Designing an effective business strategy is essential for any type of organization. From startups formed in a Silicon Valley garage to blue-chip companies that are navigating a major pivot, these companies’ ambitious goals will not be accomplished without a good business strategy.
However, actually going about and designing that business growth strategy is easier said than done. Not only can it be difficult to identify what strategy to pursue, but crystallizing that growth strategy into tangible steps can be easier said than done.
In our prior post, we spoke about some of the main differences between a good business strategy and a bad business strategy. Here, we are going to go one step forward and talk about some best practices when you are actively designing a good business strategy. No matter the tactics that make up your growth strategy, these best practices will maximize your odds of creating a terrific business strategy.
Important Best Practices to Help You Create Your Business Strategy
The first step in creating a great growth strategy is to sit down with your team and identify where your company can provide value. This may seem like a redundant or unnecessary step, as you have likely already achieved significant traction to this point. Nonetheless, objectively looking at the market and identifying what the market wants is a great first step. Even though you may have specific objectives on what you want your business to accomplish, this exercise can help you in designing tactics to achieve those objectives.
An example is helpful. Slack is a tool that all of us know and love, yet Slack didn’t start out as Slack. Instead, founder Stewart Butterfield’s original idea was an online game called Glitch. While his goal was to create a never-ending game, he came to realize that the game’s users loved the game’s communication tools. Taking what the market was giving him, Butterfield and his team pivoted to create Slack.
The bottom line? Objectively look at the market, see what it wants, and craft your strategy so that you can deliver what it wants.
Next, ensure that you have the resources to carry out that growth strategy. The best-designed business strategies ensure that the company has (or can easily access) the resources and tools it needs to carry out that strategy. Whether that means hiring several new employees or using existing resources in a new way, these businesses get the job done.
A great example of this is from Amazon. Jeff Bezos and his Amazon team are known for launching many different types of experiments, yet one of its most famous was Amazon Web Services. In 2004, a small team at Amazon summarized the idea of how the company could make money on its IT services. With Bezos’s blessing, the team went forth and designed a tech and business strategy to get AWS off the ground. As part of that, the lead of the project, who moved to South Africa with his family, assembled a new team in Cape Town to spearhead the project. It’s just one example of how resources are critical for any growth strategy.
Finally, constantly monitor your growth strategy. We live in a dynamic world where facts are constantly changing. Even though a growth strategy may be well-designed right now, it may be flawed in future weeks or months. Because of this, your team needs to frequently monitor how your business strategy is playing out in the real world. If it isn’t working, you and your colleagues will need to quickly pivot. But if it is working, you may want to invest even more time and resources into that strategy. By staying attentive, you will design an extremely effective growth strategy.
Go Forth and Design Your Business Strategy
With these best practices in mind, I’m confident that you and your colleagues can create a top-notch business strategy. Importantly, however, you will need to be patient. Growth strategies can take some time to play out. Yet by being patient, constantly monitoring your business strategy, and iterating as necessary, you’ll maximize your odds of success.