A business strategy is a unique formula for success that serves as the foundation for growth as well as governing the company’s daily operations. A well-defined strategy can help distinguish a company from its competition and help create long-term success. From a small start-up to an international corporation, developing a solid business strategy is critical to maintain focus, growth and a competitive edge. Whether your organization is just starting out or you feel your company is in need of a new, invigorated approach here are concrete steps you can take to develop a business strategy.
- Write down your vision – You’ll want to clearly articulate your overall purpose, goals and values for your business. Typically this should be a one to two sentence statement. Keep the statement focused and specific to why you do what you do, but stay focused on the big picture too.
- Create a mission statement – This should be a two to three sentence description of your business, including what type of business you are and how you intend to meet the needs of your market with your products or services.
- Establish critical success factors – Create a list of success factors that your company must meet to achieve your vision and mission. While these factors can vary from business to business, some overall factors may include conducting market research to meet customer needs and desires, establishing credibility in your industry, and developing a process for documenting company policies and procedures for training employees.
- Determine how you plan to achieve your goals and vision – The core of your strategy is dictated by what actions need to be taken, determining specific employees that will be responsible for executing them, and developing a method to measure your results. Depending on your business, this usually includes marketing and advertising plans, as well as financial and growth plans. Establishing who will be responsible for completing these actions is critical to create accountability and drive growth.
- Set your timeline – At a minimum, a business strategy should cover a one-year period, while also considering longer-term goals as well. It’s important to recognize that you can’t implement or accomplish everything immediately, so you need to prioritize your list of actions. Many strategic tasks require that some tasks be completed before moving on to bigger projects.
Developing a business strategy is vital to building a successful business. This list serves as an introductory guide to get you started, but there are many different factors to consider as you establish your strategy. It’s also important to regularly review and revise your strategy as you go along.
What techniques have you found to be helpful in establishing a business strategy?