A paper from Business Information and Skills (BIS) in 2013 found that 46% of SMEs do not plan. Many aren’t even sure what “strategy” is. In fact strategy is often associated with big companies and an inconvenience for a smaller business, when there is so much to do all the time!
The issue we find with many businesses we work with, and speak to, is that they waste money, time and effort on resources and activities that do not get them the results they want because they are essentially reactive and often jump into the next thing that seems right in the moment. They don’t have a strategy which is about proactively deciding how you want to move forward.
“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.”
Michael Porter, Harvard Business School
The definition of “strategy” is ‘a plan for a specific major result’. “Tactics” are a plan or action for promoting a desired end result – something that contributes to your higher level major results. Businesses often think they are being strategic when they are in fact being tactical and this contributes to their not moving forward as much as they would like – because they’re not considering the broader major result they are looking to achieve and therefore other tactics that might promote that.
We believe they need to see the bigger strategic picture in order to make better decisions in the moment, about what to invest in, where to focus their efforts and where to spend their time, if they want to overcome their barriers to growth and maximise on the opportunities for growth that are out there.
The same applies with their education and development. There are many workshop options you could select that will seemingly deal with specific issues but because of the lack of strategy in the business in general, they can have limited sustainable impact and the same problems keep resurfacing. This is why we focus on strategy at the heart of all our services and workshops, so that our clients will have more insight into what specific support to invest their resources in if any.
We find that by starting with what they want, their Purpose and Vision, and helping them chunk that back into action on a quarterly and monthly basis, they get to see beyond the limitations, they become more resourceful and are able to find solutions that will mean they can overcome their barriers and make smart decisions on how to move forward.
At the end of the day the idea behind strategy is to take considered and purposeful action. It’s all too easy to end up as a busy fool, diving straight in to business delivery activity because it makes us feel like we’re doing something, but ultimately not achieving the results we want. We would strongly recommend putting the time aside to develop your strategy for the year if you want to make real purposeful progress towards achieving your business vision.
If you want help with this then attend one of our upcoming events HERE .