Friday, 16 September 2011

Why do you need a business strategy?

Companies with clearly defined strategies on average beat their competition by 304% in profit margin and 332% in sales over a ten-year period (William Joyce, Nitin Nohria, Bruce Roberson, What Really Works [book] (New York: HarperBusiness:2003)

The #1 cause of bankruptcy is bad strategy (Paul Carroll and Chunka Mui, “7 Ways to Fail Big,” Harvard Business Review (September 2008)

70% of a company’s poor performance is due to decisions about strategy (Matthew Olson, “When Growth Stalls,” Harvard Business Review (March 2008)


85% of executive leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing their strategy, with 50% spending no time at all (Robert Kaplan and David Norton, “The Office of Strategy Management,” Harvard Business Review (October 2005)

80% of top management’s time is devoted to issues that account for less than 20% of a company’s long-term value (Michael Mankins, “Stop Wasting Valuable Time,” Harvard Business Review (September 2004)

Only 3 out of every 10 managers are strategic (Harris Interactive Survey of 154 companies, 2009)

(I found these great points on Strategy Espresso run by Rich Horwath.)

If you don't have a business strategy - you need one now!
Understand that your task as the owner is to make your business - not to make the widgets
Start with a clear long-term Vision for your business and turn this into some strategic objectives

Then describe your Mission – who do you serve and how?

-          Describe your market

o   What needs do you serve and in which sectors?

o   Are you addressing the most attractive needs and sectors?

o   What will happen to those needs and sectors over the next five years?

o   Will addressing these needs and sectors deliver your objectives?

-          Describe how well you fit the market

o   How are you able to serve those needs and sectors uniquely well?

o   Are there needs and sectors that you are better able to serve which you currently neglect?

o   How do you need to change to take advantage of the anticipated changes in your markets or to address more attractive markets?

-          Describe your business

o   What are your core competences and are they going to remain relevant?  If not, what do you need to learn or acquire?

o   Where are your weaknesses or single points of failure?  How are you going to address these?

o   What additional or different resources and processes will you need to achieve the necessary customer and financial outcomes?

-          Turn the necessary actions and the desired outcomes into a business plan

Embed this strategy process (the learning, change and survival process) into the business cycle and management routines

There are loads of strategic techniques to help you develop your strategy.  This seminar will take you through a few of them.

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