By Jaan Orvet & Andreas Carlsson
Strategy. You hear about it all the time. One must have a strategy/work on a strategy/follow a strategy and so on. Business types like to say “strategy” a lot as it sounds big, complicated and important.
And it is important, but there is no need for it to be complicated. Quite the opposite.
At the heart of it all “strategy” is just about having a plan for the thing you are working on. Or as Wikipedia puts it “a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal”.
Getting the Strategy Right
If there is ever a time to look at what’s important in a project, it is early on, in the strategy stage.
Let us assume that your client doesn’t have a strategy for their next web project.
Before you build, design, code or write anything you need to think about what the project needs to achieve.
This is in part because strategy can mean almost anything, depending on the needs of the client, the size of their audience and ultimately the goal of your client. And it will mean different things at different times during the life-span of a project: you may have one strategy to launch with, another for the ongoing management of the site and so on.
Thinking the project through, seeing how one thing leads to another on the way to the project’s goal is a very healthy thing to do.
The one thing all strategies must have in common is that they tie in with your client’s overall business goals. (You’d be surprised how often clients themselves forget this simple fact!) If it doesn’t, the client will never be happy with your work even if they were the ones who ignored the business goal connection.
That’s why you should be thrilled when a client asks for your help in developing their web project strategy (or asks you to help them find someone who can create it for them).
It is an excellent opportunity to make sure that you, or the people you choose to collaborate with, create a to-the-point strategy that helps the client reach their goals and in the process makes you look like an absolute star who deserves lots more commissions.