Due to the pressures of time on business, owners not enough attention is given to the composition of the business strategy and, in particular, to detailed business planning.
Sometimes it is simply a matter of “load and shoot, and then aim”. Most of us are inclined to spend more time “in” our businesses and not sufficient time “on” our businesses. This truth urges us to different insights and actions.
Ensuring the continued existence of our businesses should be enough reason to make time in our diaries to create the strategy for our business and to review this continuously. If we are too busy with other responsibilities, no-one else in the business will take up the responsibility of figuring out the strategy.
The process for the development of a strategy requires various and complementary skills, and experience. There are two possibilities:
1. Involve the senior staff from your business’ functional areas
- Human resources
- Client services
2. Bounce your ideas off of experts you may know (sounding board)
If you are a sole owner, you may also obtain the benefit of other expertise and experience by using, as a sounding board, an external team of experts, which may include your:
- Financial planner
- Personal banker
- Property adviser
- A good friend or acquaintance with a successful business
You do not necessarily have to pay them for the time they put at your disposal. Give them a small token of appreciation and offer to do the same for them.
For me business strategy is the creation of ideas, the development of suggestions and the description and further analysis of a personal vision that will direct the future of the business, in order to profit from trends, new developments and opportunities. It should further also embody the vision of the owner(s) of the business.
A well-composed business strategy has the following benefits:
- It helps management to take better and more informed decisions
- It focuses the attention of the staff on what is important for the business’ future success
- It gives the business the competitive edge by focussing on what the business is good at and specialises in
The content in this article was provided by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market. Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, headquartered in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.
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