If you are an entrepreneur and you are in business than you are doing strategy!
As an entrepreneur you may say: “I’m fairly certain that I have not written down a strategy for my business “or “I’m too small and I have not developed a strategy for my business”.
Irrespective of whether you have formalized a strategy or think that you are ready to draft a strategy, you are in fact doing strategy.
Let’s start with what business strategy is.
Your business strategy is the set of coherent (focused and coordinated) choices that leads to coherent action to achieve your business success outcomes. Think business strategy, think business choices.
When you are in business you are constantly making strategic choices. Where you operate, the type of products or services you provide, how you price your products or services, whether to expand or not, etc. You are therefore doing strategy. The question is how effective is this strategy
There are three modes of strategy:
Which one are you in?
Haphazard strategy is when those choices are made on the fly, as dictated by circumstances without structured thinking and documentation. The business operates mostly in a reactive manner without being proactive and having a clear view of where it wants to be and the steps it needs to take to move in that direction.
Haphazard strategy is characterized by constantly fighting fires. This does not set you up for sustained business success and is a key contributor to business failure. The saying by Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” holds true.
A fixed strategy is a fixed plan or static strategy where the business develops a documented plan which remains fixed and does not adapt with changing circumstances. The business is, as a result, not managed and run according to the plan. The typical business plan is often an example of such a fixed strategy. A business plan is developed to obtain funding and once the funding is obtained, and in a short period of time the business plan is outdated and not a reflection of the business.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said: “The only constant in life is change”. And so it is in business. The business does not operate in isolation and its environment impacts on the business. Circumstances change and choices made may not produce the desired outcomes or results.
Either of these two dynamics could necessitate the need to adapt strategic choices to accommodate the new reality, exploit new opportunities and keep the business moving towards its success objectives. These could be small adjustments to some of the choices.
A strategy is not meant to be frequently overhauled with wholesale change. A strategy is meant to be your north star that keeps the business on track. You should therefore have a documented strategy - that you adapted to changing circumstances.
An adaptive strategy is the best way to keep your business on the path of sustained business success.
Need help undertaking effective, adaptive strategy? Try our strategic planning and management web application, ChoiceWyze for free or contact us at email@example.com or +27 87 0929 286