Strategic Thinking Primer For New Online Business Owners
If you’re a newcomer to the online business world, there’s a good chance you will be reading a lot of guides and advice from experts. One of the common concepts they will try to explain is that you have to have a strategy in place. The trouble is, thinking about strategy is hard to do if you are new to any industry or field. Where do you start, and how do you know what to include?
Of course, no one can create a strategy for your business without intimate knowledge of your plans. But there are a few things you need to consider regarding strategic thinking in the digital world. It’s been some time since we approached this subject, so we thought we would spend today giving you some introductory tips.
You Need Goals
Your first step is to define the goals for your new online business. What is it that you want to achieve? Without knowing where you want to be, how can you possibly create a strategy for getting there? It will end up like you are driving around on a freeway with no idea of where to stop. Define your goals, and then start thinking about the strategy that will take you there in the best possible way.
You Need Knowledge
The online world can be a complicated place, and your strategic thinking should be touching on a whole host of subjects. There are technical aspects of course, and there is an enormous array of marketing channels to understand. You will need to learn about SEO, social media marketing, email lists, and a whole bunch more. We aren’t saying that you need expertise. But, you should be knowledgeable enough to know where to find and communicate with that expertise.
You Can’t Depend On Rational Thought
Whenever you’re planning a strategy, don’t rely on rational or logical events taking place. You have to allow for a little chaos. Take advertising for example. When you’re planning the strategy for a new campaign, all the data you think you need might be in front of you. It gives you the perfect idea, and it’s guaranteed that people will respond to the emotional context of your message in the way you intended. But your ad fails, and your competitor cleans up with an immature, unfunny cat video that goes viral and propels them toward a global status. These things happen in business, often. You just can’t rely on your customers or viewers to make the rational choices you expect.
You Need Competitive Insight
A good deal of strategic thinking fails because business owners are looking in the wrong places. Your strategy should not be about you and your business. It should however depend on everything you know about your competitors. There’s a good reason why the strategist’s bookshelf always contains a copy of The Art Of War. In essence, all strategy is about blowing away your rivals.