must be readjusted . Learning and accumulated experience allow the commercial strategy to evolve to make it even more efficient. New ways can also let you aim for more ambitious goals.