Ever wonder how Google became the world’s most used search engine? Or what is the key to Apple’s success? Organizations that continually outperform the competition understand the importance of strategic planning.
Crafting a Strategy
Crafting a strategic plan is one of the most important tasks you’ll undertake running a business. Not only does it compel you to drill down to understand what your customers need it requires you to study organizational strengths and weaknesses. A winning strategy requires both analysis and synthesis. Hence, creating a successful strategy is both a logical and creative pursuit.
Organizations that fail to understand the importance of Strategic HR are those that will likely find themselves out of business over the long-term. Attracting, hiring, and retaining key people with unique skill sets can give an enterprise the competitive edge.
Strategy Versus Operations
There is a difference between strategy and the execution of operational tools. Managerial handling of both strategy and execution is key to outpacing your competition and creating a profitable business at the end of the day.
Understanding Your Competition
Sustainable growth and creating a profitable business can require taking different approaches to delivering value to the customer or end user of a service. When Dell developed its highly profitable direct sales model, it designed a manufacturing framework that allowed the consumer to customize the experience of buying a home computer. Today, this concept is rather standard in the e-commerce space but when Dell first launched this sales feature it outperformed its rivals allowing it to create a new niche in home computer purchases.
Strategy for Long-Term Success
Whatever details you put into your strategic planning be sure to be focused on creating value for your customers or end-users. Customers are king so keep the customer in mind at every turn of your strategic planning. Remember, if your customers like what you offer and how you are delivering the product or service, they can remain loyal to your business. Long-term loyal customers are key to sustainability and profitability. If you don’t believe me, just ask the executives over at Google and Apple how important loyal, long-term customers are to the bottom line.
Good luck with your next strategic planning exercise!
Elaine Allan, BA, MBA
Technology & Business Blogger
Vancouver, BC, Canada