Posted: April 3, 2018 by Robert Craven
A few questions about your so-called unique strategy.
By definition, a unique strategy is unique. By definition, it is difficult to copy. So, what about yours?
Does it actually help you to say ‘no’ to the wrong type of potential customer? Strategy is as much about defining what you don’t do as it is about what you do.
Does it help you to know when you are standing in front of the right potential customer? Strategy is about deciding who you do what for, and why. It should make you especially sexy to your target clients.
Does it make it harder for your competition (and easier for you)? Does it create barriers to competing with you? Does it make it hard for the competition to work in ‘your’ space? Does it make it hard for them to copy you? Does it make you so distinctive that you can create an entirely new type of market or a category of one?
I usually say that strategy is planning while being aware of your own capability and the outside environment (the world, political, economic, societal, technological, legal, environmental, economic factors as well the industry, market, competitors and customers). But I would like to add to that context/environment argument.
I would argue that it isn’t a strategy if it doesn’t solve a challenge.
If the idea is simply to work harder, get up earlier or charge more/less, then that is simply a plan and lacks the fundamental requirement of a good strategy.
A good strategy solves a problem.
It has focus and purpose unlike most of the ‘try harder’ plans (and I have no issue with that approach if that is what is needed).
A good strategy might solve any of these challenges: How will we create a sustainable, profitable business in the next 18 months? How will we create a business with a sale value of £10m within 3 years? How will we become a top 3 player (by turnover) in the UK market?
What problem or challenge does your strategy solve?