Developing a business strategy that is reflective of what you want to achieve requires concentration and thought. Yes, it can be demanding and time consuming but without this critical tool many businesses fail to appreciate the potential or viability of their business services or products.
One of the most important things to remember is that business environments constantly change, therefore strategies and plans developed need to be:
- Contextualised to the size of the business;
- Developed as a living document; and
- Based upon a firm foundation of fact.
People often get carried away with an idea without really defining or quantifying how to bring an idea to reality. Too many strategies are short term; focused on perceived customer needs and only evaluated in terms of sales success. Often reference to a strategy is actually a plan. A strategy and a plan are distinct, but important elements to the success of a business.
The strategy is an assessment of your current business (or idea) and where you want to take it. The plan is the action upon which the strategy is realised. The following diagram outlines the phases of a strategy and plan.
In the financial services sector, most businesses offer a combination of blended services. A product transaction with a service. Good strategies require a long term view in order to be effective and should links critical information about the business.
All strategies and plans should be critically evaluated. Often in start-up situations this is hard as ideas and concepts are often intellectual property or depend on confidentiality. Using someone like FinServ may give the independent critique you have been looking for.