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5 Essential Steps to Business Strategy Formulation

We outline the five essential steps to consider when formulating your business strategy to give you the foundations to develop a winning plan.
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5 Essential Steps to Business Strategy Formulation

We outline the five essential steps to consider when formulating your business strategy to give you the foundations to develop a winning plan.
Shot of a businesswoman giving a presentation to her colleagues on a whiteboard in a boardroom

Business strategy planning is always full of risks. Navigating the complexities of the market and prioritising your business focus can be challenging. As a business professional involved in developing your strategy, it’s important for you and your peers to know you have confidence that your approach will deliver.  

Define Your Vision and Goals

Before you begin with your business strategy formulation, does your business have a compelling vision and clearly defined goals? These are glue of your business strategy that keeps everyone in your business on track. If you want to make X amount of money by the end of the financial year, make sure you have the vision and culture in place to help you deliver this.  

In 2020, Arlington Research and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) found that nearly half of business decision makers (49%) didn’t believe their company had a strategic vision. And of those that did, only 24% felt they were using customer feedback to shape this.  

Engaging in reviewing your Value Proposition (what you stand for) internally or with help from partners can help you better understand where you fit in the market and what you’re looking to achieve.  

Following this, make sure you set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound) that serve as guiding beacons for your journey. 

Understand Your Opportunities And Challenges 

So now you know what you stand for, how do you shape your business strategy formulation to strengthen your business against your weaknesses, and target areas for quick wins? 

 Embark on a thorough SWOT analysis to uncover your business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Leverage relevant keyword searches to identify emerging opportunities and anticipate potential threats in the competitive landscape. 

 The different teams in your business will all have useful insights on this. Engage key stakeholders in collaborative brainstorming sessions to gain diverse perspectives and enrich your strategic insights. 

Time, Money, Workforce – Prioritise Your Resource 

You’re not going to be able to achieve everything on day one. It’s important when formulating your business strategy to prioritise the most important elements and commit resource to those areas that have to succeed. Do you have the manpower, the finances and the time in place to achieve all that is required?

On top of this, ensuring this is understood across the business is key to it being delivered. To do this, you could develop actionable plans that outline clear objectives, timelines, and responsibilities, ensuring alignment with strategic priorities. 

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Effective Monitoring

Your business strategy is going to require measurement along the way to make sure it’s on track and performing to your expectations. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that serve as quantifiable metrics for measuring progress and evaluating success.  

Foster a culture of accountability by regularly monitoring performance against established KPIs and adapting strategies based on actionable insights. Make sure your KPIs work for you and are tangible and measurable.  

Embrace Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation 

Your business strategy is not set in stone, and not allowing your businesses to maintain flexibility and make the most of new opportunities that come along will prevent your business from reaching its full potential.  

Embracing a mindset of continuous improvement, and fostering a culture of agility and innovation, will empower your team to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances and maintain a competitive edge. Without this, you may be at risk of losing your competitive edge very quickly, as has been the case with well-established businesses such as Paperchase.  

Conclusion 

In the journey towards business success, mastering the art of strategy formulation is paramount. By following these five essential steps – from defining your vision to embracing continuous adaptation – you can position your businesses for sustained business growth and resilience in today’s dynamic marketplace. 

Need support or guidance?  

Getting additional advice or knowledge to help with your business strategy planning can help provide you with comprehensive frameworks, and tried and tested ways of business delivery. Find out how Help To Grow Management Course’s 12-weeks of activity can provide you with the perfect template to grow your business.  

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