Link between simple strategy pitch and success
Can you easily articulate your business strategy less than 60 secs?
Most business owners get that they need a product elevator pitch for sales, but have you considered whether you have a strategy pitch for your stakeholders?
Strategy without execution is just a waste of time. If your staff fail to “get” what your strategy is all about, how are they going to engage with it, think out of the box and work as a team to achieve the goals set out in it? Do not expect your team to read that strategy document you diligently prepared or mind read. How many of your staff could tell you what the company’s growth strategy is?
“A business plan is a document that investors ask for but never read” whether you are raising capital or inspiring your team – you are responsible for creating the interest in your strategy and delivering it in a manner that people will engage with and act on.
After helping many business owners over the years with their investment pitch I have come to the conclusion that: the leaders who fail in the ability to deliver a succinct version of their business strategy, will fail to grow beyond where they are now – irrespective of investment or not. This is evident when I see companies year after year going nowwhere – failing to achieve the growth talked about but never delivered.
Too many businesses suffer from the lack of clarity, wasting time with a team not empowered to say no to stray activities “off strategy”, basically letting fate decide what they should be focusing on. In many of these cases the business owner has it all in his head but fails to communicate it. Or worst still a non- connected or busy management team that have parts of it but are not aligned.
High growth businesses live in a chaotic world, most staff living on the edge chasing tails. Failure to articulate your business strategy to your stakeholders (team, board, investors) is just as bad as not having a strategy at all.
My advice is take your business plan / strategy and condense it down to less than five key statements – themes that people get. Eg Market share is king, more important than profits. The power of the message is inversely proportional to the number of words used.
This condensing could even be considered as a bolt-on-phase to your existing planning technique.
Creating and expressing your business strategy as an elevator pitch is a mind bender, but the resulting clarity is empowering. The conversations that you and your team will have around condensing your strategy is a worthwhile exercise in its self.
- Have a go at presenting your business strategy verbally: no props or power point, can you do it? Have your strategy challenged by someone fresh outside your business or a new employee.
- Use an external facilitator who excels at this to help accelerate the extraction of the core strategy and listen with fresh ears – BTW this is GMC’s speciality 🙂
- Use diagrams and pictures to focus thinking, business model canvas, balanced score card diagrams
- Engage specialist graphical recording – facilitation techniques to record and stimulate complex enterprise strategies and problems. This powerful technique is relatively rare in NZ. Here is a link to one of the many you tube clips explaining this technique. Two NZ providers GMC work with are: www.motive8.co.nz/ and www.martincoates.com contact GMC if you want to give it a go.
- Everything can be simplified, strategy does not need to be complex
Irrespective of whether you are thinking of raising capital or not, creating clarity and simplicity in your business strategy is key to getting staff, board and potential investors engaged and actually achieving goals.
If you can clearly and succinctly articulate your strategy you have a far higher chance of actually executing it.