Does a perfect business strategy really exist?
For budding businessmen, there are several terms and concepts that seem overwhelmingly complex, and one of them is strategy. In your own experience and opinion does a perfect business strategy is really exist? If so, how are the businesses coping up today.
IMHO the only perfect business strategy is one that continually adapts to changing circumstances as well as "what you don't know you don't know" (I have a recent bog on this topic, if interested - http://www.growthroughpeople.com/#!What-You-Dont-Know-You-Dont-Know-Can-Hurt-Your-Business-/c15i6/B7952792-FF53-4321-8E43-9FE49A227DC8
There is no perfect, but there is flexible! That is what is critical so that you invest only in things that can be monetized in many ways if things change. The core value (hedgehog concept) or asset/IP you develop must have several ways to be leveraged.
What is key is to have a Strategic Planning process and way to map that into monthly operations. We have a kit and provide services to help with that. Strategic Planning is a very complex thing. It is not just Market Research, business model design, pricing and positioning but requires experience in sales, marketing, operations, finance and product/service development (domain).
See our process here:
and a cheap kit to help frame the process here if you can't afford some professional help:
You Stratigic Plan is the "What" you will do and getting it wrong will mean failure and could mean the loss of everything. Do it right. If you have a team it should be a collaborative process. If not hire an expert to help. We can take you through the entire process remotely, add ideas and value and get it right for a few thousand dollars. Likely a drop in the bucket of what you will spend executing it. No one will ever have the same plan if we touch it because I have been doing these since 1989.
So you want to start a new business, right, and you think you need a perfect plan. I don't really think so. In fact, I believe great things are never planned out.
One of the most striking findings you would come across, if you search about the history of successful entrepreneurs would be most of them did NOT actually start with a business plan.
Instead, their business journeys originated in a different place. They were conceived not with a document but with a feeling and doing for an authentic vision. Clarity of purpose and passion ruled the day with less time spent writing about an idea and more time spent just doing it.
One problem is that the content that most people focus on in business plans has little to do with the reality that will actually emerge. At a business’s inception, resources are limited, and the best content for a business plan is real-world data based on testing aspects of the concept. Trust me, the perfect business strategy is to actually go all out and test your concept and then do the needful as things develop or as time demands.
A few points to ponder though:
1. improve a pitch to prospective investors, or better align your teams, consider these design points
2. Identify and clearly articulate your Heart and purpose
3. The team is more important than any idea or plan
4. Think big, start small, then scale or fail fast
5. Focus on a well-defined market sub-segment or niche
6. Understand your business model
Entrepreneurs live for the struggle of launching their businesses. But one thing they often forget is that decisions made on day one can have huge implications down the road.
It's not enough to build a business worth a fortune; you have to make sure you have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out.
Hope this helps.
Saurav: you said that you believe great things are never planned out, right? But then you suggest that people need to make sure they have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out, right? Isn't this a contradiction? First, you suggest not to make plans, at all. But then you also suggest to plan an exit strategy? So, where do you really stand? To make plans, or not to make plans. If you are not clear, people will be confused. Maybe in your personal experience you never had to make plans. But, that does not apply to the rest of the world.
Yes it exists. Strategy is the short term action plan, how short depends to the environment you are acting in. You know the goal of your business plan, 3 - 5 years, but I always say it is 90% fantasy, but it is your roadmap. The businessplan has to become dynamic after the launch. Analyzing of the happenings in your environment and implementing the results in your strategy. As I say always "Today I am perfect" so is also your strategy. Be aware of all the influences of your environment, in your company, the market and the social scene. If you know to analyze the things happening and are capable to make the right conclusions you will always have a perfect strategy.
I would like to say thanks to all of you who participate and share some experiences and opinions about this topic. I would like to sum up my sentiments and appeal to fellow business leaders to rethink their business strategies with this insight from Cynthia Montgomery: “strategy has been narrowed to a competitive game plan, divorcing it from a firm’s larger sense of purpose; the CEO’s unique role as arbiter and steward of strategy has been eclipsed; and the exaggerated emphasis on sustainable competitive advantage has drawn attention away from the fact that strategy must be a dynamic tool for guiding the development of a company over time.“.
Does a perfect business strategy really exist? I would liken it to "Does the horizon really exist?". The horizon is a mental construct. You can never reach the horizon as it is an ever moving target, but something we strive for...much like excellence.
I will say there are two key ingredients to pursuing the perfect business strategy:
1. Culture. Culture eats strategy for breakfast everyday. So if you have a near perfect strategy, but yer culture ain't right. BOOM! Strategy is dead.
2. Flawless execution. If you have a supportive culture to your strategy, it all comes down to flawless execution in all areas and in an effective manner (the right things a the right time for the right length of time).
Your strategy is a map, a flexible framework to make values-based decisions from. Unknown opportunities can present themselves. By having a strategy in place at lest you have something to compare opportunities with.
So I would say no they don't, but you should pursue it everyday! I believe that have a clear purpose is more important than a perfect strategy.
"If you become the prophet of your purpose, you will profit from your purpose." a Clarism.
The Prophet for Purpose
Creating a perfect business strategy is difficult and not reasonable to obtain due to changing technology and customer’s motive. Your business has to be flexible and learn from your customers as they also have to adjust to changing times. Your business will continue to change and re-invent itself in order to keep up with the business climate.
You will measure your business success based on how your business partners, vendors and customers needs’ change. Follow the direction of the market, align your strategy and leverage the strength of your relationships to meet your goals. If your current business partners and vendors do match your goals for your business, change them as often as you need to until you have the proper products for your customers. This is a constant changing process but that is what needs to be done to succeed in your business.
There is no perfect business strategy. Especially in your market, small businesses, usually there has not been enough time to develop and mature systems. Business in general is a an institution that is managed by people. Therefore, the concept is really all about alignment. Once you attin alignment, it is easier to determine where the landmines are. The alignment gactors are as follows: Owner motivation and perspective; Personal financial planning, business structuring; business performance; strategic planning; leadership and management continuity; management synergy and teamwork; successor preparation; family governance and family or stakeholder dynamics. These are the ten interdependent factors that require constant measurement and alignment. Once these factors are aligned, the business may maintain and stay on track. Any business that follow these guidelines can cope. Last thought, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
A perfect business strategy does not exist because business trends and markets are constantly changing. Take the mobile phone market, for example. Nokia, Palm and Blackberry, once giants in that industry, failed to respond to changing dynamics in the popularity of smart phones. Having said that a business should have a strategy, a five year and a one year plan, but that plan must be flexible and be reviewed on an ongoing basis. It shouldn't be put in a drawer for a year!
Many businesses are so busy working 'in' their business they forget to work 'on' their business. A great management team is always looking at the monthly financials to look for trends both in sales, costs and profitability. If any of those areas are not on target, then perhaps it is time to pivot the business in a different direction to meet the strategic plan. A good reporting system can help dissect information on which to base decision making.
that's a really broad question. there is no perfect "strategy" in my opinion, Your product or service should be customer oriented, your mission and purpose easily understood not only by your customers but your internal customers "sales people and customer service.
Your sales approach should be finding the pain points that your product or service helps to reduce, alleviate or provides a solution for. Then you can illustrate why your company is the bast choice for a prospective client to choose your product or service. Keep it simple. If you have something someone must buy from you are they will buy it from someone else then it is just a matter of asking the right questions to the markets that need you the most and Delivering!!!!!