Is that the wrong question?
You can hire an outside firm to help you. They will most likely offer you a brilliant set of short-term tactics, which, may work for awhile. They will even want to call it a strategy. I suppose it is a strategy of sorts—a short-term, action-oriented strategy.
This can feel like the perfect solution, because you have very likely already spent years rolling up your sleeves and pushing through to the next level. You may feel like, with this plan, you finally have some real help at the executive level, and you may. But I can promise you there is a far more efficient path to evolve a business. I will also promise you that to do what I suggest will make you feel like you are going backward in order to go forward; so let me explain further.
A strategy that is rooted in tactics will work within a given set of finite circumstances. Once those circumstances morph into something new, the strategy will need to be re-created rapidly.
Strategic intent and strategic objectives should guide tactics.
Word of mouth used to travel pretty fast, but now it travels at the speed of the Internet. Buyers are only a few clicks away from finding out who your company really is—not who you want them to believe you are. They can quickly see how their peers rate your products and service, any press releases that unveil your values or lack thereof, and blogs that may voice opinions in detail. It’s getting more difficult to hide behind a brand image that is inauthentic. Thank goodness.
In the long run, people trust what you do rather than what you say. It’s a universal principal. “Showing” versus “telling” is powerful, and now the empowered buyer is closely watching what you do from many angles.
It’s clear the reality of doing business is changing.
What’s your plan?