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Chapter 2

Chapter 2


So, you’ve proved your business idea to be a workable commodity. Your product or service resonates with your customers and this has led to a consistent flow of income. Now it’s time to think about the long-game, promoting your product and handling the responsibility of running a company.

When we asked those we surveyed, some saw survival in terms of “staying alive”, while for some it meant “successful growth while maintaining profit”. Across the board, it came down to incorporating “any improvement that makes the business more profitable, efficient or productive.”

Juggling a multitude of tasks may seem daunting, but a well thought-out strategic plan is the first step to a smoother self-employed journey. Many of those we spoke to admitted to not planning well enough in advance, so here’s how to start thinking about the strategy you’ll use.

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Ask yourself

  • Have your mission and values shifted?
  • Where is your business going?
  • What is your vision for your company?
  • What initiatives will be the most successful once you achieve your vision and improving your position in the market?
  • How do you define success?
  • What initiatives are most urgent?
  • What about your business resonates and attracts customers?

The five-minute strategic plan

Vision Statement

The future is hard to predict. But a strategic plan can tell you where your business is going and what it will look like.Understanding the steps required to reach your vision can be the most time-consuming part of creating one.

But what will make this easy is deciding on a vision statement. Think about the story you’d like to be written about your business in 10 or 20 years time. Your vision statement is the headline to that story.

Let’s say you start a successful design company. How do you see it changing the world? Your vision statement needs to be big, compelling and exciting. Like: “We’re going to make the visual aesthetic of our clients more beautiful and functional than they could possibly imagine.” Or: “When it’s time for any brand to overhaul their look and feel of everything they do, we’re the ones they’ll call.”


Next, use a SWOT matrix to help you find your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your company may face.

Test if you’re heading in the right direction. It’s good to know where you stand. Using a SWOT matrix to drive strategy will keep you thinking about positive and negative aspects inside your business and out. Self analysis is important, but always keep one eye on what competitors are doing, learning from their failings and their innovations.

Review your strategic position regularly and you’ll always know where your business stands in the marketplace, and whether you need to adapt or change.

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