Strategic Planning and The Creative Process

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“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”          -Scott Belsky, Founder of Behance

Strategy 101: Understanding The Creative Process

As a creative director and communication specialist, I know it takes an enthusiastic strategy to usher ideas from the dream world to waking reality. When it comes to business strategy, entrepreneurs fulfilled with success are the ones who are consciously creating with purpose and aim. Powerful creativity lies in our autonomy.

Goal Setting

The process of setting goals helps to consciously direct business development. By understanding exactly what you want to achieve, you learn where you have to focus efforts, with the goal and plan ever-present in mind. An effective business strategy includes a vision (long-term goal) along with a mission (series of short-term goals). Having well-established goals allows businesses to remain focused on their greater purpose, which fuels motivation and creative direction.

Project Management

Diligent project management is needed to see the whole thing through. Startups begin to take form as they develop a core team. Having distinct roles that suit people’s strengths is crucial to an effective business strategy. The more a business grows, the more complex responsibilities become. An entrepreneur can only extend oneself so far before attention becomes overly-divided. Though tempting to take on more than humanly possible, it is more productive for an individual to concentrate full attention on certain tasks to ensure things are executed properly.

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Execution

Execution of goals is a pretty big piece of the business development puzzle. Sometimes it means recruiting someone with superior skills. New business owners are put in charge of entities outside their range of skills (ie: accounting, customer service, marketing, sales). It is better in the long run to focus on an area of expertise and hire help to execute other business goals.

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Progress Evaluation

Having a strong strategy for your business is very helpful but it’s also important to see it as an ever-evolving reference point. This requires ongoing reflection, evaluation and adjustment to strategies to stay relevant and properly on track with business development. Every quarter, perform an analysis to monitor strengths and weaknesses of your campaigns, as well as opportunities and potential threats. This will enable a shift in focus when necessary to maintain a course to success.

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