Whatever your activity, whatever your status or your field, having a strategy is essential for the good development of your business.
Nothing worse than a great idea, than unwavering enthusiasm, than sparing investments and efforts, which do not bear fruit due to non-strategy.
What Is A Strategy?
A bit like a realistic scenario, it is a path that we decide to plan and structure to move from vision to concrete realization within a given environment.
Why Design A strategy, And How To Use It?
The virtues of a strategy are manifold. For example :
- It encourages them to structure their ideas and their approach, build their development, and therefore be as much an actor, proactive, and decision-maker as possible.
- It makes it possible to become aware, to measure, to validate, to imagine, to foresee and to anticipate, to seek relevance, and to make operational.
- It offers time to gain height and retreat essential to study, plan, analyze, correct, to adapt to hazards and fluctuations.
- It is a reassuring benchmark, permanent operational support for the business manager and his employees.
- Without going into details, it can still be used to communicate in a credible and effective way around the company with various contacts approached (eg: banks, institutions, suppliers, customers, etc.). A clear strategy can thus more easily allow the construction of a “seller” business plan.
How To Structure Your Strategic Thinking?
- Clarify your business model, your overall business activity (e.g. knowing how to clearly present the activity in about 20 words in a way that is understandable for an average individual, transcribe it in the form of a diagram).
- The Segment in DAS – strategic business areas (eg different brands, products or service lines) to consider different strategies as needed (eg 2 product lines offered each on different distribution channels to target and with distinct commercial approaches).
- Look for synergies to, this time, link the possible strengths of activities (ex: Design and sale of computer system + Training of customers to the system).
- Evaluate the markets concerned by each DAS and synergies (ex: competition, turnover overall trend,…).
- Study the positioning of the company in these universes (eg: strengths, weaknesses, constraints, opportunities).
Management: Know Where We Want To Go
- Establish your desired vision at 3-5 years (broad), then at 1 year (refined), to provide a motivating focus in the long term.
- Transform this vision into realistic and concrete goals.
- Determine the priority target clientele (eg: companies with 10 to 50 employees, retirees, works councils, executives, specific professional universes, etc.).
The Organization: Know How We Go There
- Determine its operational strategic orientations. These axes can be of the type: domination of costs (pricing strategy), innovation/technology (new products or services, the evolution of ranges), differentiation (particularities and advantages in the face of competition), cooperation (subcontracting, franchise, concession,…).
- Design the sub-strategies promoting the targeted result (commercial strategy, marketing strategy, …) and transcribe them into concrete action plans.
- Determine statistical needs (eg: data to be collected internally, from suppliers, customers, competitors to measure the effectiveness of the chosen strategy) and monitoring tools (eg: internet monitoring, CRM, files, etc.).
- Determine the internal resources (ex: personal capacities, collaborators, materials,…), and external (ex: networks, business coach, incubators, organizations,…) to use.
- Determine the FCS – key success factors, defining the essential elements (ex: website for e-commerce, mastery of a particular technology, production capacity, sales force, etc.).
- Determine the optional or deferral actions, with a view to any possibilities for adjustments linked to the development of the activity.
- Check the adequacy with the means (logistics, technical, human, ..), the financial aspects (debt capacity, cash flow requirements, etc.) and highlight the needs (training, recruitment, financing, aid, etc. ).
- Evaluate the methods, interactions, and consistency of all factors.
- Consider the timing, the pace, the steps, the chronology.
- Study the factors and motivations of all the actors, the axes of management and HR policy
Finally, The Strategy As Alive
Once accomplished these reflections, it will be necessary to plan dates regular verification and adaptation to validate the progress of the strategy and adjust if necessary. Indeed, many elements can appear (new regulations, new competitors, new techniques, new opportunities).
Take the constraints and obstacles to your development such as data, new characteristics to bypass, overcome, overcome, use …
There is no such thing as a perfect, immutable strategy, or a 100% guarantee, and the entrepreneur is not a diviner, but in any case, it is better to choose than to suffer.
Whether complex or reduced to the strict minimum, the strategy is a faithful friend that will give you the clarity you need to succeed and sustain your business development.