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Keeping Business Strategy In Alignment

Written by: Dawn Kennedy, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I have only really become aware of the “other side” of running a business over the last 21 months. The side of the business is a mix of intangibles such as energetics, alignment, and intuition. We’ve all heard of the CEO with the good “business sense” or “gut” but did you know that all of us actually have this power? I don’t remember anyone taking the time to describe the intangibles in business until I hired a coach.

Over the last while, I have observed business growth experts that sit on one side of the strategy or alignment divide or the other. The mechanics or the magic, if you will. Depending on who you want to work with, you can get a business coach who focuses on manifesting and mindset, but not much in the way of growth strategy and process. They aren’t about to get into your margins and help you figure out why you are losing profit this quarter. On the flip side, you can find many a business coach who is all about the numbers, looking at the systems and supply chain, which isn’t really going to support you with manifesting.

The truth is, it is time that businesses began to focus on both sides of the spectrum. I have a background in project management and strategic planning. I am a “map that thing out” kind of girl. But for all of the ideas in my head or the strategies I planned, when I am disconnected from the intangibles in business, my efforts seem to fall short or downright fail. I’ve become a student of the Universal Laws and energy, and I am finally getting it embodied. Being cerebral is my thing, so it takes a while to take what I know and turn it into what I “KNOW.” But it has made all the difference in my life and business.

Alignment and Intuition

The thing about being in alignment and the following intuition is that it makes business easier. You make decisions easier. The anxiety is lessened because there is a, pardon the cliché, “a feeling in your gut” that you made the right call, even if it doesn’t seem obvious or involves some risk. A recent example had to do with purchasing a commercial coffee grinder for our coffee roasting business back in May.

We are a start-up, and at the time, Convoy Road Coffee Roasters was only four months old. Up until that point, we had made about $1800.00 in our top revenue month. While it is true that we were doubling in revenue every month, that commercial grinder was $1,000.00, which is a lot of money.

That “intuitive” decision to purchase the grinder was made in an instant on a Tuesday afternoon. We were getting ready for a local festival event, and we would never have finished the production we needed to do without it. We had been filling bags of coffee to that point with small home use grinders we bought at a local Walmart. We made over $2,000.00 over that two-day event. We added over 100 new customers as well, so the business growth absolutely required the equipment.

The thing is that the numbers didn’t quite make sense on paper at that moment. I was expecting to have to make some decisions about moving to commercial equipment later in the year. In fact, that was planned for the fourth quarter. If I had stuck to my plan and only looked at the numbers as they were to that point, I wouldn’t have made the right decision, and we would have missed a huge opportunity for business magic. Growing our customer list by a third over a weekend. The reorders that have come from that event have helped sustain the growth we have made. Trusting intuition isn’t easy, but developing it for business can allow for amazing things to happen in your business.

Strategy and Planning

So, what about the planning side of things? I believe that winging it to your business will generate very inconsistent results. You need a map of where you are going- but the “how” the “route” isn’t always going to go exactly according to your plan. The strategy must be there, but the execution has to be flexible. I have another recent example.

We planned all of our summer events for the coffee business back in April. We sat down and planned as much as we knew, and we started to create this map to guide our business decisions. This included festivals and farmers' markets, as well as a four-day event called the 127-yard sale. Now, the “127-yard sale” is 690 miles long and runs up “Route 127” from Alabama all the way to Michigan. It is a huge event and draws people from all over the place.

We happen to be on the corner of 127. How cool is that? We decided that during the sale, we would offer brewed hot or iced coffee for sale. We don’t generally offer anything but samples, and only on our designated “Retail Days,” but we figured, why not? What a cool little additional line of revenue.

The problem is that we didn’t have the equipment for serving volumes of coffee. We only had the little 100-ounce “airpots” that caterers use because we only offered samples before that weekend. Undeterred, we decided that we were moving forward, and we just might have to brew coffee every half hour to meet demand. Well.

Three days before the event, somehow, two 1 ½ gallon Bunn coffee servers, with the warming platform, became available to us for about 75% off what we would have paid for the new. BOOM. The Universe knows what it is doing, and that was just another confirmation of our being in business alignment. Also, the equipment showed up exactly on time. Not before we needed it, not after.

But we planned for this event. We planned all of our events. It was a part of our overall strategy for the quarter and the growth strategy for 2021. We are executing according to plan. This equipment just makes it easier and less complicated to offer this new line of revenue. These servers will be great for an event we have in September and one in October. Plus, each of these planned events has to be carefully planned out and managed to ensure there’s enough product on hand, the roasting is done, etc.

When you stay in alignment, the strategy is executed with more ease and flow. Not that there aren’t issues. I had to drive 45 minutes to another town in Ohio the day before the yard sale began to exchange the lids for the cold cups because I grabbed the wrong ones. Not having any strategy at all just makes things confusing and inconsistent. Strategy in alignment is the goal.

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Dawn Kennedy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dawn Kennedy is an attorney, business consultant and mentor, author, and CEO of Convoy Road Coffee Roasters. She has an extensive background in program management and strategic planning, working for the U.S. Army and for companies in both government and private sectors. Dawn began business consulting in 2011 and, since 2017, has focused on small business growth and profitability. She works in a variety of industries, including attorneys, coaches, spas, restaurants, retail boutiques, and e-commerce businesses. She is the CEO of Convoy Road Coffee Roasters, a company she started with her husband in January of 2021 and has grown over 3500% by the end of July. Dawn is the author of "The Profit Accelerator for Small Business" and hosts the Profit Accelerator podcast. She believes above all else that all entrepreneurs have a unique gift to bring to the world, and they should be profitable doing it.



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