Tony Shannon, Business Adviser at the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, offers the following advice:
1. Put customers ahead of everything else. Figure out which problems you can solve for your customers or which benefit you are offering.
2. Find out what types of individuals or companies are most likely to want the product or service you are providing. Who are they, where are they, what are their key characteristics?
3. Devise a sales process and a marketing method that will take your business to the customers most likely to “buy” them. This includes price and pricing models, market positioning, and promoting your company in a way they are most likely to respond to.
4. Build your company – the structure, people, systems & processes, reporting, finances, location, name, brand, distribution etc – to focus on and deliver to your customers.
5. Make sure you include digital/online in your strategy – no matter which creative sector you operate in.
1. Think that a certain level of profit or revenue or other business metrics are strategies. They’re not. They’re targets, at best. What you need is a strategy that will take your business there.
2. Slavishly copy what other people have done (they will have ingredients you can’t match or won’t want to match). Some of the best and most innovative strategies probably break all the rules. Do it your way.
3. Assume that your current business model is the most appropriate or best model. Think about licensing, renting, subscription models, Freemium models, franchising, etc in addition to sales revenue.
4. Blindly and unchallengingly believe your business and market assumptions – especially those that relate to numbers. As soon as you hear yourself say, “My numbers are [very/actually/really] conservative” you’ll know they’re probably overblown and over-optimistic. That’s when you need to challenge them most closely.
5. Unthinkingly follow lists of dos and don’ts or tips or guides about strategy.
Tony Shannon is a Business Adviser at the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, covering NSW and ACT. He is a specialist in the business of digital content and digital media.