Strategy is an exceptionally customer-oriented concept of how competitive advantages can be achieved by allocating resources which are available to the organisation. Understanding the elements of strategy and implementing the same will ensure necessary sustainability for the company. Answers to five key questions when translated to disciplined action, profitable and sustainable growth can be achieved.
- How will we win in the market place? Which deliberately chosen set of activities will deliver a unique mix of value?
- Where will we be active and with how much emphasis? (product categories, markets, or geographic arenas)
- How will we get there? (incubation, joint ventures, acquisition)
- What will be our speed and sequence of moves? (speed of expansion, sequence of initiatives, priorities for investments)
- How will we obtain our returns? (what is the business model: what products/services do we sell and at what pricing?
For Startups wishing to challenge the status quo in the market place or make use of a technical breakthrough for building value, narrower focus is critical to succeed. Above questions provide them a customer-oriented lens to establish the game plan.
For established companies trying to retain their position in the market place or enter into new avenues, these questions provide a guideline to chart out the directional inputs for the business plan. When the same set of questions are viewed through the lens of what your competition is doing, opportunities to establish stronger bias for your product/service might emerge. Just change “we” to “they” to strengthen your counter or protective position.
Formulate the overall strategy with utmost clear answers to these five questions and implement the same diligently to attain a sustainable competitive position. Consistent and periodic revisiting will help maintain the edge over the market and competition.