Business Strategy 101

Here are three things you ABSOLUTELY need to do if you want to start thinking strategically in your business. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it's a place to start.

Define what you want

It seems simple enough right? Starting with the end in mind. But the truth is that it's easier said than done. If this is new to you then you can start by thinking three months out, or six. Then, when you get comfortable look further. To a year and beyond.

What does success look like for you?

Notice that in none of the above did I mention your business? Because it isn't important yet. Your business needs to be something that allows you to live the life you want. What does that look like? Then, once that's done, you can focus on what the business needs / wants in order to get there. Apply this same logic to your business.

Listen. No one is telling you to say where you or your business is going to be in thirty years. That's stupid. There's too much change and chaos in the world to be able to know that. But understanding what your place may be in that world is a little easier. Especially with practice.

Start small and grow from there.

Gather Information

In 2002 Donald Rumsfeld, while speaking at a DoD news briefing said there are different categories of intelligence.

  1. Known Knowns (we know what we know)

  2. Known Unknowns (we know what we don't know)

  3. Unknown Knowns (we don't know what we know)

  4. Unknown Unknowns (we don't know what we don't know)

That last category is far and away the most dangerous. It comes from ignorance, sometimes willful, and the fact that there is so much knowledge out there it can be difficult to keep up. So that means you need information channels in place. In the same way your business needs communication channels.

Whether it be by connecting with others in your industry. Reading leading edge literature. Even having google alerts set up. Start in a small way. Every bit of quality information you gather, for use by the entrepreneur, the smaller that third category becomes.


This also applies to internal business information. Do you know who your target customer is? Your average sale? Your cost of customer acquisition?

If not, it may be time to work on it.

Take Small Bites

Empires are not forged in a day. Plants don't grow a foot overnight. Often we will see individuals with great success and this part of us will want that for ourselves. We'll think we deserve it. We've put the effort in. The time.

But was it the right time? Was the effort put towards the right thing?

Once you have an idea of where you want to be. You've established that forward thought. And once you've collected information and established those channels. The next step is to break that journey down into it's individual steps. The actions. The behaviours.

If you want to eat a cake you won't put all of it in your mouth at one. No. You would cut it off, piece by piece and persevere.

You can accomplish great things one small bite at a time.