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Common mistakes enterprises make

Companies often fail because of simple strategic blunders that can easily be avoided. What is more fascinating is that companies make the same mistakes again and again. In light of this, below are the main mistakes to avoid when developing your strategy.You may have had a great performance the previous year, but that does not mean you need to replicate the same business strategy in the current year.The operating environment will definitely have changed and so should your business strategy change.CUSTOMERS AND THEIR NEEDSA good business strategy should start with identification of customers and their needs. Consider their needs in relation to your value propositions: what unmet needs can you help to address? What problems can you solve? How can you make things better, easier, yummier, luxurious, etc?

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After looking at your customers and their needs, it is important to consider competitors and market trends. Who are the main competitors?How different are their products and services from yours? What are they better at than you? What is their mode of interaction with customers? Also, examine market trends to identify key opportunities or changing customer expectations.NOT GETTING BUY-IN FROM OTHERSNot involving key stakeholders in the formulation of your strategy is a sure bet for its failure. Some organisations just pick a few key senior staff to formulate their strategy.Once the plan is ready, the document is handed down over to middle management to execute.The granddaddy of all execution problems is created. When developing your plan, seek the input of all key departments. This will lead to a more comprehensive document and will lead to an early buy-in of the strategic plan.Plan the implementation of your strategy in advance. Have a critical look of the organisation and assess existing skills and capabilities and those that are missing.Think about how to fill the gaps.Should you bring in new talent? Do you need to partner with others?NOT GETTING NUMBERS RIGHTIn strategic planning you must get your numbers right. Be clear on your targeted revenues and profits. This will facilitate easier monitoring of progress.Also, ensure there is enough budget to fund the plan. The worst thing you want is to have a plan that is not fully implemented due to shortage of funds.In strategic planning clear goals and milestones are a necessity. They let you know where you are going and whether you are essentially getting there. You should therefore take the time to define your key performance indicators and come up with systems to monitor on a regular basis.We are in the era of big data. The use of gut feeling and assumptions to develop strategy are inexcusable. Build your strategy on as many facts as you can. Invest in data analysis tools.Once you implement your strategic plan, you need to regularly monitor progress. If things are not working, establish why and change fast. Never fall in love with your document.By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can come up with a strategic plan that is effective and valuable – where you realize the desired results.

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