In the business world, professionals are obsessed with tactics because they can help them achieve short-term goals. But if all you do is focus on the short term, you won’t spend enough time or effort figuring out how to be successful in the long term.

Fortunately, having a strategy can help you achieve your short- and long-term goals. Strategy focuses on principles that help you think, not strategies that help you execute, so it allows you to focus on why your business does certain activities, not just how you do them or what you do. Read on to learn exactly what a business strategy is and how to build an effective strategy today.

Your business strategy should be based on your overall vision for the company. For some brands, this will be a global market expansion. For others, it may be more important to double down on existing markets where they are already successful. Regardless of your ultimate goal, developing an effective business strategy requires thorough research beforehand.

1. Identify your business aspirations and values.

In business, traditional goal setting allows you to measure what you do, but it is not suitable for measuring how or why you do it. If you focus only on results, it can sometimes motivate you to take action and prioritize the needs of the organization over the needs of the customer.

To help you focus more on your goals and processes, rather than just your results, consider setting and anchoring a desire or your vision for your future business when developing your business strategy – it will motivate you to do better Work your clients. Once you’ve identified a desire, you can add your goals to the equation, which will help you generate customer-centric work and reach your goals at the same time.

Develop a business strategy infographic

2. Conduct a self-assessment.

Once you’ve figured out your business ambitions and values, it’s time to conduct a self-assessment to help you assess the best path to business growth and success.

You can do this by conducting a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business. What do you do well and how do you use it? What can be improved and how?

3. Identify the market segment you want to capture.

It is very likely that your product or service is not the best fit for your entire market, so it is critical to identify one or more segments of your market that would benefit most from your product or service.

The customers who really need and want your product or service are also the ones with the longest retention and the lowest churn, increasing your customer lifetime value and reducing your customer acquisition costs.

4. Determine how you will beat your competition.

Ricky Bobby’s legendary quote “if you’re not first, you’re last” doesn’t necessarily apply to the business world, but it does have some impact. Your customers don’t buy two of the same products or services, so if you want to capture as much of the market as possible, you need to put most of your target customers first.

Some of the best ways to stay ahead are to build a creative and refreshing brand that differentiates your product or service from the rest of the population and price your product based on its perceived value.

5. Set clear goals.

Now that you’ve done your research and established a vision for your business, it’s time to set some goals.

Think about what you want to accomplish, then work backwards to figure out the steps to get there. Setting business goals will help you understand your strategy and how each department works together to achieve your goals. First, you can come up with:

  • business goal: These are high-level goals that you want your entire organization to achieve.
  • Department or team goals: These are key goals delegated at the departmental level to help the organization achieve its overall goals.
  • Employee specific goals: Using departmental goals, set goals for individual employees to contribute to business goals.

These cascading goals will ensure that all stakeholders involved in executing your business strategy are on the same page and properly aligned.

6. Make a plan.

Once you’ve identified your business goals, it’s time to create a plan to achieve them. The plan should include actionable tasks your team can take and should outline the steps required to achieve your task or goal.

The plan can be launched as a short-term or long-term plan or a combination of the two. Also, you’ll want to check your plan frequently to make sure everything is working properly and make adjustments based on business needs.

7. Find out what capabilities are needed to beat your competitors and sustain your business success.

Unfortunately, passion is not enough to beat your competitors and quickly reach the top of your industry. Talent and skill are equally important. Depending on your ambitions, goals, and market, you need to figure out what types of teams and employees you need to develop and recruit to not only beat your competitors but keep you successful.

For example, you may need to hire more engineering staff or hire a data science team experienced in your field to achieve your goals.

8. Decide which management systems are required to hone these competencies.

If your business is a team, your manager is the coach. They are responsible for developing, supporting and motivating your people to do their best.

Set up check-ins with your team to ensure employees and managers have everything they need to succeed. Invest in technology that enables your teams to collaborate more effectively and drive your business goals forward. Because no matter how much raw talent your employees have, if they don’t perfect the skills and discipline they need to compete and succeed, they’ll never reach their potential, and in turn, they’ll help the business reach its potential.

9. Measure your results.

It’s not enough to just set goals and hope things go smoothly. If you want to achieve, you need to actively monitor your progress. As mentioned earlier, you should check your plan monthly to make sure everything is working properly.

Evaluate your metrics to ensure your team is hitting key performance indicators (KPIs). If they don’t meet them, find out why and come up with a solution to get things back on track.

10. Flexible and willing to adapt.

In addition to measuring your results, it’s also a good way to check where your strategy falls short and make changes.

Will changes in their industry or external factors affect your current strategy? This may be your chance to adjust your approach. Your plan is your roadmap, but it should also be flexible enough to grow with your business.

11. Consider hiring a business strategy consultant.

If all of the above steps seem overwhelming and you have the resources, consider hiring outside help. Business consultants can provide guidance and training to help you achieve your business goals.

advantage

  • Expertise: Consultants usually only focus on a narrow field – meaning when you hire a consultant, you get experts in your chosen field. They can help you establish a framework or structure that aligns with your goals. They can also add a different perspective to problems that your team tried to solve on their own but failed to solve.
  • impartial: Because consultants are not employees of your company, they are not hindered by existing perspectives or traditions and can see your company in a new light. This makes it easier for them to understand your goals and the best strategies to achieve them.

shortcoming

  • expensive: Hiring a consultant is definitely an extra cost, and likely more than paying an existing employee.
  • no promises: Although Huiwen are experts, they do not guarantee success. They cannot guarantee certain performance metrics or sales numbers. However, you can always vet advisors by asking for advice, checking references, and checking their work history.

If your team has been struggling with the above steps without success, hiring a business strategy consultant is a good option. Third parties may gain business insights that you may have missed.

tactical principles

We live in an age where the internet is flooded with advice. You can get countless tips and tricks that might help you build a successful business. But without the ability to think critically about whether these tips and tricks actually apply to your specific situation, you will never achieve long-term success.

That’s why strategy is so important. It helps your business achieve its short- and long-term goals with principles that apply to almost any situation.

This article was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

business plan template