The single biggest opportunity for businesses, large and small, public and private, is to have a clear strategy and define what winning looks like before beginning. Many companies are just “playing the game” with a series of tactics without a clear picture of a growth or a winning strategy. Your shareholders, employees and customers will all benefit by developing a strategy, especially related to top and bottom line growth, in your declared market segments regionally or internationally.
Do most companies have a strategy for growth, winning, improving business results?
Some companies have wonderful strategies for growth while other companies would be honest and state they have no strategy. Many companies and or business units feel their list of tactics, without the ability to clearly articulate the end results or outcomes expected, are their strategy and some would respond, “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing since its working.” Well, these are not really strategies. In fact, few companies and business units have clear business outcomes/strategies. Many of these companies have international sales which require even greater strategic planning. The value of clearly articulating a growth strategy, developing the necessary tactical execution plans, working back from the desired end result and then modifying tactics as necessary while still keeping the end results in mind are steps that all companies should take to improve their business.
What are some elements that make for a great business strategy?
Successful company business strategies are all around us. Consider Amazon, Apple, Starbucks and Tesla just to name a few. These companies can clearly articulate what winning looks like and work from the future back to develop tactics/steps to achieve their goals. While they may have to modify tactics at times, they keep focused on where they are headed, their strategic goals. If your business is growing, not growing or if you are wondering what to do next, it’s time to develop a strategy.
In my many years of leading businesses and developing growth strategies, I have learned that some companies have a “victim” mentality versus a “leader” mentality. With a victim mentality (related to strategies) one will hear people in the business use “apostrophe” words; e.g.: we “don’t” have time; we “can’t” develop one; the last one “didn’t” work. This is being the victim. Strategy is all about leading, your team, your business, your shareholders to a defined outcome, adjusting along the way as needed to ensure success. Companies that lead work from the future back, simply articulate what winning looks like before they begin playing, and have a greater opportunity for business growth and alignment throughout their organization.
As a business owner or head or a business unit, lead from the future back and start to develop a strategy today. Your company, shareholders, employees and customers will appreciate and value your leadership.
Interested in learning more about what a business strategy and export plan can do for your business? Please reach out to Sabrina D’Onofrio, CGBP, CBA, Export Assistance Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steven Zirkel at email@example.com.
Steven R. Zirkel, is the President and CEO of Blue Everest LLC, a strategic growth consulting and business advising firm to CEOs and companies. For the past 35 years, he has lead the growth of businesses domestically and around the world with several Fortune 500 companies, made acquisitions in Asia and North America, and conducted business in over 30 countries. He has lived in London, England; Tokyo, Japan and has traveled to over 70 countries. His clients range from a large global social media company to leading global manufacturers to a leading supplier of custom picture frames. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University and attended business graduate school at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Steven has chaired and participated in key industry conferences/symposiums in North America, Europe and Asia and has been featured as a guest speaker to graduate and undergraduate students at several universities. He currently serves on the Board of The Plastek Group, OhioGuidestone & TutorSmart, is a member of the Private Director Association, and past Chairman of the College of Business Leadership Council at BGSU. Steven has previously served on the Board of Directors for Paramount Insurance, American Red Cross, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and the Planning Commission of Malvern, PA. He has been married for 35 years and has two adult sons. Growing up in Chicago, IL, he is an avid Chicago sports fan and currently resides in the Toledo, Ohio area. Leisure activities include fitness, golf, cooking, reading, travel and in the process of writing his first book.