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Do you know what your strategy is?

Do you know what your strategy is?

At the start of a year, people often spend their time making resolutions, planning for changes that they believe will have a positive impact on their lives.

From a professional standpoint, 2015 is now here and it would be appropriate to put that same effort towards thinking about business goals.

At McMillanDoolittle, we spend a great deal of our time working with retail companies on strategy. It can be a funny thing to do — most companies obviously don’t sit around asking themselves this question every day … and they shouldn’t. A good strategy should last 3-5 years and underlying principles of your business should last a great deal longer.

But if you haven’t updated your strategy lately, it might be time. We are in the midst of unprecedented changes happening all around us. When you do have the opportunity, it is good to ask the really important questions:

• What’s happening with my customers? How have they changed and what are they looking for today and into the future?

•What’s happening in my industry? What are my competitors doing that I need to be paying attention to? Who are my future competitors and why are they winning?

•What is my company really good at? What are we weakest at? How do we improve the business to take advantage of the opportunities to come?

While we can talk all day about strategic principles and theories (We are consultants, after all!), the most effective approach we use is echoing a quote from Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player to ever play. He was asked how come he plays the game so much differently than everyone else. He simply answered, “I skate to where the puck is going to be.”

Great retailers get to where the puck (in this case, customers, competition and themselves) is going to be. And they do it more consistently than the competition.

Do you know where your puck is headed?

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