Business strategy is vital for any company seeking to grow its business in a strategic manner, but what exactly is a business strategy?
Put simply, Business strategy is a clear set of plans, actions and goals that outlines how a business will compete in a particular market, or markets, with a product or number of products or services.
But while simple to understand in theory, developing a good business strategy - and then actually implementing it - is no easy task.
So, how do you plan a business strategy...?
A business strategy must take into account a number of factors including the market, competitors, and the business environment, as well as the company's structure, strengths and weaknesses. It should also be flexible enough to handle change. Planning and preparing a business strategy therefore requires strong skills in strategic planning and business analysis, as well as a good understanding of functions like marketing, sales, and distribution.
What you need: a changing business strategy for a changing world
Business strategy involves covering off the basics, as listed above, but what is needed to formulate a successful business strategy? Today's world is in continual change.
Business is not the same today as it was yesterday - or what it will be tomorrow. So any business strategy must be:
- Anchored in up-to-date research
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The 6 key elements needed to devise good business strategies
Devising good business strategies involves a number of key elements:
- Leadership vision: A business strategy should come from the leaders. Having a clear leadership vision is a key starting point. Where are we going and why?
- Culture: Company culture is a key driver to implementing a successful business strategy. Without a supportive culture, you will achieve nothing.
- Strategic Marketing Plan: Of course a marketing concept or marketing concepts are all well and good, but without a clear marketing plan no business strategy can work.
- Management: A strong and inspiring management team is necessary to implement your business strategy.
- Systems: You also need effective and efficient business systems behind you if you are to successfully implement your business strategy.
- Resources: And you'll need plenty of resources.
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Developing your business strategy skills
Understanding what is required to develop and then implement a good business strategy is one thing - how can you improve your skills to actually do it?
Trial and error is one approach - but a business management course focused on strategic management, business strategy development and/or inspirational leadership is probably better. At good business schools you can benefit from the knowledge of world-class professors, as well as relevant case studies and practical learning tools. Training that is flexible enough to address your own challenges will be the most impactful - and have the most immediate returns when it comes to developing and implementing a successful business strategy.