Sunday, August 8, 2010

Troubleshooting your Business Strategies

Author: Kaye Z. Marks

A business strategy is a work in progress. It is not a one shot deal. It should continually evolve to suit the current business climate. At some point in time, you may have assessed if your strategy is actually doing what it is meant to do.

You probably asked this question because chances are that someone you hired had specifically developed this for you and prepared this strategy.

This is true for many business owners because either they do not have the time to actually sit down and write the strategy, or they are terrified when they hear the word business strategy. For some it involves a lot of analyzing using tools like SWOT analysis, environmental scanning, risk analysis, financial prospects, etc. Well, they are. However, as a business owner you cannot just rely on a specialist or a consultant to do the thinking for you. True, they are trained and paid to do business strategies. However, implementing the strategy is another thing.

More often than not, these specialists and consultants are not very familiar with the ins and outs of your business. Often they come in, interview a couple of management people, look at some graphs, refer to some statistics, and Voila! They have a business strategy for you. I do not have anything against consultants or specialists but these people come in to your business with a package. They are not coming in to really look into the business in order to develop a plan; they are bringing in a template. A template that they have been prescribing to many businesses long before you hired them. A little tweaking to factor in some business peculiarities and you have for yourself a business strategy.

A template, though not necessarily bad, can go wrong. This can be particularly if it does not suit the business. Perhaps the strategy is not achieving the desired results, or worse, a misguided strategy can put the entire business at risk. Regardless of the severity of your concern, it is up to you as the business owner to make the necessary changes along the way.

Take this for example. If you realized that your marketing collaterals such as your posters are not achieving their purpose, will you immediately order a recall? Why not? You can do this but the question is will it help you or the business? Pulling them out of circulation is not only a waste of time and resources. You have to consider the amount of money you put into poster printing and the amount of time it took you to distribute it and eventually the time you will spend pulling them down.

It is also dangerous because of perceptions that something has gone wrong with your business or your products and services. What is important is for you to find ways to express your concerns in a manner that will not adversely affect the reputation of your business. By acting cautiously and thoughtfully, you can address your concerns without alarming the general clientele and your team.

Admittedly, business strategy development is a difficult and challenging task because it is time-intensive and often involves a messy process. The result is never perfect. Far from it! However, as the business owner, you have the obligation to act decisively if you see that there is something wrong in your business strategy.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in the posters or poster printing industry that benefit small to medium scale businesses.

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About the Author: Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in the online printing industry.

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