What’s your strategy? Do you even have one?

Strategy is like a map to help you get to a desired outcome.  But like all maps it has to be clear in all its aspects. Too many businesses nowadays have strategy’s that simply mean nothing and can never be measured. For example, “I want to be the best menswear shop in Ireland in the next 5 years”.  How can you ever know if you reach this goal? Even if you win an award that’s irrelevant. Its what the customer thinks.

Questions to ask Yourself:

  • What are your goals?

  • Have you achieved or are you achieving those goals?

  • Is your strategy clear and measurable?

How to Think about Strategies

Identify what you want and then ask what the problems are in getting that.  Identifying the issues allows you narrow your focus on the obstacles to be cleared. This is NOT negative thinking contrary to popular opinion. It is critical thinking.  Knowing what the problems are is the first step in achieving any goal.

Setting out your plan to deal with the problems.  Identifying a plan to get you over the issues and to your goal is a critical part of any strategy. Write it down and be critical. Ask yourself if that plan gets you over all of the identified issues without raising other problems.  It is only when you have a written set of solutions that truly address the problems standing between you and the goal that you will have the kind of clear-thinking map that will guide your business to its stated goal.

Action. A strategy without a plan to implement it is only a daydream.  Once the measures to overcome the problems are identified then you need to know how these measures will be set in motion.  It is this action that brings the strategy to life.

Strategy must not be confused with tactics.  A very wise general once differentiated the two by saying that Strategy is what you do when you are outside the enemy’s cannon fire range. Tactics are what you do when you are inside that range.   By its very nature therefore strategy needs to be flexible. Things happen, the unexpected always occurs. However, if you have a good strategy and you know exactly what you are trying to achieve then you have half the battle. Let us help you with the other half, the unexpected.


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