An effective business vision and set of business strategies requires good strategic analysis and strategic thinking and is based on business strengths and opportunity.
The vision is the long term goal of the business and should be ambitious without being a complete fantasy. That goal should be broad and forward thinking and unite the business with a common purpose. The business strategies are selected based on existing capabilities and strengths and that are the means to achieve that goal. Those business strategies will move the business forward to the goal either in one step or in multiple steps over time.
To be effective the vision must be simple and succinct, it must be something that the people within the business can identify with and it must have a tangible impact within the business. For example Ford Motor Company’s vision is: “to become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services”. Or Bill Gates of Microsoft had the vision of “Windows on every desktop”.
Business Growth Strategy
The business strategies should be based on comprehensive and insightful analysis of the business strengths and the market opportunity available. SWOT Analysis in particular is useful to do that. Business growth strategy is typically focused in one of three sales areas:
- New – introduction of a completely new product or product design or the latest and greatest version for example cars, electronics, mobile phones…
- Differentiation – establishing a brand that will typically command a higher price for example designer clothes and accessories, premium brand cars…
- Price – low cost or commodity pricing to reach a mass market for example budget airlines…
Other Business Strategies
Importantly, the business strategies should also focus on other business strategies for example:
- Financial – profit margin improvement
- Customer – service improvement or added value services
- Internal – efficiency or effectiveness improvement
- Learning and Development – training programme or skill development capability leading towards new innovations
The selected business strategies should share characteristics that provide clarity so that each one is:
- Clear and specific
- Measurable in some way such as increased sales, reduced cycle time, increased throughput…
- Achievable within the next six to twenty-four months
- Results-oriented and so expected to provide some tangible benefit to the business
For example “Increase sales” should become something like “Increase sales to local small manufacturing businesses by 25% over the next 12 months”.
Step Two Completed
This completes step two of six in Strategies to Improve Your Small Business. The key to selecting successful business strategies lies in a clear appreciation of business strengths and an insightful understanding of the market opportunity based on good strategic analysis and thinking. Above and beyond that the business strategies need to move towards the longer term goal and this business planning needs to be clearly stated and communicated.