A good strategy is only half the battle. When you hire a strategist for your business or invite a consultant to support the company development, providing access to all relevant data and information is a priority.
What are the typical data sources that are essential to a strategist, according to entrepreneurs?
- Market research and studies
- Audience profiling
- Audience data segments
- Relevant technical, political and legal transformations
- The current mission and objective for the company
However, while this information can provide clues to design an effective strategy, they don’t give an accurate image of the challenges and strengths within and without a business. To make a significant difference to the company, a strategist needs deeper insights into the business, the team, and the processes.
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A plan fit for the unique business personality
Everyone loves a good idea. But a good idea in the wrong hands could lose its potential or even become counterproductive. That’s precisely why it’s crucial for the strategist to align corporate culture and strategy early during the planning stage. A strategy that doesn’t match the business culture is doomed to fail. Besides understanding the culture that brings a team together, you also need to question whether this culture has the right element to execute the strategy. Here’s a thought for entrepreneurs: It may be more useful to correct culture flaws than to invest in a new strategy.
Actionable processes and workload
You’ve got the plan. You’ve got the right business culture. Yet, you’re missing the talent, or the numbers to make it happen. The idea that a business could lose its unique personality by outsourcing strategic actions to freelancers or agencies is absurd. Outsourcing could not only free-up time, but it can be the best answer for one-off strategic projects. Ideally, strategic planning needs to include in-house availability and skills to highlight new talent needs.
Growth based-on your core business
A popular growth strategy is to unlock new opportunities. However, a lot of strategic plans fail to discover sources of profitable and sustainable growth from the core business. L.E.K., a London-based consultant firm, warns entrepreneurs against missed opportunities. Indeed, fewer than 10% of companies focus on the “edge” strategic approach. Embracing diversification can be beneficial, but it is challenging to approach a brand new audience group. The edge strategy, however, enables the strategist to identify growth potential by probing ancillary goods or services. Why create something new when you’ve already got everything you need?
Scalable growth pace rather than overnight success
Will this be an overnight success?
It is common practice to believe that a strategy has failed if it hasn’t delivered results that exceed all expectations in a short time. In reality, overnight success is likely to drain the business resources and discipline. On the other hand, measured progression is scalable, manageable, and durable. Plan for the long term, not for the glory of a one-day wonder sale. As such, the strategist needs a thorough understanding of a business potential for growth, its available and scalable resources, and its management. Disorganized management could quickly lose its head in the face of a quick success!
In short, a strategist’s role is to identify possibilities and threats within and without the business, using all the relevant information. Addressing factors inherent to a company, such as its culture, resources, edge opportunities, and growth scalability are what turns a strategic plan into the unmistakable Golden Ticket.