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Business strategy (or "strategic management") is an often overlooked part of running a small business. Whether you do it yourself, or bring in a professional, it's essential to set clear goals.
Wikipedia defines business strategy as:
In the field of management, strategic management involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organisation's top managers on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organisation operates.
In today's article, we'll run through a few of the basics of sound strategic management. If you feel like you'd benefit from bringing in an outside perspective, please get in touch. We'd be happy to have a free, no obligation chat to find out what you're looking for.
Create A Unique And Valuable Market Position
Simply put: do people want what you're offering? More importantly: do they want what you're offering enough to pay you for it? There are two main ways to stand out from the crowd. Cost and/or quality.
If you make the same product (or offer the same service) cheaper than the opposition, you will gain market share. Think of the low-cost airlines in the 90s taking away customers from the established carriers.
Or you can just offer superior goods and services. People will pay more for a better product. The end goal of this process is making yourself a powerful brand. The most valuable brands can actually charge more for the same products. Think of coke/pepsi or high end fashion brands.
Make Trade Offs (What Not To Do)
There are only so many hours in the day. Every hour you spend doing something, you could be doing something else. Every pound you spend could be spent on something else.
Economists talk about opportunity cost. You have to consider this opportunity cost on top of the cost of the activity itself. What have you cost yourself by not doing something else? Think carefully about your:
- Best selling products
- Most valuable use of time
- Highest leveraged services
Try not to spend time or money on anything but the most important things. Bring in outside help if necessary. It's poor business strategy to do something yourself if someone else could free up your time instead.
For example, you may find digital marketing a struggle. You may hate writing. You may be late to the world of social media. If you try to do these things yourself, they could end up taking all your time away from building relationships with actual customers.
This would be a great time to bring in a digital market agency. We actually have a sister company called Key Business Marketing that helps with tasks like this.
If you'd like to work with us to refine your business strategy, please get in touch. We're not just accountants! We have worked with hundreds of clients on everything from:
- Company administration / company secretarial
- Market fit
- Bringing your business online
Our experts have many years experience working with businesses just like yours. For more information about how we work, check out our case studies.