A business needs a clearly-articulated strategy in order to attract funding, to focus resources and to align the efforts of all staff.
Set a clear target
- Adopt a planning horizon (perhaps 3 years)
- Describe in 1 or 2 sentences what you want the business to look like in 3 years (with financial or other targets as appropriate)
- Develop this from a realistic analysis of your market, competition and the opportunities and threats facing the business
Identify ‘critical success factors'
- Identify 4 or 5 factors that are supremely important if you are to achieve your 3-year aim (what does success really hinge on?)
- Describe each of these in a sentence or two
- Specify targets and measures for each factor that you will use to indicate that you are on-course over the next 3 years
- Against each success factor, identify tactics for year 1 (important actions that will ensure success)
- Clarify responsibility for each tactic
- Consider things that could go wrong and include tactics that will reduce or manage these risks
Develop the strategy as a team
- Strategy development in this way benefits greatly from the active involvement of your senior team, yielding additional ideas and insights
- The process develops and spreads detailed understanding and this reduces the risk of over-reliance on any one person
- Try to capture the key points onto a single page (distillation of the thinking can force the team to recognise what is really important)
Implementation is everything
- A well-developed strategy achieves nothing without effective implementation
- Use the strategy to set personal objectives and to ensure that critical success factors are properly managed
- Allocate time at management meetings to ensure that the big picture is not forgotten. Change plans and priorities if circumstances dictate this
- Build a sense of direction and energy by communicating the strategy clearly Celebrate achievements frequently (little and often)
For help with your business strategy or to attract investment and develop your business, contact Guy Rigby on 020 7131 8213 or email Guy Rigby.