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.