WHAT IS STRATEGY?
A strategy is simply a plan of how you are going to win – in whatever field/industry you are playing in.
Winning will mean different things to different business owners. It may mean being the biggest, taking market share from your competitors. It may mean being profitable and sustainable to give you the income you need and/or to give back to society. It may mean growing the business ready for it be sold to another company in x years time. It may mean giving you the lifestyle and work:life balance you desire.
Whatever your end goal is you need to have a plan for how you are going to achieve it.
WHAT SHOULD I BE THINKING ABOUT?
Your business strategy should cover:
- WHY you are in business. What is your purpose?
- WHO are your customers. What is their need you are fulfilling. Why should they buy from you? What is your market positioning and your differential to your competitors?
- WHAT is your route to market? What channels will you use to reach your customers?
- WHAT is your pricing strategy? HOW will you generate revenue?
- WHAT resources do you need to meet your customer’s needs?
- WHAT is your cost base – and does the revenue cover all your costs?
These questions will help you establish your business model and provide you with the viable base on which to grow your business.
You can grow your business in various ways:
- Market penetration – sell more products to your existing markets
- Market development – introduce your existing products to a new market
- Product development – introduce new products to your existing markets
- Diversify – enter into a completely new market space
The more you move away from existing products and markets, the more risker the growth strategy so make sure you have done your homework and research!
OKAY I HAVE A STRATEGY – WHAT NOW?
Develop your plan with the high-level actions that will take you towards your goals. It is important you have some key measures in place so you can make sure your strategy is working – and to alert you if a change is needed!
Remember, a strategy is only as good as the day it was developed – depending on what industry you are in the market dynamics may change regularly. Your competitors may be making moves that you need to react to and/or a disruptor may enter your market that takes you unaware. There may also be legal or regulatory changes you need to adapt to.
Consumer attitudes and behaviours are constantly evolving and you will need to keep informed on social and economic trends that may pose a threat to your business or provide an opportunity to take advantage of.
All this means that you should regularly review your business strategy to make sure it remains fit for purpose or whether a change in direction is required. This way you are on the front foot before there’s a problem – you can be pro-active about your business decisions rather than reactive and trouble shooting. Even in the most stable of industries it is still good practice to review your business strategy at least annually.
THAT ALL SOUNDS A BIT MUCH!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone. You are the expert in your business – you know your customers, their needs and the market. Get in expert help from a strategy expert to help you develop your strategy and to review with you on an ongoing basis.
I am a Strategic Planning expert with over 30 years’ experience and now work with business owners to help them gain clarity and confidence. Book a 15 minute free consultation to discuss how I can help you develop and review your business strategy. https://calendly.com/brenda-etchells/15min