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I am a small business consultant with 17 years practical experience in leadership within Fortune 100 companies in the fields of marketing, PR, profit and loss, change management, internal consulting, process enhancements and risk. I have a BA in Psychology and MBA. I will  complete a Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership on April 25th 2019. My background has given me a perspective that is uniquely mine. I am fortunate enough to have a small business consulting firm to share my experiences with small businesses who can benefit most. Visit Strategy-Rocket.com to find out more information. 

 

I'm also a dog lover, Italian Greyhound aficionado and bird watcher.

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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Jones Taylor

Small Businesses Owners: Don’t Underestimate the Value of Strategy

Updated: Jan 23


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Crystal Jones Taylor


As an entrepreneur, and wife of an entrepreneur, I understand the challenges of strategic planning while being under the pressure of sustaining a business, firsthand. Start-ups, non-profits, small and medium sized businesses often find themselves putting strategy on the back burner, or worse, keeping it in the steel trap. This is especially true when designing a strategy isn’t something you do often, or when your business has scaled to a place where you no longer have capacity to do it yourself. We underestimate the value of strategy at our own peril.


When you have bills to pay, a business to run, and employees to look out for, strategic planning can seem academic or unnecessary. Most small business owners I know find growth and marketing tactics to be more exciting and tangible than strategy formulation. Of course! They generate ROI and results more quickly than following a strategic plan. Right? Sometimes they get you “there” faster, until you find out you’ve arrived at the wrong place. 


Recently, a client came to me for help because he had made the mistake I described above. He went into rapid growth mode without a clear strategy. He launched marketing tactics, taking all potential customers, for the sake of rapid growth. It worked, until he realized he had unintentionally acquired too many commercial deals, which limited his capacity to serve his more profitable customer: the direct to consumer market. Terminating his commercial engagements was too big of a legal and brand risk. He had to forego growth in his ideal segment, simply for the sake of damage control. Worst of all, he was disappointed and lost some of his mojo due to the setback. Although we’re a resilient group, losing mojo is one of the worst possible outcomes for an entrepreneur!


Starting with a clear strategy would have allowed him to:

Identify the best target market, Save marketing dollars, Create an ideal balance for the best profit margin, Staff up for the right skills 


Growth and early marketing tactics are exciting and shiny. They appear to generate ROI and tangible results more quickly. On the other hand, the benefits of strategy may not be visible or quantifiable right away. (Oh - but they are, when you know where to look!) When you put strategy first, you are putting your bottom line first. You are putting your employees first. With a well articulated strategy you’re not only setting your business and employees up for success, you’re saving more time and money than you think - more quickly than you think. That is, if you’re doing it right.


If you have a strategy, or your old business plan, it’s a great time of year to dust it off and update your assumptions. If you don’t have a solid strategy, or it needs work, call a pro to help. Fortunately, I’ve had the advantage of learning from successful companies. I’ve seen what works, and how to make strategic planning manageable for businesses like yours and mine.


By Crystal Jones Taylor, Organizational Change Management Consultant



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Welcome to my blog, where I discuss Organizational Change Management and Development. I embrace Prosci’s global ADKAR methodology, as a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner (PCCP), and the best practices for managing change at scale as a Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP designation) from the global Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP.)

 

I’m here to connect and collaborate with others passionate about change and overall business acumen. One of my interests is demonstrating the concrete value of enterprise change management, in the language of dollars and cents. Let’s do something great!

With 20 years in Fortune 100s, my roles include P&L responsibility, fulfillment and shared services functions. I often say have a 360 degree view of the business to augment my approach to Change, including stakeholder engagement resonant visions and cases for change.

 

My strategic planning and tactical execution in Change Management spans HR, Strategy, Digital, Brand, Marketing/MarTech, COO, DE&I, CTO, IT and CFO, where I have had the opportunity to positively impact the employee experience for 39k employees and millions of customers in concert with brilliant project teams.

I have a creative streak, which helps me achieve sustained results with minimal resources, when budgets are tight. For example, I co-patented a new business model for a financial services’ vehicle ownership.

 

Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering on the ACMP Virtual Engagement Committee, animal rescue, and creative writing, where two of my pieces have been recently published.

 

If we share common interests, let’s chat about the art of the possible!

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