If you're still mapping out your long-term business strategy you're behind the times. Implement a simple change to make your strategy more dynamic.
Anyone have one of those dad's that loves maps? Mine always has. Every summer road trip he'd go to AAA and get the maps we'd need to arrive safely at our destination. He'd spend hours reviewing the roadways, looking at points of interest, calculating travel time, and determining our path. When he was done analyzing all the factors, he would highlight the best path and we would set out on our prescribed course. It was crucial to stick to that course. Deviations would mean the potential of getting lost, missing attractions, or not arriving at our destination.
Mapping out a business strategy can often feel like that huge task of mapping out a family road trip; an overwhelming project that includes hours of research and analysis. Once complete, it is mapped out, etched in stone, and executed upon. A well mapped out business strategy will ultimately lead to a company's success. A poorly mapped out strategy or deviations would lead to failure.
Like I've told my dad - it's time to ditch the map.
Where maps fail is in their ability to provide dynamic and real-time information. They can't tell you where you are in the moment; where you are right now. Maps are not able to take into account changes in traffic patterns, crashes, detours or any other information about what is happening around you right now. Most importantly, they cannot tell you if there is a more efficient route to your destination.
We've updated how we navigate our road trips - it's time to update how we navigate our business strategy.
Three letters, "GPS", have changed how we use maps to arrive at our destination. GPS allows for continual updates, constant re-evaluation of our current situation, and constant analysis if there is a more efficient route to our destination.
Two words, "right now" will change how we use strategy to meet our business goals. When we implement "right now" into our strategy we allow for these same types of dynamic changes. Is this still the most effective route? Have customer buying patterns changed? Did one of our product offerings crash? Are their changes in the market that require a detour? Is there a more efficient route to our business goals?
The new strategy mindset allows for the evaluation of new information and re-evaluation of previous assumptions. Our initial road map shifts from: "our target customers are pediatricians" to "our target customers are pediatricians right now". Now that we can re-evaluate our current situation, we may find that our target customers should be parents of children ages 2-4. The new customer group creates a more efficient route to our business goals. What was once mapped out as Product XYZ being the biggest competition, now becomes Product XYZ being the biggest competition right now.
Today's market is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Small businesses that become entrenched in their established, mapped-out strategies will fail to see real-time changes in their surroundings. They'll be doomed to become the Blockbuster to today's Netflix.
So dust off you're business strategy map. Update it with "right now", right now. You'll have taken the first steps to have a more dynamic business strategy that will do a better job of helping you get to your desired destination.