One of the things it’s important for you to do as a business owner is create, follow and, if necessary, modify a business strategy – a guiding light for your business that tells you how to achieve your goals.
Without a strategy, you’re a hostage to individual decision making, and while there’s nothing wrong with a pragmatic decision, if every decision is merely pragmatic and doesn’t fit into a wider tactical framework focussed on your long term aims then it risks incoherence, and incoherent businesses are very hard to sell to customers.There’s little for them to grasp about what your business is – what it’s like, and what it is. And of course, if your decisions aren’t part of a coherent strategy, then they aren’t held together and may work against each other – budget overruns, projects stealing resources from each other and worse.
Your strategy tells you how to execute on your aims. It’s an important component in your business’ long term success.
For such an important set of principles, it’s well worth getting help creating them. Your business strategy requires economic foresight, tactical nous, and insight into how your competitors and customers might behave over the course of ten years or more – and for the most part you are only required to be an expert in the day to day business you’re running, whether it’s cutting hair, making shoes or digital marketing,
If you’re looking for a strategic business consultant UK cities like London have plenty of agencies suited for businesses with a variety of budgets and needs. Bringing in an outside authority could be the best way to take stock, set some goals and decide how to pursue them in the best way for your business.
While there’s no point setting a strategy if you change it when it’s inconvenient, you also need to recognise when the circumstances have changed so much your strategy needs to change too. Huge economic changes, big developments in your industry, or new competitors emerging on the scale of Amazon are all so disruptive that you’ll need to take a look at your strategy and make sure it’s fit for the task.
These are what’s known as outside context problems – issues that are simply beyond imagining until they happen. You can, of course, reduce your vulnerability to outside context problems by maintaining ongoing programmes of research and preparedness so your imagination is wider and you can anticipate more – this can be a core tenet of your strategy in fact – but nonetheless be prepared to regularly check that strategy is delivering results in the world, and if it’s not get ready for changes.