Every single person or a firm wants to be successful in whatever they are doing. But not many achieve the feat and struggle in their respective fields. Apart from many challenges the businesses usually face, creating a stellar strategy that can make their work easy is one of the key aspects.
As a business owner or manager, you need to devise a plan that gives you sustainable competitive advantage over your competitors preferably in the long term as you should avoid shortcuts to gain some advantage for a temporary time period. Another approach is to think of ways how to manage multiple tasks at work for utilizing the resources to the fullest and maximizing revenues.
While you need to grasp the details of your business and that of your rivals in the business too, don’t think of creating a strategy as a month long task or something out of this world. A strategy is just about having a direction that you think will be suitable for your business, implementing some ideas you have gathered and vehemently going after the target. Let me offer you easy guidance in this regard in the form of 5 steps which are imperative in creating a strategy that works in the real world.
1. Analyzing the Playing Field
The first step is to jot down the role of your competitors and the share they have in the marketplace. You need to consider every business offering the product or service you also provide regardless of their size or when their companies were established. Keep a track of their share for last 2-3 years both locally and internationally (if applicable) and asses where you fit in the scenario. Then move on for some more detailed work that I will describe now.
The management should dog deep in the characteristics of the business of your competitors. This may include, but not limited to, the value of the goods produced, the cycle of production, growth curve, etc. Then comes the most important part on which you have to focus your strategy and that is the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. If you are able to analyze this factor alone commendably you can surely unlock the door to the success with ease.
2. A Deep Look at your Competitors
To create a strategy for your future growth, you need have a good idea about what your competitors are doing for the last few years and what the secret of their success is for so long. No business can survive for so long in the marketplace without having a good product and a strategy woven around the idea of keeping their customers satisfied. That’s why you need to track what your competitors have been up to and their recipe for the continual growth.
If you think that anyone of your competitor is having a product acting as the game-changer in the market, give this aspect some extra attention. Focus on the technology used to produce that product or the IT system / ERP used by them. You have to dig deep in order to know everything about them. Additionally, you need to take a look at some new entrants in the market and what was their performance in the last 1 year.
3. Critically Analyze your Personal and Team Performance
Sit back and take a close look with honestly scrutinizing your very own performance. You won’t know the competitive playing field well if you don’t know how well you did in the recent past. If you introduced a new product in this period or expanded your business with a new production unit, evaluate if it was the right move and what was the consequences of it. You can use a task management software or tool like TaskQue for better results.
You have to further analyze that whether you a lost a competitive advantage, or in other words, a unique selling proposition (USP) that was working wonders for you in the market. The advantage can be in the form of a great salesperson, a unique product or use of technology that your competitors don’t know much about. Always remember that taking time in creating a strategy is worth the effort as once implemented successfully, it will be the best thing happened to you since you started your business.
4. What Lies Ahead for your Business in the Future
You need to examine carefully the dynamics of the marketplace in which your business operates and what lies ahead for you in the near and distant future. What is one aspect or factor that you fear the most and feel vulnerable in that area. Is there anything that your competitors can use against you and take the market share from you? No guessing as you must get the facts straight and do your homework before coming out with the answers that are so critical for the very survival of your business.
You also need to have more than just a quick glance on the products and services being launched by your competitor. Is there a new technology which your competitor might use and create the products using it? You need to ponder on all the above mentioned questions and others in order to have the right idea about how to move forward in the future based on a strategy which encompasses every aspect needed to be checked.
5. Your Killer Move to Capture the Market
Rival firms wait for the next business move from each other with baited breath. After all, their very existence in the marketplace depends upon it. That’s why don’t be surprised when your product or an acquisition gets the attention from your competitors. You need to play it safe; make your next move with precision as a slight mistake can leave you high and dry and your competitors taking the advantage of the situation.
You have to ask an important question to yourself; what your company can do to make sure you retain the clientele you got after so many hardships for a long time? Not only you have to think out of the box to retain them but increase your clients in the future too. That’s why strategies needed to be built after several brainstorming sessions so that you don’t have to recreate them after just a few days or weeks.
A good and detailed strategy act as a catalyst in running a business to its optimum and gaining new grounds. The above mentioned 5 steps can take some time to materialize. But once you are certain they are ready to be applied, the strategy as a result will be instrumental in your success and also safeguard your business interests in the future.