6 STEPS TO CREATING A PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS STRATEGY
Whenever you set out to a new destination, what do you do? Consult a map to help you navigate your way and avoid getting lost, right? This also plays in business and the corporate world. Taking new bold steps is what companies that wish to grow do every day. On these new, unfamiliar roads and journeys, the only thing that guides companies from getting lost and hitting a dead-end is a business strategy.
Whether you’re looking to start a new business, set new priorities, grow or expand, launch a new product or service, plan your investment decisions or any other major business decision, you’ll need a business strategy. The truth is that a good number of business owners and corporate heads know that they need a business strategy for their business. However, where the problem comes in is when it comes to developing a business strategy. This is because creating a business strategy can be tricky to the unprofessional eyes.
We bring you six steps to creating a productive and effective business strategy to help you scale your company’s business strategy development.
First Step: Gather the Facts
For you to make a successful journey, you need to consider every necessary factor. So before you start moving ahead with the business strategy, you should review your past performance, current situation, and expected outcomes. Look out for what worked well in every part of your business and consider ways to make the lapses better. Also, examine the opportunities and resources that’ll help you actualize the aim. One of the tools that can help you achieve this step in business strategy development is the SWOT analysis. This means Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. Look internally for strengths and weaknesses and externally for opportunities and threats. During this stage, it’s vital to involve the right people and collect the most relevant data.
Second Step: Develop a Vision Statement
This is an essential step in the business strategy development process. This vision statement should describe the future direction of the company and should be based on a medium to long term base. It should describe the organization’s purpose and values and should be aimed at achieving the company’s core goals.
Third Step: Develop a Mission Statement
Just like the vision statement, the mission statement defines the organization’s purpose. However, the mission statement includes the company’s primary objectives. This focus on what needs to be done in the short term base to realize the long term vision. For the vision statement, you may want to answer the question; “Where do we want to be in 5 years.” For the mission statement, on the other hand, you may want to answer the questions below;
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Whom do we do it for?
- What value do we bring?
Fourth Step: Identify Strategic Objectives
At this stage, the aim is to develop a set of high-level objectives for all areas of your business. This stage is where you highlight the priorities and inform the plans that’ll help you deliver your company’s vision and mission. A good review of the first step will help you stay in line and incorporate your identified strengths and weaknesses into your objectives. Ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) and include KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and budget requirements.
Fifth Step: Tactical Plans
At this stage, your business strategy has some bones. This stage is where you put some flesh to the bones of the strategy. This is where you translate the strategic objectives into more detailed short term plans that’ll contain actions for individual departments to take. In this step, you communicate to stakeholders, informing them on what the need to do and when. You’re focused on measurable results at this stage and can consider the tactical plans as short sprints that come together to make the bigger plan work.
Sixth Step: Performance Management
At this stage, all the planning and execution is done, and strategic is on. However, this is a very critical stage that’ll help you to fine-tune your business strategy. This is an iterative stage where you continually review all objectives and action plans to ensure you’re still on track to achieve the overall goal. This stage is complicated and can be challenging. This is why most directors, business leaders, and managers are looking for alternative methods of handling strategies.
Creating, managing and reviewing a business strategy requires you to capture the relevant information, break down large chunks of information, plan prioritize, capture the relevant information and have a clear strategic vision in front of you.