How to build a (very) successful business strategy

In order to decide which tactics and strategies you’ll need to make your business succeed, you require a business strategy. You have to build a successful one, and this course can teach you all about its foundation. Plus, find out which are the most suitable options to start a small business.

BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS STRATEGY

A business strategy is a summary of the steps that the company will take in order to achieve its goals. It also includes information about how it’ll meet the customers’ expectations and stand out in the market.

This course was developed at the University of Virginia and can provide you both the foundations of a successful business strategy and the tools you’ll need to achieve it. There are several analysis tools that you’ll learn how to use, which can really make a difference in your business.

After you finish the course, you’ll have enough skills to strategically analyze the competitive environment. That'll help you become a big competitor in the market, as well as a good advisor in terms of firm positioning and value creation. The last one is a company’s biggest goal, whether it’s for customers or shareholders.

With the help of theory and frameworks, you’ll be taught how to judge an industry’s structure and the effects of competitive dynamics on its profitability. A well-known framework, the five forces tool, will help you in these analyses.

The course also includes the use of strategy maps to analyze firm positioning. You’ll learn four different competitive positions, each one of them with its pros and cons. There’s even the chance to discuss these in different hypothetical cases so as to see which one would be the best to see maximum value.

There’s the possibility to receive financial help if you can’t afford to pay the course fee. It doesn’t provide extra credit, but you can ask your university’s authorities if they do accept the course certificate for extra credit.

BONUS TRACK: CREATIVE IDEAS TO START A SMALL BUSINESS

Most of the people dream about building their own small business, however, not everybody knows exactly what they can do. It's never too late to start, so you just need to plan what you can offer and how you can do it.

If you still are a bit lost, take a look at this list of creative ideas to build a small business:

1. Laundry Shop: This kind of small business always in high demand. There's plenty of people who need this service. If you want to open a laundry shop, bear in mind that speed is one of the main features people look for in a laundry shop. So, try to provide washing and dryer machines! This business needs a minimum investment to start, but you will have great returns.

2. Sell used branded clothes: This is a low-cost small business with which you can earn twice the capital for the return of investment. Thanks to social media, you can invest a few bucks to promote your small business on Facebook or Instagram and get new clients!

3. Breakfast restaurant: If you are a good cooker, you should know that starting this kind of business doesn't necessarily require a huge investment. You can start with a small but cozy place, with a few tables and excellent service. You can even offer a few extra features like a live music day or brunch specials on Sundays.

4. Digital marketing coach: If you are good at digital marketing, then you could start a coaching business! Share your knowledge with others and help them apply for a job in the marketing sector. You can even offer seminars and participate in events. You can earn good money by doing what you like and helping others at the same time.   

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