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You can either grow a business or strategically grow a business.


Strategy is the art of designing an action plan to achieve a particular goal. This action plan moves you from your current state to a future desired state in the most optimal way possible.

What is Strategy Development in Business?

Every business requires strategies. Strategies can be formulated to achieve certain objectives or overcome specific challenges.

For example: 

A software sales company is developing a strategy to expand from B2B to B2C.

A skincare company is developing a strategy to become more sustainable. 

A fintech company is developing a strategy to gain a million customers in North America.

The act of strategy development is the process of researching and identifying options, producing a measurable and specific action plan intended to move the business to a future desired goal by determining resource allocation that minimizes risk and gets maximum impact. 

It sets the tone and unites teams to work towards one common goal. 

Without a strategy, businesses risk navigating blind, scattering effort, and missing out on growth opportunities.

Types of Strategy in a Business

Strategy can be developed at 4 levels in a business. This includes:

6 Key Phases of Strategy Development

Phase 1: Establish Your Current State

Before plotting the finish line, we must have a meticulous understanding of the starting point. This first step entails an evaluation of the organization’s current status. There are various frameworks that facilitate  this process:

Source: BHive

Phase 2: Clarify Your Goal

With a lucid understanding of where you are and where you can be, phase 2 involves setting your goal. Leveraging the SMART goal framework can be very helpful in this situation. SMART, is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For example, a SMART Goal for a B2B Accounting SAAS company could be:

“Increase our software sales by 25% over the next year.”

Note: SMART goals can be allowed some flexibility and agility until the strategy formulation process is complete. The research and analysis to come can bring about clarity in elements like sales percentages and timelines.

Phase 3: Collect Information and Analyze

With your goal clearly outlined, it’s time to delve into comprehensive research, gathering both internal and external insights. This foundational step ensures your strategy is not only goal-driven but also anchored in data-driven decisions.

It is best to collect and analyze information across two environments:

You can use several strategic frameworks to analyze both internal and external environments.

For External Analysis:

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For Internal Analysis:

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For example: The B2B Accounting SaaS company aiming for a 25% sales boost in 1 year, can use many of these frameworks to guide and bring forth strategy options:

A PESTEL Analysis can illuminate external factors like tech trends or regulatory shifts that can help them increase sales. With Value Curve Analysis, they can discern areas of value innovation, offering a unique value proposition in the SaaS landscape, while Ansoff’s Matrix, can help explore avenues like market penetration, product development, market development, or diversification to determine the most effective strategy for their sales growth aspiration.

Internally, a SWOT Analysis can highlight the company’s core strengths and areas of improvement to support sales, and a Value Chain Analysis can spotlight operational segments that, if optimized, can bolster customer attraction and retention. 

These frameworks can help bring clear patterns to light leading to the success of increasing sales. It can look like this:

Phase 4: Finalize your Strategic Plan

At this stage, you may have multiple strategies on the table. It is considered an excellent practice to involve key stakeholders to synthesize before finalizing your plans. Engaging your department heads, advisors, and board members can offer important perspectives, ensuring the strategy is both holistic and grounded. 

You can use strategic frameworks like:

Source: BHive

Once a consensus is reached and the strategy is clearly defined, it’s time to formalize it.

Phase 5: Formalize your Strategic Plan

Now it’s time to cement your strategy into a detailed strategic document that delineates the approach, actions, responsibilities, timelines, and benchmarks for assessment. This becomes the company’s compass, directing all endeavours toward the achievement of its goals.

Although a strategic plan doesn’t necessarily follow a standardized format, a high-quality strategic plan does tend to carry certain hallmarks that elevate it from being merely adequate to truly exemplary.

A high-quality strategic plan should have 3 characteristics:

Here are some templates that can help you get started:

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Phase 6: Execute Your Plan

While devising a strategy is an intellectual feat, its execution is where the rubber meets the road. Successful strategy execution hinges on several core principles:

  1. Clear communication: The way you communicate your strategy can make or break its execution. When communicating the strategy, every team member, from top-tier management to ground-level employees, should be able to fully grasp the rationale behind the strategy, their roles and responsibilities in the broader context, and direct benefits to them if the strategy is successful. Make it practice to regularly reinforce the strategy through updates, reviews, or company-wide material to encourage a better buy-in. 
  2. Enabling execution: Once a strategy is ready to go, it is the responsibility of the founder / senior leadership to ensure company tools, funds, resources, and manpower are aligned and available for smooth execution. 
  3. Monitoring and feedback mechanisms: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as defined in your formal strategy, should be put in place and tracked regularly by the assigned team members. This allows for real-time learning and adjustments if needed, to keep the execution on track. Don’t forget to celebrate milestones to boost morale and reaffirm the value of the strategic direction. 
  4. Fostering a culture of adaptability: Cultivate a culture of adaptability in the company. As external market conditions change, the ability to adapt can help your business anticipate changes and make you more responsive.

In an ever-evolving business landscape, a well-developed strategy development process can become your compass guiding you through uncertainties, ensuring agility, alignment, and purpose. Remember, it’s not just about reaching the destination, but navigating the journey with clarity and cohesion. Embrace each phase and watch your strategic visions transform into tangible success.

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