There are a variety of different, proven strategies a business coach may utilise when creating an effective, actionable plan for your company. However, there is a huge difference between what a good and a great coach will do for your business, and this will therefore have an impact on the tools and resources they draw upon when working with you. But, how do you know if a certain strategy is actually beneficial to you?
We’re discussing some of the most popular business coaching strategies today on our blog so you can understand how they might be utilised to transform your company. Yet, it is important to understand that when working with a coach, they should be taking a tailored, personalised approach as every organisation is unique.
What is a strategy?
A business strategy is an outline of the actions and decisions an organisation’s plans to take to reach specific goals or objective. This structured roadmap defines what a company needs to do to achieve its overall vision, which can help guide the decision-making process and ensure all involved, across each department, continues moving in the right direction.
You are strategising, creating a set of tactics that will put you in front of the competition – you may even consider it a game of chess! Your opponents are always just one move behind, so how can you plan ahead?
Why is this important?
Many companies look to utilise business coaching strategies without fully understanding exactly why selecting the right one is so important. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of this tool:
- Planning: A business strategy helps you identify the key steps you need to take to reach your goals.
- Strengths and weaknesses: You’ll be able to identify and evaluate your company’s strengths and weaknesses, ensuring you can then focus your plans around these.
- Efficiency: Effectively allocate the correct resources as you have a specific structure in place to base your decisions upon this, automatically increasing your levels of efficiency.
- Control: Gives you more control of the path you are taking and easily assess whether the actions you are taking are moving you close to your goals.
- Competitive advantage: When you identify a clear path, you can focus on capitalizing on your strengths and utilise this against your competition.
What are the key components that make up business coaching strategies?
- Vision and business objectives – intended to focus your strategy; once you have a clear vision you can create a clear set of instructions setting out what needs to be done and who will be responsible for this.
- Core values – guides top-level executives as well as all departments about what should or shouldn’t be done in accordance with core values.
- SWOT analysis – SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is included in every strategy, highlighting what should be a focus and drawing awareness onto what may be a struggle.
- Tactics – saving time and effort by creating a set schedule of when the operations should be completed to maximise efficiency.
- Resource allocation plan – detailing where you will find the resources required, how these should be allocated and who will be responsible for this.
- Measurement – the strategy must include a way to measure the output, evaluating the performance and overall success in relation to the initial goals set.
The most popular business coaching strategies
Now we understand the main components and features of a strategy, we can look at some of the most popular methods. Understanding these and skillfully implementing them can help entrepreneurs achieve success, but of course, these are only brief outlines; using a coach will ensure these can be tailored specifically to you and any obstacles you may face within each will not seem so significant a drawback.
Growth for new features or products
A growth strategy entails introducing new products or adding new features to existing products. It can be effective to constantly innovate to keep up with the latest trends and developments within your industry – ensuring you maintain your position when up against your competitors. It’s a very popular strategy that many large-scale corporations take advantage of, pushing for constant rivalry.
For example, a fast-fashion brand or mobile phone company is constantly releasing new items and features to compete. Each has to keep up with consumer demand to survive, and their customers desire the very latest in cutting-edge – if they don’t fulfil this brief, it’s likely their buyers will go elsewhere.
Cornering new markets
Whilst you may think you know your target audience through and through, it can be highly effective to reevaluate this – you may even discover a new, unexpected market to take advantage of. This business strategy looks to find niche areas that could provide an opportunity yet to be discovered by a competitor, thereby allowing your business to pave the way.
For example, an eco-soap manufacturer may target only eco-retailers but perhaps an industrial company are looking to reduce their environmental impact? This may be a market you hadn’t even considered but could see you go on to provide for large-scale companies looking to make a difference, but you need to know where to look for these opportunities and how to make sure you are the front runner.
A very common business strategy, especially for business-to-consumer (B2C) organisations. They can differentiate their products by highlighting the fact that they have superior technology, features, pricing or styling.
A few questions to consider when creating a strategy based upon differentiation is:
- What it is that makes you different?
- How do the differences benefit your customer?
- Why are you different? (is there a story to tell behind this?)
- What will your customer feel when they buy your product rather than your competitors?
There are two main routes a business can go down when creating a pricing strategy; they can choose to either keep their prices low to attract more customers or give their products an aspirational quality by pricing them beyond what most people could afford.
If a company plans to keep their prices low, it will need to sell much higher volumes of its stock to see success as the profit margin is not usually very high. Whereas, companies that choose to price above the means of the ordinary customer will reap the benefits of a larger profit margin – and, will also create a sense of exclusivity that will showcase the brand as desirable.
Acquisition to gain a competitive edge
An acquisition entails one company purchasing another company or one, or more of its product lines. This can be a highly beneficial move, allowing a business to grow and offer their customers more than other potential competitors – effectively giving them a new edge to build upon.
For example, ASOS continually partner with new brands to ensure they have the very latest styles and fashion available to their consumers; they will buy a specific fashion line from another retailer ultimately acting as the superior go-to for all looks provider.
It is possible for businesses to now utilise sustainability or technological developments to base a strategy upon. For example, you may decide to relaunch with a focus on one of the elements – either highlighting a new cutting-edge feature that will see your product/service enhanced dramatically, or showcasing your dedication to reducing your carbon footprint. Both may provide you with higher levels of customer retention as you look to innovate and go beyond what your competitors are doing. However, bear in mind that other businesses may then look to join this movement you’ve created and this strategy could quickly be copied by others.
The takeaway: Business coaching strategies
The above list is certainly not exhaustive, there are a variety of different strategies available and you should not feel limited when working with your coach. Whilst the above provides you with a brief overview of some of the most popular strategies, it’s important to understand that an effective business plan requires time and effort. It will require you to challenge yourself, but a coach can ensure you are fully aware of the resources and tools required to create an achievable, actionable strategy (considering any obstacles or issues that may delay the process) that will provide your business with the right results. After all, it’s no good creating a plan that doesn’t bring you the desired outcome!
Are you looking for a new business strategy that will see your business strive? As a business coach with over 30 years of experience, I have a plethora of different methods that can help you reach your goals. I know how important it is that you feel comfortable throughout this process, so together we’ll collaborate and formulate a plan you can trust. Each time I work with a new business, I spend the time getting to know the ins and outs, ensuring I have the full picture before tailoring my suggestions to you – guaranteeing you a personalised, successful service. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this contact form, and I’ll be happy to discuss how I can work with you to transform your organisation.