Questions to Ask when Writing a Small Business Strategy

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When developing a small business strategy the business owner should be asking the following types of questions:

• What types of markets to target?

• How to successfully grow your market (using some pretty specific market strategies)?

• What types of customers to target?

• What your geographical reach or area is; or should be?

• types (or features and benefits) of services or products (consider your marketing mix product tactics in your decision making process) to offer?

• Is it time to consider the advantages of diversification; (understanding the differences between unrelated and related diversification) from a market, industry, global, product, and/or services perspective?

• Is it time to assess your product tactics?

• What are your company’s strengths and weaknesses (internal)?

• What are your company’s opportunities and threats (external)? Follow a sample SWOT analysis to develop your own SWOT and to answer both the internal and external questions.

• Does your company have enough cash flow or will you need access to credit? Are your personal and business credit reports in order? Managing your cash and your credit is a key element of building your strategy.

• Who are your competitors (do some competitive intelligence)? And what is your competitive strategy?

• What are your industry’s key success factors (do an industry analysis)?

• How does your business compare to your competition in a value chain analysis?

• What type of skills, equipment and technology are required in your industry (build a strong business operations plan)?

• And then ask yourself if your small business model (using a 5 Forces Model) should focus on a niche, a low cost provider, high cost and high service, or a diversified strategic approach?

It is essential for every business to have a clear business strategy. If you require assistance in developing your business strategy please contact Peter Sleigh.