Sometimes, business leaders or owners, like myself, overlook Operations.
You might have experienced this — putting all your energy on planning the next best marketing ideas, but then suddenly hitting the breaks because you’re afraid of the sudden influx of workloads, clients, and so on.
And worse, sometimes, we might see our business operations as just spending money. I mean, operations doesn’t always bring instant ROI so we might avoid taking action because we are “saving the hours.”
This makes sense. As business owners, it’s only natural to want to maintain a healthy bottom line. But achieving success goes beyond just adding extra zeros.
And when it comes to reaching our targets, having a good Marketing Strategy is only one part of a bigger puzzle.
Let’s take a look at what makes an Operational Strategy.
An Operational Strategy is what keeps everything working together smoothly. It’s like having a recipe for each task, whether it’s making things or delivering services.
Think of a human resources company. If they had an operational strategy, they would know how many job ads to use, when to interview people, and how to train new people.
An effective one is an operations process that is running like a well-oiled machine.
In our case as online business owners, one of these necessary tasks is the execution of your marketing initiative. But focusing only on this good plan might actually lead to things taking ages to get done!
This can be a problem as you may find yourself caught up in the daily grind, only dealing with day-to-day problems as they rise. This can prevent your business from moving to the next level.
That is why we must understand that the strategy is not more important than the execution.
Do you think you’ve been focusing solely on doing just for the sake of doing?
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself:
Are you spending most of your time and effort on producing more and more social media posts? Often, the aggressive push for marketing sidelines the operations. How much time are you spending creating content vs delivering client results? And how many social media posts lead to landing a client? Understand that too much may also return too little.
Have you been talking about scale without thinking if your operations can actually handle scaling?
To scale is an important goal. But leaders must consider how the operations are going to run at that scale. Bigger is better but is it within your team’s capabilities?
Do you tend to flesh out an offer with no foresight delivery?
What you never want to do is to overpromise and underdeliver. If your operations are strong and align with your marketing communications, this won’t happen.
Your Operations and Marketing Strategies should be in sync:
The point of having an Operations Strategy is to create a base for all aspects of your business.
A helpful operations strategy can tell us “who,” “when,” or “what” when we need to get things done.
As you can see, your marketing strategy needs a strong operations strategy to work well. They need to align seamlessly.
Think of it this way: your business has two dimensions. One that is facing the world and pushes your message to a wider market.
The other is facing internally. It’s like a guide for your team to do great work and give excellent service to your clients.
A good relationship between operations and marketing can give your business holistic insights. Remember that they work hand-in-hand.
Successfully implementing your operations strategy can lead to enhanced process quality. This can improve the service you are providing.
And then that provides an enhanced experience for your clients. This makes your clients happier and leaves them satisfied working with you.
What makes an effective Operations Strategy?
For it to work, your team, how you do things, and what you offer all need to fit together nicely. This helps you reach your goals and keep your business strong.
Here are some elements you need to look at when building your strategy:
Have Clear Goals
Every business owner knows that setting goals is essential for good management. But remember, goals must be clear and specific. Do you need to reach a certain target? Finish projects? Close deals? Having clear answers to these questions helps you focus on goals and make decisions.
Put Systems in Place
In any operation, there is always a flow. To ensure efficiency, there must be a standard that is set every step of the way. Provide a clear hierarchy of point persons. Be ready for mistakes and have a consistent plan on addressing them. Foster an environment of independence with guidance.
Invest in the Right Tools.
Do not cheap out of investing in the right mechanisms to keep your business running smoothly. Saving time and having a clear headspace is always money well spent. Consider having software that helps your team with project monitoring, for communications, or automation. Be open to the idea of purchasing or upgrading software. Feel free to develop your own guidelines and don’t hesitate to consider trying new things. Sometimes, you don’t need another team member, you just need a tool that will do just what you need.
Finding out what drives your forward
Considering it all, another thing that helps make things work better is knowing what drives you.
Do you want your team to be better at their work, or do you want to give great service to your clients or customers?
Are you trying to do better than others in your field, or are you focusing on marking your products or services even better?
Knowing why your operations strategy is important helps you understand your business better as a leader. It lets you look at both the overall plan and the smaller parts of your whole business.
A closer look, yet a wider view.
Keep in mind that your drive may change from time to time because this is all part of the journey of management. Goals change, strategies change and trends will change. What matters is your ability to address all this with the help of good ops.
I hope this entry helped you look at your processes and provided insights. If you follow right rules and everything is aligned, growth and success will be inevitable.
It’s always good to think that no one thing in your business is the most important. Because, in the end, doing marketing well with good operational support leads to optimal results.
Want to know more about what it’s like running a six to multi-six-figure online businesses? We share it all on Instagram as they happen. Follow along our journey @thehomebasedworker
Ps. If you could use end-to-end operational support we might be able to help! Hop on a no-strings-attached 15-minute discovery call with us and we’ll see if we can help you out.