You can have a core strategy for nearly anything.
All you need is a goal and the ability to work backward from it by inspecting the ingredients that make it work.
What is a core strategy?
Having a core strategy means placing bets on the most important levers in your business.
Everything you do filters through the lens of that one most important bet (your strategy).
Let’s use an example
Let’s say you’re trying to sell flex desk memberships. You can’t seem to sell them and you don’t know why.
You know that nobody signs up without seeing your space first, so you decide to optimize your approach around that one key factor.
You decide your core marketing strategy will be to get as many people in the door as possible in the hopes that they see how great your space is, and then either sign up or tell someone they know.
At first, you aren’t too picky about who you get in the door. You are simply optimizing for numbers. With any luck, you will generate a few members and referrals in the process.
So, your strategy is simple: get as many people into your space as possible.
What would you do tactically to execute on that strategy?
Chances are, you would keep doing all the usual stuff. But it forces you to think outside the box, too.
You would probably do things like:
- Host free events in your space for members and non-members
- Invite people to work in your space for free one day per week
- Offer your space to meetups who need a place to meet
- Give away a free trial of your flex desk memberships
- Allow members to bring a friend to work with them a few times per month
- Open your space up to the community on weekends
- Work with local non-profit and community organizations to provide occasional access to your space in exchange for basic advertising to their patrons
There are lots of ways you could optimize your marketing systems for getting people into your space if that was your sole focus.
Spreading your strategy too thin will make it hard for any single tactic to perform at its best. It requires a singularity of focus to get the best results.
The more focused you are, the better results you’ll get.
So how do you create a core strategy for your business?
To create a core strategy, go back to the basics.
Let’s say you’re trying to get more members for a particular service. Ask yourself, “what is an essential ingredient involved in getting a person to sign up for this service?”.
In our example, we bet that if we get enough people in the door, selling the service would be automatic.
You won’t know for sure, so you’re placing a bet on the ingredient you think will most likely lead to a result.
Optimize for that ingredient, see if it works.
If it doesn’t work, refine the approach or try something else. Repeat until you tap into the ingredient(s) most likely to lead to a new member registration.
Then double down on that ingredient. That becomes your new and improved strategy.
You should be able to say your core strategy in one sentence, and that sentence should inform the rest of your tactics.
Without a strategy, you’re relying on hope and hard work.
So, what’s the most essential ingredient involved in attaining the outcome you’re looking for?
Are you doing everything possible to optimize for the accomplishment of that one thing?