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Why Cookie-Cutter Business Strategies are Problematic

Mar 7, 2023

Take a look anywhere online and you’ll be inundated with “must haves” and “quick tips” for growing your business. Whether it’s an Instagram post or YouTube video, this one-size-fits-all advice is everywhere. 

The online space is full of cookie-cutter business strategies for achieving an arbitrary 7-figure goal, but is it really all good advice? Should you be listening to (and implementing) everything they talk about?

As a COO and strategic partner for 6- and 7-figure brands, I’d say no. 

The problem with inputting everything you hear online is that you begin to lose your unique value. People no longer recognize you as a brand but as just one of many online businesses trying to sell them something.

If you want to grow, if you want to keep your business around for the long run, that can be absolutely devastating to your brand’s reputation. 

So what do you do? How do you know which advice to listen to or if the cookie-cutter business strategies you see online can actually make an impact in your business? 

The problem with cookie-cutter business strategies

Here’s the truth about many of the business strategies you see online: They do work, but they don’t work for everybody. In fact, they’ve probably only really worked for the person talking about them, years ago when they were an early adopter. Mostly, they only tell the story of how one person found success, and aren’t set up to show others how to do the same

Let’s take a deeper look at why. 

The strategies are outdated

Most advice online is outdated. Think about how fast information moves and how quickly social media marketing has changed in even just one year. 

The same strategies people used in 2017 are not going to be the same ones that can find success in 2023. Too much has changed. Even if you find your business is comparable to theirs, you’re sitting in a different industry, with different competitors, different financial situations, different tools, and you’re at a different starting point than them. 

Instagram has changed…a lot

People who boast about hitting it big on Instagram probably were right on the money…back in 2017. Or at least back when it was a photo-sharing app and before it became oversaturated with influencers and ads. 

Today, Reels have become the primary focus, so you have to also consider that creating content 7-8 years ago was far less time-consuming than it is now. There were no cameras, microphones, or time needed to research trending audio. It was a MUCH simpler process. 

Which really, can be applied to any social media platform. 

Most people aren’t in the weeds anymore

Most of the people selling advice online don’t even do the thing they’re teaching anymore. And that’s great, but, it causes a disconnect.

Just last week I was sitting in a meeting where someone at the table claimed that 10K runners don’t carry a wallet with them during the race. I don’t need to tell you this, but I definitely had to share with everyone in that audience that every runner I know has a watch or phone tracking their pace… both of which can process credit card transactions.   

There was an obvious disconnect there, and the same thing happens in business.

You hear advice, take it seriously, try implementing it into your own business, and wonder why “expert advice” isn’t working. While some things don’t change (having a good offer, knowing how to build connections with your audience, etc.), that information needs to be adjusted to the times. 

Other factors are at play

What’s happening outside a business — like the economy, inflation, social and political movements, and easier access to information for more conscious consumption — plays a big role in how your audience interacts with your business, even if indirectly. 

People are more conscious than they were in 2017 about the impact their spending has. They want to give their hard-earned dollars to a company that aligns with their own personal values. And they want to make sure they have the means to do it.

Anytime the economy takes any level of a downward turn, people are going to be more conscious of what they’re spending their money on because most people don’t have as much disposable income in a recession. 

But the cookie-cutter business advice you see online doesn’t consider that because it’s frozen in time.

How to find a strategy that works for you

At the end of the day, I’m saying that all of the online business marketing advice out there could work. There is some amount of truth to it. Otherwise, those folks wouldn’t be where they are today. 

However, it should always be taken with a grain of salt and reviewed within the context of how it could help your brand. What works for them isn’t going to 100% work for you. No piece of advice ever will. 

So the best strategy is to take inspiration from advice. Just because someone is telling you that you “need” to do XYZ, doesn’t mean you must do this to find success. Every business is unique, and so are the strategies you need to succeed. 

Before adopting a strategy or trying it on for size, check in with yourself and ask:

  • Is this going to help me accomplish what I want to accomplish?
  • Is there anything I have to adapt or exclude to make it fit to my business?
  • Should I do any other research to see if this is right for my business?
  • What pieces will I need to make this work? (A new team member, a new software, etc.)
  • Has anyone in my field / at my level in business managed to make this work?
  • What can I bring to this formula that is unique to my business?

The best thing you can do for your business is stick to tried-and-true strategies… while mixing your unique magic into it. 

Need help crafting a strategy that’s uniquely yours? 

I know that it can be difficult to sift through all the information you see online to figure out what will be the most impactful to your bottom line. You work hard on your business, your time is limited, and you want to ensure everything put towards your growth strategy works. 

If you need a little bit of guidance and support as you do it, I want to invite you to join me inside the Your Best Business Mastermind

This growth coaching program was designed especially for women who want to build a profitable business on their own terms, and scale in a way that doesn’t feel off-brand.

This isn’t a program full of quick tricks and bandaids. Instead, you’re getting access to coworking sessions, coaching calls, and vetted resources that can help you break through the noise to find a strategy that’s uniquely you. 

If you’re ready to start making consistent progress toward the vision you hold for your business without trying on a shiny new software or strategy every month, join us here

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