If you’ve been keeping up with my previous posts on the topic of planning you now have a vision for your business and have identified your key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You’re well down the road to having an effective, results-producing plan. Now it’s time to develop your strategy.
Take a look at the following summary SWOT Analysis for Orion Security, a 10 year-old fictitious company that sells both residential and commercial security systems. Orion currently has 196 commercial and 376 residential accounts. Its three-year vision is to more than double these numbers—to 400 commercial and 800 residential customers. Note that an actual SWOT analysis would go much deeper. I’ve kept this one “short and sweet” for discussion purposes.
- Local company with ties to the community
- Long-term, experienced technical staff
- Loyal customer base
- Good relationship with local law enforcement (owner is a former police officer)
- Limited cash flow
- Sales leads limited primarily to passive referrals from customers and a few networking partners and yellow pages ad
- Growing population
- Burglary rate on the rise
- National companies advertising aggressively on price
- Potential non-response ordinance
A company rarely succeeds or fails for minor or trivial reasons. That’s one reason I don’t believe in long, highly-detailed plans. The key is to focus on the big picture and not get lost in the weeds. (Sometimes referred to as “analysis paralysis.”) That said, the questions raised by this simple matrix raise other important questions and suggest some potential strategic directions:
- The currently limited cash flow means that large expenditures on advertising are off the table. (Which, in my book anyway, is okay since traditional television and radio ads are relatively ineffective.) However, the customer base currently provides a number of passive referrals. What if the company became more proactive in leveraging the loyalty of its customers?
- How might the positive relationship with law enforcement be used in concert with the growing crime problem?
- What steps can be taken to avert the threat presented by the passage of a non-response ordinace?
- How can Orion counteract the price-based advertising blitz of the national companies?
Again, these questions and issues lead directly to the strategy. I’ve created a Security Marketing Strategy Questionnaire to help you organize this process, including the key questions you need to answer. If you’d like a copy just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to send it to you. Next time around we’ll dive into creating a specific security marketing action plan.