So it is important to sometimes stop, evaluate, and regroup.
Begin evaluating your strategy by asking yourself these questions:
What was my goal?
What were the steps I had planned on taking to get to my goal?
Of these things, what have I accomplished?
What are the things that worked? What are the things that didn’t?
What is working right now?
What are the problems I should be working on right now?
As it stands today, what advantages and disadvantages do I have?
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With all these questions you have to be extremely honest and critical of the state of your business. It is very easy to paint a rosy picture, but that should not be the case. The truth may not be easy considering we pour out our heart into our business, but facing the truth with vulnerability will allow for an fruitful evaluation.
You can begin that evaluation through a SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is a term that frequently comes up in business that it sometimes feels more like a cliche than anything else. However, it is one of those things that does wonders if used correctly.
The SWOT stands for these for acronyms: Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The idea is to harness your strength, work on your weaknesses, take the opportunities, and deal with the threats appropriately.
entrepreneurs typically start a business believing that they can solve a problem, fill a need, or enhance a passion. They also believe that they can succeed because they have a certain set of skills. So what are your skills? What makes your company strong.
Think about it.
Write a few of these things down. Be proud of them because it is important before you start criticizing where you are on your journey to acknowledge how far you have gotten regardless if you feel like you have deviated at some point or another.
You did great! Somethings may need to change, but you made it this far.
What are some of the things that you feel your business is lacking. Note, we are recalling these things to mind not to feel bad about them, but to shed some light on what needs to improve. So, what are some of the things that are challenging to your business? It could be a high employee turn-over rate. It could be lack of digital presence. Really, anything that is challenging to your business.
Think about it.
Write these things down. By identifying the issues, you can find creative solutions.
Think about it.
Write down the opportunities or at least where you need to look to find them.
Sometimes I feel as through threats should be introduced with some scary sound effects, just for the fun of it. In all seriousness though, threats are the things that you are worried about. These things could be internal to the business or external. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic was outside of everyone’s control, but some businesses looked at the threads and thought outside the box. They turned these threats into opportunities.
Maybe you can do that too!
So, once again, stop! Think about it, and write these treats down. Once you identify them, you can then think through them and hopefully find good and valuable solutions.
So now that you have done this quick SWOT analysis; let’s take a look at principals of strategy evaluation by Dr. Richard Rumelt, UCLA business professor and renowned strategist.
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Principles of Digital Marketing Strategy Evaluation
Rumelt identities four principles that are essential to strategy evaluation. These are:
Consistency: The strategy must not present mutually inconsistent goals and policies.
Consonance: The strategy must represent an adaptive response to the external environment and to the critical changes occurring within it.
Advantage: The strategy must provide for the creation and/or maintenance of a competitive advantage in the selected area of activity.
Feasibility: The strategy must neither overtax available resources nor create unsolvable subproblems.
So what does this all mean?
In the case of consistency, it means but the strategy needs to be consistent with the organizational action for it to be a fruitful strategy.
There needs to be a consistency in the message that is conveyed and The goals that the strategy is hoping to achieve. For example, if the company is looking to sell a high-value products at a high price, then strategy should always be consistent with that goal. If the company starts to look for for ways to mass-produce at a lower cost, then the strategy would not be consistent and therefore will have a lot of flaws.
Where do you stand in respect to your environment?
When evaluating your strategy, it is important to understand the surrounding environment to understand whether or not what you want to do is actually achievable. Can you do what you are setting out to do? You have to keep in mind that you are trying to do things, adapt to the environment, and compete with other businesses that are in it.
You could be trying to achieve something others never have before like TESLA. It may be unthinkable to others, but Elon Musk, the founder of the company, must have really understood his environment and the complexities that came along with it.
Even when he didn’t, he must have stopped and reevaluated, and continued. However way he did this, he considered where his company stood, and where he wanted it to go
Advantage of something that was mentioned in the SWOT analysis; however, Rumlet Asked what we know about advantage. He explains that “competitive strategy is the art of creating or exploiting those advantages that are most telling, enduring, and most difficult to duplicate.”
so it’s not just about knowing your competitive advantage, but rather exploiting them to get exactly to where you want to go. What He suggests is that instead of looking at the differences between your business and that of the competitor, it would be better to focus on your competitive advantage, truly understand it, and allow it to tell your story to the maximum, so that you can achieve your mission. You need to make sure that you understand and hone in on your competitive advantage so that it would become extremely difficult to duplicate.
As you evaluate your strategy, you can take it from the generic strategy, to one that is winning.
The last thing you want to consider when re-evaluating your strategy, is feasibility. is your strategy feasible? can it be achieved with the resources that are available to you? this could be human resources, financial resources, technological resources or any other resources that you might need for you to achieve your strategy.The final broad test of strategy is its feasibility. Can the strategy be attempted within the physical, human, and financial resources available?
When considering feasibility, Rumelt explains that there are three helpful questions to ask. these are:
Has the organization demonstrated that it possesses the problem-solving abilities and/or special competences required by the strategy?
Has the organization demonstrated the degree of coordinative and integrative skill necessary to carry out the strategy?
Does the strategy challenge and motivate key personnel and is it acceptable to those who must lend their support?
Strategy is a key when it comes to growing your company, so now that you have had the time to evaluate where you stand it’s time for implementation.
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