I’d love to tell you that everything in my business has gone smoothly, or that every client I start working with suddenly finds success and everything is golden. The truth is, though, that even the businesses with the most solid offers can struggle sometimes. The key to success isn’t being perfect from the start, it’s being able to review your strategy and correct course. But first, you have to know which mistakes might be present in your business strategy. Here are a few I see all the time…
Mistake #1: Not having a strategy
It’s easy to want to jump in and get your business up and running, but you want to make sure all of your energy is used wisely. The biggest mistake I see business owners make is to, well, not have a strategy at all.
Without a business strategy, you’re more likely to throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks. One week you may follow one prescribed content calendar schedule and the next week, you’re trying something completely different. Your launch periods may feel like chaos because there is no internal standard to follow.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s good to be flexible. But if you don’t have a singular strategy, you may give yourself (and your team) whiplash when trying to change directions, always trying to do the new best thing without a foundation to lean on. The result? Inconsistent revenue, a resentful team, and burnout all around.
It’s always better late than never. Never be afraid to go back to the drawing board and draft a strategy now.
Mistake #2: Creating a strategy that’s too rigid
On the other side of the coin, maybe you created a strategy at the start, but it’s becoming more of a constraint than a help. Maybe your tasks are based on a benchmark that isn’t feasible right now, or you want to explore a part of your industry that your strategy doesn’t account for.
Unlike the situation in Mistake #1, your strategy may have been built on assumptions that are no longer true for your business. Maybe your content calendar calls for 7 posts a week, when 3 are more effective for your audience. Maybe you’re still launching new products when current offers aren’t selling.
No one likes to feel painted into a corner; soon, you and your team may feel like you’re working 24/7 for not a lot of payoff. That’s another perfect recipe for burnout.
It’s good to plan for the year, but when it comes to your quarterly planning, stay flexible with the details. That gives you the room you need to adapt when things (inevitably) go differently than you planned.
Mistake #3: Stretching yourself too thin
Is there such a thing as being too ambitious? Absolutely! It’s great to have big aspirations for your business but to keep yourself from burning out, you want to narrow your focus onto one or two big projects a quarter. We tend to overestimate our mental bandwidth, and then feel guilty when we go above our limits.
Of course, there’s nothing to feel guilty about, but it’s best to pour all of your energy into a few projects. If your business strategy is more demanding than it needs to be, see Mistake #2 again; this is why flexibility is so crucial! Your efforts are more likely to pay off and you’ll feel better for it, too!
Mistake #4: Confusing ideas with intentions
If you’re like me, you probably find that the best ideas come at the most inconvenient times. You could try to act on all of them, but that’s not going to give you the kind of results you expect.
Just because you have a great idea you think your audience will love, it doesn’t mean that you actually need to act on it. You can vet your ideas by looking at your strategy and seeing if they align with next month’s or next quarter’s plan. If not, put it in the parking lot for later.
Mistake #5: Not customizing your strategy to your business
It’s tempting to find a strategy that works for another company and apply it tit-for-tat to your own, but it often doesn’t yield the same results. Why? Because it’s made for their business, not your business!
Definitely do your research, but resist the urge to copy someone else’s strategy completely. Your business is unique: your audience, products, messages, and themes are going to be different. When you tailor your strategy to your business’s needs, that’s when it’ll finally yield the results you are looking for!
Mistake #6: Not looking at your assets
When you’re trying to correct your mistakes, don’t forget to look at what you’re doing right! Tracking your analytics is crucial to see what is working for you. You can use tools like SWOT analysis to see what you are hitting out of the park and, from there, you can look into how you can leverage that to scale further.
The fix? Create a strategy that’s based on a strong foundation
Remember, your strategy is more than internal guidelines for your team. Your business strategy provides the foundation for your projects, operations, and culture. Plus, much like building a house on a cliffside, cracks in your foundation can lead to things going downhill QUICKLY.
If you are feeling burnt out without as much payout in your business lately, it may be time to reassess your strategy. Maybe your current work isn’t really aligned with your skillset or what you want to actually deliver. Maybe your current projects aren’t allowing for the shifts that are taking place internally. There is a lot going on in any business, and you need to be able to direct strategy based on real-world scenarios.
If you’re not sure what strategic projects should be your focus this quarter, I can help. With my Shiny Object Syndrome workbook, you can clarify your vision, sharpen your business’ focus, and get back to work with a new sense of purpose.