4 Strategic Steps to Build a Profitable Small Business

Kristen David, a former trial lawyer and partner who went from working 85 hours a week and barely making ends meet, built it up to a million-dollar-plus business, then sold her shares and pivoted into a business coach guru. She is now an international speaker, and bestselling author, and operates a successful coaching firm, empowering business owners to build thriving, profitable businesses that are self-managed with systems. She helps busy business owners build those systems by implementing policies and procedures the Fast Track Way. Learn more at www.uplevelingyourbusiness.com.

Do you ever find yourself saying you’ll refine your plan when you grow your business to (insert a level of growth)? I get it – business planning can feel like it’s something that happens once you’ve “arrived.” 

I’m going to turn that myth on its head. Planning isn’t what you do once you arrive…it’s actually a large part of what gets you to your destination.

Whether you’re just starting out as a solopreneur or have grown your business to multi-7 figures (or more), you can fast track your business growth by simply taking some time to lay out a plan – and then being selective in how to spend your precious resources of time and money.

As a business owner, you need four things in terms of strategy: A Business Strategy, a Marketing/Sales Strategy, an Infrastructure/Technology Strategy, and a Financial Strategy.  

Most businesses don’t realize that it isn’t hard to build strategies for success and have a framework for planned growth. As Michael Porter has said, “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”  

Today, I’d like to share a breakdown for developing strategies in each of these four pillars.

Building a Business Strategy 

This is the category where a business outlines its big-picture plans and strategy for growth. Questions to be answered include the following:  

  • WHAT does your business do and what does it not do?
  • WHEN does it do it?
  • WHO does it sell to?
  • WHERE does it sell and for how much?
  • Strategically over time, HOW does it morph, scale, grow, pivot when necessary, and survive the ever-changing market successfully?

As you’re thinking through these questions, I encourage you to look at both short-term (cash flow) needs and long-term (growth) goals. In this step, you’re building your foundation – your decisions will impact the other strategies!

Defining a Marketing & Sales Strategy

In order to define a marketing and sales strategy that will align with your business plan, you’ll need to take the time to get clear on the following:

  • Your ideal audience – who do you want to work with and serve (and who do you not)?
  • How to reach them – where do they hang out?
  • What do they want – what are their pain points and desires, and how can you best give them what they’re looking for?

These are some of the questions that will form the basis for your messaging and positioning.

And when you have sound, well-orchestrated marketing strategies bringing in the right prospects, you’ll find that it’s much easier for your Sales Team (even if that’s you right now) to convert your prospects into paying clients.

Documenting the Infrastructure / Technology Strategy 

One of my favorite quotes comes from Michael Gerber: “Systems run the business, people run the systems.” 

Developing your infrastructure – the nuts and bolts, policies, procedures, tech platforms, etc. – is essential, especially as your company grows. This will not only keep you from getting sucked into “shiny object syndrome,” but it will also help you put together your organizational strategy.

This includes who you will need to hire as you grow, how they will work together, expectations, your culture, and how you will support and develop your team so they thrive and grow as they help you drive your business forward.

Developing Your Financial Strategy

Hopefully, you are creating a business that allows you to do what you love – but it’s important to treat your business as a business, not a hobby. 

That means that you’ll need to work toward turning a profit. Profit is what allows a business owner options to grow, pivot, and make an impact.

If numbers and finance are your strengths, take some time to dig into your reports. If not, build a strong Financial Team and lean into them!

Getting clear on your financial strategy allows you to grow your business in a planned fashion – and getting clear on how much money your company needs will allow you to stay in your sweet spot. 

Bottom Line

Building a business is an amazing adventure, but it’s also a strategic one. It’s all about knowing your options, choosing where and when to invest your resources, and creating a plan that aligns with the thriving, profitable business you want to build!

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