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Strategy matters

What is business strategy? Essentially it is how a business goes about achieving its objectives. Of course, this means having clear objectives in the first place! As a minimum, a business must generate enough profit to ensure its survival for as long as it needs to keep going. However, it may also want to grow, and/or it may have other objectives than profit - for example, objectives relating to stakeholders such as shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers or the wider community.

Once a business is clear about what it wants to achieve, it must decide how it will achieve it. Which markets will it compete in? Which customers will it seek to serve? What products or services will it offer? How will it price them? How will it produce its products, and how will it get them to market? How will it position itself against its competitors? How much risk is it prepared to take?

How strategy fits in

The success of your business depends fundamentally on making wise choices in these areas. At best, poor choices will leave the business underperforming against its potential, or more exposed to business risk. At worst, they can mean the difference between business life and death.

Waymark Consulting can help you make wise strategic choices by bringing proven methodologies and tools to the determination and implementation of successful business strategy.

  • The starting point is to analyse the markets in which your business is competing. How big are they? Are they profitable? Are they growing? What are the key trends? Are there segments within the larger market which offer better returns or where the business would be better placed?
  • Just as important is to understand in detail how your business is really performing. Where is value being generated - and where is it, probably unconsciously, being destroyed?
  • Looking outside the business, competitive position analysis reviews objectively how your business is placed against its competitors. If it is advantaged, then why, and can this be sustained and exploited? If it is not, then how can it become so - or should it refocus elsewhere?
  • Crucial is a deep and accurate understanding of your business's strategic assets and capabilities, as these are the foundations on which to build profitable advantages over your competitors which are hard for them to copy.
  • Considering all these factors together in a structured way leads to the generation of new strategic options, which can be evaluated against the status quo to determine if and how the business should be changing in order to meet its objectives.
  • However sound the strategy, it is of little use without effective implementation. Tried and tested tools can enable day-to-day activities at all levels in the business to be aligned with strategy, so that your business's precious resources and efforts are all focused in the right direction.