Strategy is part of life. And the better you do it, the more successful you are. Winning wars was always based on the foundations of strong strategies from the use of the Trojan horse that helped the Greeks overcome Troy or the defensive warfare that Genghis Khan used to conquer the world. Business today is a battlefield, where profits, competitive advantage and customer loyalty are the spoils of the war. An effective business management requires a sound strategy that will aid in multitude of benefits. Whether strategy is for planning, or identifying activities that will make the organization more successful a well-crafted strategy gives a huge opportunity to excel and go global. If you are in a large organization, strategies have to be focused on different aspects such as strategies for competitive advantage, for growth and for development. But every strategy must follow some basic considerations that are listed below.
1.The targets:A business strategy mainly involves identifying the areas which affect growth. In this context it is important to identify the demographic that the business or product will cater too. This is done by market research. Your strategy should be guest focused and you should decide the product to design and deliver for this segment.
2.Focus on execution: Your strategy should list a roadmap of the project execution. It is a well-known fact that a poorly executed project will result in loss of face and money not to mention customer trust. The execution strategy should take into consideration internal and external factors such as availability of resources and budgets and other factors that may affect the flow of the project such as unforeseen requirements and last minute changes suggested by the customer.
3.Should be driven by quantifiable metrics: Key performance Indicators are tools used by organizations to define, measure, monitor, and track performance over time. Strategies must take into account these KPIs as these are the metrics that drive business decisions.
4.Think Global But Act Local: A strategy should have a global orientation but its execution should be based on local conditions and environment.
5.Market conditions: Market conditions are volatile. Market conditions change. Any strategy should account for changes both beneficial and adverse and should account for them.
6. Analyzing competition: Marketing strategies do not live in isolation. They have to be in relation to how the competition would react. Understanding the strengths and weakness of your competition is the key to the evolution of any strategy.
7. Any strategy should lend itself to a plan of action that is time driven. A strategy which cannot be translated to a plan, is not worth much.
8. Any strategy should identify the people required to execute the strategy and the skills that would be needed. A strategy may look good on paper, but it requires people and skills for it to become reality.
9. Any strategy should align with the vision of the company. A strategy that is in contradiction to what a company stands for is bound to fail.
10. A strategy should lead to competitive strategic advantage which is sustainable in the future. A strategy which does not create a long term advantage or differentiator, will not sustain.
11. Like any good plan can fail, a strategy should also be flexible to make modifications. Having a backup plan in case of an eventuality is always a good idea.
12.A strategy should not be drawn in vacuum but should be a collective effort which draws on inputs from team members, external research and your target audience. A strategy should consider diverse opinions and views, before finalizing on the final blueprint.
13. Any strategy should assume black swan events. Rather than trying to avoid them a strategy should account for how, some of these events, if they would play off, would benefit the organization.
14. The past may not be a good indicator of the future, but there is a lot that the past can teach you. Any strategy should look at similar companies and the journey they have been through.
15. Last but not the least, finally after all this, Strategy is about listening to the heart and going with your instinct. After the left brain has done all the thinking, let your right brain take over. After being deliberate, let the heart decide, if you are confused.
While there is plenty of research out there about strategy and strategizing and experts have spent trying to understand the best approach to business success, the truth is, nobody really knows how it works. Thorough research and a solid strategizing team can help tackle it.