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Five Questions to Clarify Your Business Strategy

Clarity is essential to any business plan.

Allyson Lewis, 04/16/2009

As a public speaker on productivity and time management, I am regularly encouraging the attendees of our workshops to "clarify their business strategy." As the writer of this article, I reached for a thesaurus to help readers understand the importance of the words "clarity" and "clarify" and these are some of the synonyms I found:
* Clear
* Comprehensible
* Understandable
* Focused
* Clear cut
* Precise
* Plain
* Unambiguous
* Unclouded
* Transparent
* Distinct
* Sharp

I was immediately struck by the sharp contrast of the uncertainty and unpredictability we face in the markets as financial advisors compared with the focus and certainty we can have if we will take the time to "clarify" our business strategies.

Your business strategy is the foundation that encompasses your personal beliefs, mission, values, and purpose. Every day your life is filled with a broad array of choices and decisions and your business strategy is what predetermines the policies and procedures that you believe will best help your clients reach their long-term goals and objectives.

As financial advisors, your business strategy will include information on:
* Understanding how the markets work in today's volatile economy
* How to deliver ever improving customer service
* How to most effectively market your business
* How to build an efficient team
* Prospecting
* Networking
* Personal development

From this foundation you build concrete plans of the daily activities that will help you implement your business strategy. It will be the consistency of your efforts with these daily activities that will be the most important key to your success. But, before you can outline the daily activities, you must first develop and clarify your business strategy.

With this in mind, here are five questions to help you "clarify" your business strategy:

1. What do you really do?
This may seem like a straightforward question, but very few people have taken the time to come up with a compelling answer. If you are going to market yourself to others you must first clearly define what you do and how you are different from your competition.

When I am asked this question my answer will be something like, "I am a financial advisor. My mission is to educate, motivate and encourage. I try to find out where my clients are today and where they want to be in the future. Then we work together to create a comprehensive financial strategy to help take them there. Do you have a comprehensive financial strategy?"

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