No strategy = no business

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Business Leader Columnist Feature - Rob Perks

Rob Perks is the CEO of Inspire, a company dedicated to helping businesses in the South West maximise their success through business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing.

When it comes to life, there are two types of people – those who have everything mapped out right down to the last detail and those who don’t set any goals and see where life takes them.

Neither outlook is wrong of course, and we are all different.

When it comes to business, however, just turning up every day with the mindset of ‘whatever happens, happens’ will mean you have little or no chance of growing.

A strategy focussed firm is much more likely to be a strong bottom line performer than one that isn’t, so having a business strategy in place is vital.

The single most important thing you need to tackle if you’re going to run a successful business is strategy because it is the ‘life or death’ business decisions that require deep strategic planning more than most.

Why strategy is important

Every business, no matter what it is, is faced with the same challenges and you need a strategy in place to overcome those headwinds.

Business leaders need to be aware of the changing preferences of their customers. They need to be aware of new technologies available that can help shape their business in the future.

They need to be aware of cash flow and have enough money in the bank, they need to be able to cope with losing key members of staff and they need to be aware of new competitors and how they are going to head them off.

With the right business strategy in place, the above can be tackled meaning there’s much less chance of a business getting left behind.

All strategy is, is knowing who the other players are on the field of play, where you sit on that field and how you’re going to win.

But it takes time and effort.

Stay strategy-focused

Running a business often means having a vested interest in every part of it and you can easily find yourself doing everything from dealing with customers to sorting out your IT problems.

Which is fine to start with, as you’re just setting out. But as you grow you have got to spend less time ‘mucking in’ and dealing with problems and more time planning on how to take the business forward.

Taking a step back from where the action is can be tricky and many business owners say they feel like they’re being lazy when their staff are beavering away while all they’re doing is sitting there chewing on strategy.

But if you don’t do the “strategy stuff” then you will find your business can become irrelevant almost overnight.

Let your strategy develop

It’s vital that your business strategy continually evolves. I have seen several companies who have filed their strategic plans away only to get them out after three years, blow the dust off them and find out that they are hopelessly out of date.

It’s the same reason why household names from the high street stopped being successful and disappeared.

Businesses need to look at their strategies every six months as the market is changing so rapidly and you must keep up with your customer’s preferences.

If you don’t review your strategy often enough then there will be plenty of your competitors out there who will.

For more information on how Inspire can help your business, telephone 01172 034288 or email us via our website www.inspirebiz.co.uk.

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