Business Strategy - Finer Details Into Various Aspects of Successful Business

Strategy is common term related with policy making or making out a plan. Business strategy is useful in making the business a grand success. Like in a war a nation decides to deploy its forces in such a way that the war is won. Similarly business strategy also underlines various policies that are needed to make business a success. Following are the business strategies that are basic parameters of successful business.

Marketing strategy
Management strategy
Information strategy
Leading and directing strategy

Marketing strategy deals with introducing the product in market in such a way that it is flourishing. In this strategy first the demands of the customer is taken into mind. Companies design only those products which are high in demand. First a model of the product is introduced into the market and then its sales success is reviewed. Shortcomings of the product model are taken into account. Then shortcomings are carefully reviewed and the final product is launched.

Management strategy deals with managing company employees, allocation of resources among employees and other related factors. Information strategy deals with gathering information about various aspects of business. Information about demand of product, product success in market, product shortcomings are underlined. Information about competitive products already present in the market helps company regarding their products sales. Information regarding the improvements that are needed to make the product superior is carefully implemented.

Leading and directing employees in order to tell them how and when to design the product. Proper leading and directing the worker can result in high profits for the company. Business strategy is mainly made up of the above mentioned factors and implementing the above factors results in making product successful.

The Aspects and Levels Concerned in Business Strategy

In business, it is important to set a goal. It is also important to achieve that goal. The attainment of business goals is possible through effective business strategies. Business strategy is the plan that defines the following aspects of your business plan:

  1. Direction. Every strategy should be geared towards the identification and attainment of long-term goals. The direction of the business plans that you will formulate should be consistent to the realization of these long-term objectives.
  2. Market or Scope. It is also important to include the market in the evaluation of your strategies. In this manner, you will be able to determine your competitors and perform the activities needed in maintaining the competition in the market.
  3. Advantage. This involves the determination of the things that will make you stand out against you competitors and how you can use them well toward the attainment of your business goals.
  4. Resources. This includes every single factor that will serve as your asset in the market. Skills, expertise, finance, relationships, manpower, and facilities are part of the resources that you can utilize in your strategy.
  5. Environment. This refers to the external factors that are involved in the market's competition. This can be broken down into two groups: the macro factors which involve the political, legal, social, and cultural factors and the micro factors which involve customers, competitors, and suppliers.
  6. Stakeholders. These are the people who have the power and influence in the market. Their values and expectations play a big role in the competition and in the formulation of your strategy as well.

You can see that in the formulation of your business strategy, most of the aspects that you have to deal with are concerned with the market and the competition. More importantly, strategies are created in order to create a substantial effect in the organization of the business. Business strategies are created in accordance to the levels of the business. Strategies can be formulated in the corporate, business unit, and operational level.

In the corporate level, the strategies are formulated in accordance with the overall purpose and scope of the enterprise. Corporate strategies are those that you normally see in the mission statement of businesses.

In the business unit level, strategies are created to achieve competitiveness in the market. These are strategic decisions influencing the product choices, customer needs, market competition, and new opportunities in the market.

In the operational level, the strategies are concerned with the organization of the business and its parts. This is the application of the corporate and business unit strategies in the operations of the business.

A business strategy can influence the overall performance of your enterprise. Because strategies are created at all levels of the organization and imposed to achieve business objectives, it is imperative that the formulation of these strategies should be directed toward its implementation in the organization.

An effective strategy is possible by understanding the nature of each aspect that influences the market. More than the formulation of these strategies, it all boils down to how they can be implemented within the organization and how they can affect the actual and potential marketplace.

Three Types of Internet Business Strategies to Implement For a Profitable Online Enterprise

It will be interesting to note that all online entrepreneurs should have a full arsenal of Internet business strategies if they are to succeed in their chosen online business field. In fact, this arsenal should be overflowing before they even launch their e-commerce enterprise off the ground.

If you are planning on starting up your own Internet business, it is, crucial, to have a clearly defined business plan complete with goals for every step of the way. Each goal will need to be achievable within a reasonable time frame, and none of those get-rich-quick schemes that seem so tempting should even come within a ten-foot-pole of a sensible business plan.

It can be so easy to make money off the Internet if you have a good amount of effective business strategies to employ. If you prefer specialization, you can get into one of the many growing niche markets and dominate a specific niche you choose. However, you will need the corresponding specialized knowledge and information to bring your chosen niche to wide web stardom. Thorough research on the many Internet business strategies related to your niche you'll get a head start even before you get your business off in the running.

You will need so many strategies beginning with your business plan, such as strategies on how to get your business off the ground, and strategies on how to run your online business the proper way. Success is always about strategy, and the same is true with any e-commerce enterprise.

There are three types of strategies you will be dealing as you go your merry way preparing to make as much money as you can off the web. Business unit strategies will help you deal with the competition. It stands to reason that you will not be alone in offering the same products, the same services, or even the same niche. You'll need to meet, and even exceed, the expectations of your customers so they'll never even give a second though about the competition again.

Secondly, you'll need to get a leg up on corporate strategies to manage the overall direction of your online company. This means, if you have any investors in the business in the form of sponsors, advertisers, or partners, corporate strategy will help you manage relationships with all of them.

Third and most important, operational strategies will help you organize and propel your online business to the top of whichever particular market it belongs in. With these three types of strategies in your arsenal, you can be sure to achieve the much-touted success that every online entrepreneur dreams of having.

Not placing enough emphasis on Internet business strategies will only serve to sever your concentration on the business, and cause you to lose instead of gain online financial ground. This means, you need to keep an eye on your business on a daily basis to determine which strategy from your arsenal you need to implement in order to keep your business on the right track, and to earn a huge profit from your efforts.

4 Strategic Planning Tools For Business Model Innovation and Business Strategy Design

There are strategic planning tools for pretty much any objective a business executive can conceive of. However, for managers and entrepreneurs wishing to innovate their business model, it can be challenging making the leap from conventional thinking to the sort of creative but realistic thinking from which the next generation of sustainable profits can develop.

Knowing the types of tools you can use for various kinds of business strategy tasks can you get far more innovative results from your strategy development sessions while cutting the time it takes to arrive at good business models.

Tools for Mapping and Dominating Uncontested Market Spaces

1. Strategy Canvas

The Strategy Canvas is a tool first introduced in the book, "Blue Ocean Strategy" by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. It is a chart that plots the positions of business competitors relative to the factors important to the customer marketplace. The horizontal axis plots the factors of competition (hopefully established through customer knowledge), and the vertical axis plots the degree of offering or service level.

Using this chart differences between current and potential business competitors can be graphically portrayed. The primary point of the strategy canvas is to illustrate divergence between market and business strategies as it relates to customer needs. By using a strategy canvas, you can create a new value innovation that breaks the conflict between low cost and differentiation - the heart of blue ocean strategy.

The strategy canvas is also a great tool for USP development.

2. Strategic Control Point Index

This is a tool used to assess the level of strategic control a business has in its industry relative to competing businesses and organizations. It was best articulated by management consultant Adrian Slywotzky in "The Profit Zone" (a book which I highly recommend). The strategic control point index classifies these control points according to the level of "profit-protecting power" they confer to a business.

Simply put, it is a simple description of the path to monopoly power (or at least near-monopoly) in any business design. The profit protecting power of these strategic control points go from "None", "low", "medium" to "high". Some examples of strategic control points given by Slywotzky include:

  • 10 to 20 percent cost advantage in commodity product (low)
  • One-year product development lead (slightly higher, but still low)
  • Two-year product development lead (medium)
  • Brand, copyright (slightly higher, but still medium)
  • Customer relationship ownership (High)
  • String of superdominant market positions (Higher)
  • Management of the Value Chain (Even higher)
  • Standards Ownership (Highest)

3. 6 Paths Framework

This analytical tool is another from "blue ocean strategy" and masterfully gives strategists a way to think across the "six conventional boundaries of competition" to systematically construct new assumptions and stimulate product or business design breakthroughs. The idea is that one of these unconventional ways of looking at the competitive landscape may crack open a strategic breakthrough.

a) Look across industries - Compete with alternatives and substitutes for your product/service rather than those you think are your competition.

b) Look across strategic groups - Look at how your new strategy can be developed between the naturally assumed strategic boundaries in your industry.

c) Look across the chain of buyers - Consider how you can change the game by changing the defined "primary buyers.

d) Look across complementary products and services - Thinking about the whole system of your customer's typically solution (in which your current offering might be just a small part).

e) Look across functional or emotional appeal - Examine how you may be able to create a new value curve by adding emotion to a functionally oriented industry, or removing stripping out emotion and reducing a product or service to its functional core.

f) Look across time - Adjust your time horizon to a different point or cycle than is typical in the rest of your industry.

4. Business Design Matrix

The business design matrix is a great analytical tool that you can use to help understand and analyze "at a glance" the business models of your competitors. It is largely derived from the work of Dr. Adrian Slywotzky. The criteria across which you analyze your competitors as well as your own organization include:

  • Customer selection
  • Profit Capture System(s)
  • Differentiation / Strategic Control
  • Scope of offerings and presence

These core four considerations provide a foundation for deciding marketing strategy - a foundation upon which a larger business strategy can comfortably rest.

Business Strategy Implementation - 4 Factors to Turn Your Strategic Planning Into Execution

Business strategy implementation is the name of the game in small and large companies today. Due to a revolving door of management mantras and fads, and increasing "guru fatigue", there is increasing recognition that the ability to successfully execute new strategies and programs is the real key to competitive advantage in business in the 21st century - not strategy development.

The ability to implement business strategy successfully is dependent on proper alignment of strategy with internal and external business conditions. Here are 4 factors that business leaders must consider and connect to their road maps during the strategic planning process and beyond.

1. Customer Marketplace Realities

It's no longer enough to respond to the articulated needs of the marketplace. If you do not have a process for empathizing deeply with your target customer, profits will eventually migrate to the first competitor who is able to articulate the "silent priorities" of your marketplace and provide for them.

Sustained success today requires spending almost as much time in your customer's strategic space as you do in yours. If you're a business leader, assign a team that has continuing responsibility for delving deeply into the strategic challenges of your customer.

Another technique is to create an infrastructure of continuous customer interaction in which customers get used to sending you a stream of information about their business, their challenges, and even their plans.

2. Macroeconomic Realities and Trends

Macroeconomic trends have the important characteristic of being able to shift customer patterns and priorities. The ability to consistently spot these trends early and accurately analyze them is a mark of a great leadership team. Whether your organization is a small or big company, you must keep a close eye on macroeconomic conditions and draw up strategic and operating plans that acknowledge them, as well as contingency plans to execute if some of your fundamental assumptions prove to be wrong.

3. Competitor Positioning And Strategy

One of the most startling realities of today's globalized, digitized and rapidly evolving business environment is the ever-changing definition of who constitutes your competition. A local spa business that once had to contend with 3 other competitors in a small town today competes with dentists (dental spas), chiropractors, and maybe even allergists.

As a business strategist, you must develop "funnel vision" - the ability to monitor adjacent industries both for ideas and for the possibility that a competitor might be rising from there. You must also commit to regularly scanning value chain neighbors to identify strategic moves that could seriously affect the viability of your business model.

4. Internal Resources And Ability To Execute

Your business strategy implementation process will stumble if you do not have a very clear grasp of the capabilities of your business team and the resources your leaders have available to successfully execute strategy.

  • Do your product lines and service offerings represent the past demand or the future priorities of your industry?
  • Does your company have a culture of execution, accountability and adaptability?
  • Is your organizational structure updated to the current needs of the marketplace?
  • How does your sales force compare with those of the competition in terms of length of time in the industry and in profile?
  • Is your organization structurally and culturally focused to be clearly understood by potential partner companies?
  • Does your organization have a deep enough network of strategic alliances to respond nimbly to market changes?

Perform an audit of your business - your core competencies, your structure, culture, marketing and core processes. Examine your budget. Dig deep into the reality of your organization's position.

Successful Business Strategy Implementation Depends On Realism

Effective strategic implementation depends on your ability to incorporate these factors into your planning process. Do not permit yourself or other leaders in your organization to merely pay lip service to these areas and move on.

Much of what passes for business strategy development activities today are merely exercises in "educated visioning" (or even worse, "guessing"). Good strategy is more than just vision-crafting. Your process must look for facts, robustly question and debate assumptions and have a continuing element of follow through and feedback to account for an increasingly dynamic business environment.