Are you occasionally perplexed at how some companies seem to effortlessly out-perform others? Or why some just can’t be overcome? If a company wants to stand a chance in a competitive industry, business owners must create and act on a sound business strategy.
Companies like Amazon have been successful for years and have been able to expand because their strategy is succinct with their vision. Amazon is known as the most customer-centric company in the world. They accomplished this through the meticulous creation of a seamless customer experience where people can search and discover almost everything they need online.
A strategy is a multi-tiered timeline of planning that enables your company to reach specific goals and envisions the future in which you will thrive. It is also a practical tool set that outlines the types of products or services you plan to build, as well as the customers who you are focusing on serving to make profits.
A solid strategy has verified and validated assumptions that can be presented as fact and built upon — there must be a strong understanding of the environment and market in which you plan to thrive. The strategy must be in alignment with the objectives and vision, and if those elements aren’t set in place, they must be. For example, Google’s vision is to provide the best internet experience to users. Now it is common nomenclature to “just Google it.” Every service and creative act that Google provides are in alignment with their core objectives.
Strategies help you in every aspect of your business from making investment decisions, how to prioritize projects and other activities within your organization, as well as optimize resources to generate above average returns.
Specific and Long-Term Objectives | The plan must be long-term and realistic. Think about what type of products/services you want to create. Who is your end user/consumer and what markets access these people?
Opportunity | Carefully analyze the current opportunity that presents itself as well as how it may develop over time. Collect facts and data points that reveal the reality of your assumptions and be open them. Look for opportunities that may be contrary to your original ideas.
Innovation | Make sure that the products or services that you plan to provide are differentiated and aligned with the possibilities and capabilities of your business.
Competition | Study the competition and make sure that your strategy still keeps you competitive. Find the market that is either not served or underserved and be the first to capitalize. Then you can capture the market share, build your brand and make it very difficult for others to compete or even enter.
Economies of Scale | Keep your costs of goods/services low while remaining innovative. Create unique features to offer and maintain high-quality customer service.
Time to Market | Carefully evaluate your “build versus buy” options for the products and services you plan to provide. It may be cheaper to outsource certain aspects of your business to a third-party vendor who has already assumed the risks and startup costs.
Testing | Continually review and update your strategy to make sure that you are not only on track, but that your plan stays relevant considering the constant and rapid change of technology, local and global economies, and consumer interests. Don’t be afraid to test out theories and ideas cheaply to ensure their validity.
Risks and Failures | Factor in risks and create room for your organization to accept failures. Collect insights gained from personal and observed success and failure to learn from and improve your future.
Stakeholders | As soon as the plan is finalized, it is important to share it with collogues and employees to get everyone on the same page. It is crucial that guidance is offered to explain the reasoning behind the decision-making and how these initiatives apply to their positions. If applicable, it is also important to create a similar but separate plan to share with other more external stakeholders like investors, partners, and suppliers. It will be necessary for them to understand the paths of future or shifting revenue impacting shareholders.
It is never too late to create and implement a realistic and effective business strategy. If you are having trouble knowing where to start or how to take your company to the next level, you may want to consider contacting specialists.