The famous American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said that „success is 20% skill and 80% strategy. “ Although we can’t claim these numbers are dead accurate the point Jim tried to make definitely is.
The business world is full of challenges and adversity. All these obstacles are much easier to overcome if you are first aware of them and then prepare a thorough strategy that will help you set up contingencies for all these scenarios. This is especially relevant in the case of startups that often experience severe post-launch problems with only 50% of them surviving the first five years of existence.
Let us take a look then at a couple of tips that should help you build a strong business strategy that will help your company successfully face these challenges and come out as a winner.
If you ever feel lost and drowned in a myriad of mundane problems, the best way to find a way out is to go back to your core values and long-term objectives and use them as the foundation for all the moves you are going to take in the foreseeable future. Even though these terms may seem abstract at first as soon as you start applying them to specific market conditions you may be facing, you will be able to break them down into concrete tasks, strategies, and objectives. This is also an opportunity to redefine some of the targets that weren’t all that well-thought-out and possibly dragged your company behind.
This thorough self-assessment will help you identify some of the problems that may be brewing below the surface and address them before they blow out of proportion. Pay special attention to the cash flow and how well you utilize the human resources and try to run both these critical business areas through different scenarios (higher product demand, supply line slowdowns, late payments, etc.) so you can expose any eventual cracks in your foundations. If you have any trouble conducting this audit you can use the tried and true SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and its strategies.
Most business strategies tend to focus on various workflow issues, outcomes, and technical aspects of one company. While all these things are necessary for the success of one company, in the end, all of your strategies will eventually be implemented by your workers. So, while you are devising future strategies, be sure to address the issues like workplace culture, worker versatility, and human behavior. Even if you think your HR department is not ready for building up such a flexible work environment you can always look for a third-party company to help you with the audit and suggest viable strategies.
Important business decisions need to be based on hard, real-life data. Therefore, before you start making any assumptions about the future of your company you need to conduct thorough market research that will give you an insight into the current state of the market, moves of the direct competitors, economic trends, and profiles of your intended customers. Even if we put that aside, a market survey can also help you identify your unique competitive advantages and refocus your strategies as well as allow you to observe how other brands have previously pushed their growth and claimed their market share.
In other words, your business strategy shouldn’t exclusively rely on external factors but also build an infrastructure that will encourage and support sustainable growth. Therefore, you should identify the segments that are projected for growth and to what extent and then build these factors directly into the future strategies. For instance, your strategy may include the plans for streamlining the sales funnel, developing a customer relationship management system, starting referral and loyalty programs, and so on. A good strategy should leverage these assets as well as anticipate their outcomes and factor them in.
Last but not least, we would like to remind you that making a business strategy is not a one-time job. On the contrary – all of your actions should be deliberate and produce tangible, measurable results. The only way to know if your efforts are fruitful is to set up the relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for each action you are going to take and constantly measure are your actions are going according to plan. If you notice any kind of significant deviations, take that as a cue to make necessary adjustments. Of course, these alterations should be made even if your company is surpassing the benchmarks.
We hope these few tips will help you set up a detailed strategic plan that will help your company deal with some of the future obstacles and hopefully encourage its sustainable growth. As we have briefly mentioned earlier, the modern business world is very fast-paced and volatile. The best way to overcome these challenges is to make a thorough and fact-based business strategy and stick to it. So, don’t miss an opportunity to have this asset at your disposal when the troubles come knocking at your door.