What is Your Business Strategy

Business Strategy  InformationPersonally I hate the expression which asks how often small business owners are working on their business rather than in the business.

Why- because for me it seems a little too clever and many senior teams fail to ask themselves the genuine question which is what is your business strategy?

Know your business strategy and it’s easier to make the right decision  today.

Business Planning is not a Business Strategy !

Planning and business strategy are similar but not the same. Too often when discussion turns to strategy, the response is we have a business plan. Or rather we wrote a plan down sometime in the past but have not looked at it since. Alternatively the response is we have no time for a business plan because it is seen as a big time-consuming effort for little practical reward.

Business plans are an effective way to noted down the steps in a strategy. It forces businesses to do some thinking about the direction of the business. From a plan, the range of preferred tactics can be decided so that those working in the business (sic) know what to do when something happens.

Strategies can be short or long

Someone seen to be working strategically is often seen to be playing a longer game. Tactically they are prepared to lose the battle, because they believe they will eventually win the war. So they might go through a sales process the first time not expecting to win, but use it as a learning experience. Then the next time or the time after, they might win because they allocate the right resources and the right goals and measures.

Strategy typically is about:

  • The longer game. For business it is not usually a day, but for some, it can be. A business strategy may be achievable in 2-5 years; a business plan’s focus is typically 18 months or less with the chosen tactics.
  • Defining where you want to go. What is success and what are we really trying to achieve?
  • Recognising that currently you are not in the ideal position. Good strategists know what may come over the horizon and where their position is strong and weak. All businesses have at least one weak link.
  • Taking more control over a situation. What systems and processes will overcome the blockages and allow you to move forward logically. What external factors need addressing?
  • Identifying the steps that matter to get there. Resources need to be identified and allocated to achieve efficiency in time and cost.

Strategies are good for business

Businesses with defined and shared strategies are typically better led. Everyone within the business knows the direction of travel. They become empowered to make tactical decisions as they know why something is important and what can’t be conceded. They understand the part they can play in that strategy and then gain more enjoyment out of the successful achievement.

Most small businesses don’t consider what they are trying to achieve in the next 3-5 years as they are too busy fighting today. Successful businesses have rolling plans that enable them to achieve those strategic goals.