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Business Planning and Market Strategy

Business strategy is the foundation of every successful business. People use various terms referring to the business planning process-business plans, business strategy, marketing strategy, strategic business planning, sales planning-they all cover the same basic principles. When faced with business planning or strategy development tasks it is important to clarify exactly what is required: clarify what needs to be done.

If you are unsure of how to write a business strategy or what types of business strategy are right for your business, try this as a simple exercise: take a piece of paper and at the bottom, write a brief account of where the business is now. Then at the top, write where you want the business to be in "x" amount of years. Next, in between the two write what you need to do and when you need to do it to get from the bottom of the page to the top. This kind of rough business development strategy should not take more than an hour.

When planning your business strategy, ask yourself:

  • Where is my business trying to get to in the long-term?
  • Which areas should my business compete in and what type of activities are involved in such markets?
  • How can my business perform better than the competition? Explore new ways of leaving the competition behind, researching competitor activities, strengths, weaknesses, products, services, prices, etc.
  • What resources are required in order to be able to compete? (Skills, assets, finance, technical competence, etc)
  • What external, environmental factors affect the businesses' ability to compete?
  • Address financial details, challenges and opportunities relating to modern technology, the Internet, websites, etc.

 

Strategy at Different Levels of a Business

Strategies exist at several levels in any organization- ranging from the overall business(or a group of businesses) through to individuals working in it.

Corporate Strategy- your mission statement

Business Unit Strategy- how your business competes successfully in a particular market; meeting needs of customers, gaining advantage over competitors, exploiting or creating new opportunities etc.

Operational Strategy- how each part of your business is organized to deliver the corporate and business-unit level strategic direction. Focuses on issues of resources, processes, people, etc.

Know Your Client.

Most Businesses have a very poor understanding of what their customers' value most in the relationship, so ensure you discover this in the research stage, and reflect it in your stated product or service proposition(s).

Customers invariably value these benefits higher than all others: Ensure your offerings to your clients lead to one of the following, this will ensure that the client has interest in doing business with your company.

  • Making money
  • Saving money
  • Saving time

 

Business Planning and Market Strategies for your company will change from time to time. The companies who complete strategic planning find that the time spent was well invested giving them a clear understanding of their game plan for their business today and tomorrow.