Business strategy is a vital tool for long- and short-term planning. There are a lot of positive results that can come out of a well-planned business strategy. However, if a business strategy isn’t implemented properly, it can do more harm than good for your company.
A CFOs input is vital in any business strategy planning. They have the financial information needed to help determine where and/or when a business should expand, consolidate, move into new territory, or sit back and wait for a better opportunity.
If you’re at all involved in business strategy, you might benefit from reviewing the following five questions that can help drive your business strategy to success. Reena Jana at SmartPlanet has done an excellent job going over these five questions. We’ve compiled them below and added a little bit of our input as well.
1. “What is your winning aspiration?” Starting any planning session means knowing what the end goal is. This is more than a simple statement about what your company believes in. You need to know what the ultimate goal is for your products or the service you provide and keep that as your compass.
2. “Where will you play?” Where your company will operate must be examined in depth as part of your business strategy. Go into as much detail as possible to find out what obstacles or advantages exist in the areas you want to expand or continue to function profitably in.
3. “How will you win?” When looking ahead for your corporate strategy you need to have concrete ideas and data behind it, ensuring you will continue to win. Winning means being profitable. Will you enhance old products? Change services provided? Create a new product? What’s the key part of your strategy that will keep you winning in the present and the future?
4. “Which capabilities must be in place?” Everyone in your company already knows what you are able to produce and produce well. The present isn’t the concern here. You need to strategize about what capabilities or attributes of your company will allow it to continue the “winning” from question three. What does your business absolutely have to focus on to guarantee success in the future?
5. “What management systems are required?” In order for your company to move forward, does it need new management systems or do old ones need to be tweaked? What management system will enable the capabilities from question number four to thrive in your company? This could be a simple solution, or it could require an overhaul.
Make sure you answer these questions with your strategy team the next time you go over the current business strategy.