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Business strategy 101

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Your business needs a strategy. But how do you come up with one?

To answer this question we should dig deeper in the different frameworks used when designing a strategy. The list is very long and includes purposeful positioning, SWOT analysis, Porter’s 5 forces, innovation leadership, game theory, 4 actions framework, blue/red ocean strategy, operations design , SHRM and others. Sounds difficult, hey?

Let’s take these concepts and build something out of them. Some questions to ask yourself when designing your business strategy are:

  • Corporate level strategy - What market are we in?

  • Business level strategy - How do we keep/grow our market share? What’s our strategic posture?

  • Product/service strategy – What is the right mix to achieve our goals?

  • Function level strategy - What needs to be done on a daily basis to keep/grow our market share? Do we have the right operations model?

  • Horizon 1 Strategy (next financial year) - How do we commercialise our current products or services to achieve our short-term financial goals?

  • Horizon 2 Strategy (next 2 to 5 years) - What are the high-growth opportunities in the market that we’ll need to add to our core offering? How do we put them in the market?

  • Horizon 3 Strategy (next 5-10 years or longer) - What are the long-term germs of new business in the far future? How do we develop them?

  • Implementation strategy – How we make it all happen? (one of the most important parts).

Some of the key elements to consider across horizons and levels of strategy are: value proposition, key partners, activities and resources (including human resources), clients / customer segments and relationships, marketing channels, revenue streams and cost structure.

Finally, a careful external analysis with a focus on industry analysis should be performed. For instance, the macroeconomic situation (e.g. a pandemic) and the level of market competitiveness can deeply affect your business strategy.

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