strategy development process
A Strategy development process is a framework which defines steps to develop a strategy for your business. There could be numerous objectives but strategy development process would be same. It is not a rule of thumb but it works as a roadmap for your strategy development and implementation.
Every Business needs a very proper strategy. There are many factors which decide whether the strategy is sound or not. One needs to consider many aspects for the in his strategy development process.
There is a need of many information in strategy development process.So it requires R&D, analysis, and data mining.
Here we will know about 6 steps of strategy development process. So let’s start.
Decide your objective for strategy development
Every business wants to achieve some goals. To achieve those goals one need a proper strategy. But for every proper strategy, we need a goal. This is the first and very important step in strategy development process.
Yes, you read it correctly that to make a proper strategy we need a well-defined goal. This is so because goal gives a direction to a strategy. This direction is very important for a strategy to give results.
Your business goal could be anything like: To become the category leader, to make a specific amount of sales etc.
First, you need to try to understand what is your vision & mission. Here in our example to become category leader could be your mission but you cannot achieve it unless you find out what is to be done to become the one.
After deciding what is to be done, you have to divide the same into parts. Such parts so that you can measure performance. This part is called objectives.Deciding objectives are crucial part of strategy development process,
So now you have to take an objective and think to achieve it. We always develop a strategy to achieve these measurable objectives.
Your objective should be very specific in numbers and also it should be constrained by a time limit. If your objective is not constrained by time limit you will not able to achieve it in the best possible time. This is so because there will be many changes in the environment and you will not able to focus on that.
So your objectives should be like achieving 5000 sales of product A in 6 months etc; Specific and tied with time.
Your objectives should be based on real R&D; you have to decide real achievable number for the specific timeframe.
Your objective should be more than your desire. This should be supported by your ability and wish to achieve that objective. You have to check your ability as per your current ability. Now the question arises how you will come to know your current ability, for this, you have to take out SWOT analysis.
Further, your result should have some specific numbers and a time constraint like 200kg sales of Product A or 200 emails as leads in 2 months.
In my first lead generation campaign, I was focused on getting 100 leads email via Facebook ads. I was very low in budget. As a result, I could get only 46 leads then I again change my planning and after that, I restarted my campaign. Results for that were pretty good. Planning is always watered by your experience.
See your current situation
This step is to be performed with step one. You have to check your arsenal for weapons which can be used to achieve goals. You weapons are your strengths. This is the most important step in strategy development process. Many times one avoid this step and make a high-end strategy which cannot be handled by one.
So you have to identify your strengths. It could be anything. If you are a grocery shop owner it could be your high-quality product, or prompt home deliveries etc.
As per the definition of Strength, It is an inherent ability of a business which gives an advantage to it over its competitors.
Once you properly identify your strengths you are ready to take your research a little further. Now you have to identify your weakness and try to overcome that. You have to overcome your weaknesses as it is a very big constraint for you and very big advantage for competitors.
Your weakness could be anything like Scarcity of money, No good working staff, No proper execution of planning etc. There are many things which you will have to overcome.
Weakness and Strengths are internal issues. But there are also some external forces which affect our approaches to our goal. We can categorize them into opportunities and threat for our business.
opportunities & Threats
Apart from our weakness and strength, we must have knowledge about our opportunities and threat. To understand these we have to study about our environment. Our opportunity could be anything for example: If I am an owner of any grocery store then working couple is an opportunity for me to expand my business if I go for home delivery.
But home delivery is not an opportunity for everyone. Because to utilize any opportunity we must have the strength for the same. This is an opportunity for you if you have a strength to give home deliveries. Otherwise, it is a threat to you.
So opportunity and threat depend on our strength and weakness. We need to minimise threat or convert them into opportunity by developing strengths.
Analysing these internal (Strengths & Weakness) & external (Opportunities & Threat) factors is called swot analysis. Swot stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats.
When you do SWOT analysis you can understand where do you stand now?
Correlate your SWOT analysis with your objective
When you are properly done with setting your goals with a time constraint and you are also done with your SWOT analysis, this is the time to correlate both the things. You have to now decide what it will take to complete your goals. What ability or opportunity you need to reach your goal.
After reaching to the required strengths and opportunities you have to compare them with your current situation. This comparison will tell you about what else do you need in your arsenal.
There would be many situations where you will have to develop the new strength to minimise any threats. You will always have the option to convert any threat into an opportunity by developing a new strength. But every developing strength will take many resources, most importantly, time.
So here you will have to again decide on the scarcity of resources.
Now you will able to formulate a sound strategy based on all these factors. Your strategy will be a roadmap to reach your objective in a very efficient manner.
Your strategy will include many things, such as what resources are you going to use.
How will you develop new strengths to minimise threats?
How will you utilize opportunity in the best way?
Suggested Read: 4 Step to grow your startup
Implementation of strategy
Good strategies may fail if not implemented properly
After deciding your specific objective this is the time to implement your strategy. Making a robust strategy is not sufficient. Implementation or execution of the same, in a proper manner, is also required. fourth Step for strategy development process. This is a very crucial step to achieve objectives.
Execution of strategy of strategy is something that requires all needful resources and proper utilization of the same. As we know that our strategy execution is limited with time we need to be efficient while implementing our strategy.
Let’s take a look at what happens when execution of strategy is good or bad against good or bad strategy making:
Good Implementation of strategy
Poor Implementation of strategy
Robust Formulation of strategy
Weak Formulation of strategy
If you have-
- the best strategy in the world and a very good implementation of the same you belong to ‘Block A’.
- the best strategy in the world but a poor implementation of the same you belong to ‘Block B’.
- a weak strategy but a very good implementation of the same you belong to ‘Block C’.
- a weak strategy and a poor implementation of the same you belong to ‘Block D’.
Now let’s understand what it means to be in one of the blocks. Will you survive or die immediately or slowly. And in next step, we will take about how to get the situation from bad to good.
Block A of strategy development
If you belong to ‘Block A’, you will able to achieve your goal in your desired time.
What to do now: You are in ‘Block A’, but it doesn’t mean that you can relax. Now you will have to look for any sudden change in environment. You will have to be ready to incorporate such change which is not in the scope of your strategy.
Block B of strategy development
If you belong to ‘Block B’, It means that your top level is robust and doing well. But your operation level has flaws. Your company doesn’t know how to implement this strategy.
This could be due to many aspects: low morale of employee, lack of leadership, low experience and much more.
What to do now: Many startups belong to Block B due to low experience in their field. This can be avoided by the involvement of any experienced person in your start-up or you will have to learn quickly to come closer to the field.
Many times, it can avoid by learning from others mistakes too. This is the fastest way to learn. You have to shift to ‘Block A’ ASAP.
Block C of strategy development
If you belong to ‘Block C’, it means that you are showing a good implementation skill, but you have not analyzed your environment (internal & external) properly and you do not know your SWOT. You have not done your R&D properly.
What to do now: Now you have to redesign your strategy. You have to search out flaws in you r strategy and correct the same. You also have to see whether your operational level is efficient in implementing the new strategy as well.
Before doing implementation redesigning you have to redesign your strategy and see whether your new staff is enabled enough to implement the new strategy.
Block D of strategy development
If you belong to ‘Block D’, It means that you have taken out your strategy without much research and also your operational level is not able to implement it.
What to do now: You have to take a redesigning of your strategy and also implementation skill. You have to go through strategy development process from step one.
Control on strategy formulation & implementation
You have formulated your strategy and also implemented the same. Now, this is the time for you to keep eyes on your progress. You have to analysis your implementation and strategy time to time to ensure your arrival.
You have to also take environment analysis time to time to see changes. By this you can observe new threats and opportunities, emerging in the environment.
You have to incorporate new changes in your strategy and operation level to commensurate with your new SWOT.
Repeat the strategy development process
Strategy development process is a continuous process. You cannot sit back and relax. There will be many changes in your strategy and implementation process according to new SWOT. You have to repeat these steps from beginning in a time interval or on demand.
Strategy development process given here is a roadmap for your business strategy. It is advisable for you to take all kind real research with numbers. This will enable you to enhance your strategy development. Try to get realistic data as far as possible to get for you. You can assume some things, but do it in a very rational way. Don’t let your assumptions take you far from your real goal.
This was all about strategy development process for business. You can develop any type of strategy with this.
As I always say, No one is perfect so please correct me if you find me wrong. Comment below your opinion and share with us what is your strategy development Process.