Business strategy? For us it’s actually very simple; strategy is about how and where you choose to compete. Period. Forget the fancy definitions, just focus on answering that one question – how and where are we going to compete? That’s your strategy – and you ought to be able to summarise it in a sentence. Not a paragraph and definitely not a 30 page tome, but in a simple sentence. Try it!
However never try to be all things to all men. It doesn’t work! Even in giant corporations there is a need to be selective, to choose the ground on which you will pitch your tents. Successful high growth businesses therefore identify their edge, where they are stronger than the competition and look to identify opportunities in the market where those strengths will really matter. Every business has a choice about where and how it competes – successful high growth businesses exercise that choice very carefully. They are not interested in imitating others in the industry or being the market leader or other similar delusions – they simply want to win. Winning means playing to your strengths, fighting battles you can win, finding opportunities that you exploit better and faster than anyone else.
Focus on what you are good at! Often this ‘playing to your strengths’ is an intuitive process – rather than some sort of formalised, academic, SWOT type analysis. However it is informed intuition – informed by the outward looking activities that we talked about earlier, built on the ‘Think Big’ approach which underpins all successful business strategies.