So often, we get so caught up in what we “should” be doing in our business and what other people are doing that we lose sight of what we truly want, what lights us up, and where we actually want to go. We end up bouncing from tactic to tactic, never quite getting the traction on our business goals or results we crave, always putting out fires, and never feeling fulfilled with the work we do.
Your North Star map guides you, and helps you make decisions.
It helps you figure out what to do next, how to prioritize ideas, and where your time, energy, and money should go.
Should I create a course or a group program? Build a digital product or run a mastermind? Should I do more written content or video content?
Your North Star (aka your big-picture business strategy) will help you answer those questions much more easily.
Your business strategy should connect the following:
Your North Star
What’s your vision? How do you want to be seen? When you leave a room, what do you want people to say about you? Why are you actually in business, and what are you trying to achieve in the long-term? This is hugely important (although many people skip over it), as your North Star is the core that guides the direction you go in, helps you make decisions, and keeps you on track when doing strategic planning for your small business—especially if you battle Shiny Object Syndrome!
Every time I’ve felt lost, unfocused, and like I was floundering in business, it was always because I had lost sight of my North Star and had veered off course. I had started getting distracted by what other people in the industry were doing, battling with Shiny Object Syndrome, and flitting from one half-baked idea to the next. (Anyone else?)
Your personality and strengths—in other words, your unique magic
What lights you up? What gets you excited? What fills you with dread? (Avoid that.) For example, I love relationships and community-building. An anonymous online course wouldn’t be the best fit for me, but I adore running live events and intimate masterminds. How about you?
Your ideal, dreamy, unicorn clients and customers
Who are they, what are they like, what lights them up, and what keeps them awake at night? Start with the people you already know and see if you can figure out any similarities that tie them together. Hopping on short market research interview calls to get their actual opinions will help greatly.
Do you have anything planned already? How much time do you have day to day? What launches do you have coming up? How much time do you realistically have each day? Keep your business goals realistic.
Your marketing and visibility plan
How will you get seen by the right people? Which platforms and mediums will work best to connect all of the above points? If your unicorn clients are not on Instagram, or are too busy to watch webinars, then those tactics likely shouldn’t be a core part of your strategy.
Your content plan
Again, what kind of content and mediums connect your strengths and likes, your ideal clients, and what’s relevant to your business? Don’t be shy exploring YouTube, live video, and things like guest expert trainings, especially if you’re working on building your credibility.
What else do you need to make this happen? Support could be a mastermind, a strategist or coach for the personal support and advice, a team member, new tools, or help around the house or with childcare.
How many of the above questions can you answer clearly and quickly? Don’t worry if you can’t answer many—your business strategy is something that is constantly evolving, and you will likely need to revisit it often. However, I hope that the questions above will help you build a stronger strategy.
Want to learn more about strategic planning for small businesses?
Get our Ultimate Guide to Strategic Planning for Small Businesses here.
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