Do people know what business strategy is?

Patrycja Franczak

If you think about lawyers, doctors and IT experts – they all have very specific knowledge and rules to guide them. But there’s no complex book on how to make a business strategy. You can take hundreds of CEOs and ask them what business strategy is and you will get hundred different answers. Don’t even think about asking them what is their business strategy…

Business strategy is not a simple creation. I saw thousands of strategies. I saw the business strategies that contains a one-page description with general information. I saw the business strategies in form of a 500 pages book – that no one follows or even bother to read. I saw business strategies written by external consultants that have nothing to do with described businesses. I saw the strategies that people’s followed like a Bible and didn’t change a thing for ages. On the other hand, I also met people who just run with the current flow and call it a flexible strategy. Different people look at the business strategy differently. Do we question our business strategy? As long as it works – we don’t.

I had people coming to me asking “can you prepare a business strategy for us?”. I asked, “what exactly do you mean by business strategy”. And I heard “you don’t know what business strategy is?!” The thing is we all think about something different. I met people who as a business strategy treated finding the niche or describing the target market. I also talked with people who needed excels and processes drawing.

If you google it. You will find thousands of pages. Probably the first few will be copied and pasted. The rest will be a mix of different definitions. You see, it is a huge problem!

What makes me qualified to talk about this. I’m doing it professionally. I’m doing it for years with all kinds of brands around the globe. But, you don’t need to believe me though.

Think about it, do you think that small fashion firm in the UK has the same problems what big fashion firm in the UK? Probably not. How about the problems of the small fashion firm in the UK and small fashion firm in the USA? Different culture, law regulations, job market… Alright, but if we take small fashion firm in the UK and different small fashion firm in the UK – same market, same industry, same size – does it make them equal? Does it make their problem identical? Not. And I’m sure you understand that. And I’m sure you would appreciate a consulting firm that doesn’t categorise you, doesn’t put you in the same box-like “similar” firms and for sure doesn’t advise you the same shit. I’m just guessing, ok?

I can point many things while trying to define business strategy. But not all businesses will need them. So let me name just a few (with a notice that some may not apply to your business or may require more build-up version in your situation):

Buyer Persona.
Value Proposition.
Where do you acquire customers from?
Marketing Strategy.
Qualifying Clients.
Sales Process.
Account Management.
Sales KPI.
Pricing.

Remember there’s no one definition and one way to run your business. You can follow a few business models but for sure one business strategy. Don’t mix those two.

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