Today we’re taking a look at an often under-appreciated tool in the founder’s kit: the business strategy. When you’re running a business, especially a small, agile business in its early days, it’s very easy to overlook strategy in favour of tactics: individual direct actions that move you forward in a concrete way. Your strategy is much higher level: it’s the overall aim your tactics move you towards.
The problem is that tactics that aren’t directed by a governing strategy don’t lead you anywhere. You solve each problem as it comes up, but you’re not building towards a goal and that undirected problem solving can create a business that doesn’t cohere into a brand customers can get behind. Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter to date seems to be an example of desperate tactics undirected by any sense of strategy and it seems to be damaging both the value of Twitter and Musk’s own allure.
If you’re curious about how creating or revamping a strategy for your own business could benefit you but you’re not sure where to start, then it could be worth looking for one of the growth consultancy firms London hosts in such numbers and talking to an expert. If you’re still on the fence, read on!
What’s in a Strategy?
In comparison with your tactics, a strategy can be hard to grasp: what is it exactly? Let’s take a look at some of the elements that make it up.
- Values – what sort of business do you want to create? What do you want your relationship with your staff to be like? Your customers? The environment? By encoding values like protecting a reasonable work-life balance or using the greenest possible fulfilment option in your strategy you can make your beliefs the core of your business
- Vision – what do you want the future to look like? Putting your aims for your business and your brand into your strategy mean working towards that goal becomes a part of every decision. Do you want to grow into a national or international concern or stay local? Build a reputation as a respected expert in your field or an approachable first step for everyone?
- Growth Model – How do you want to grow? There are lots of different models of growth, from the hyper-accelerated, funding round driven startup model to slower, more traditional businesses. None are inherently bad – or inherently good – but you need to do some research to work out which is the most appropriate for your industry and your ambitions.
This is only the start, but the potential for a strategy to shape and guide your business over the long term is plain to see.