Think for a moment about your business strategy. When was the last time you analysed and discussed it? Do you believe you can hit your business goals? If you feel unsure about either of these questions, you should consider conducting a strategic analysis.
Strategy is not a linear process with a clear beginning, middle and end. Instead, it is a circular process that facilitates flexibility and evolution. I will take you through why you should frequently conduct a strategic analysis and how to go about it.
What does strategic analysis include?
Strategic analysis is about assessing your strategic plan and measuring how successfully you have executed it. It is a time to look back on what you have already done and adapt to the changes ahead.
I recommend you ponder questions such as:
- Have we achieved our objectives?
- Why did we fall short on some targets?
- Are we closer to our business vision?
If you have not visited your strategy for some time and you feel as though you are reviewing a mess, you should begin by evaluating where you went wrong.
A common mistake is viewing strategy as a linear process. Instead, consider approaching it as a circular process. Look at it as evolution. Your strategy should never end; it should only shift into something more significant and more ambitious as you meet your goals.
So, think of your strategic analysis as the point at which you decide if you are ready to move onto bigger things. Perhaps it is the point where you need to go back and get something right the second time.
Why conduct a strategic analysis frequently?
I recommend reviewing your strategy at least twice a year. Ideally, you should be conducting a strategic analysis every quarter. If you are not used to implementing these with any frequency, it might be best to ease into it as you figure out how to implement the findings from your analysis.
Across 2020 and 2021, Australian businesses have experienced the need for flexibility. In this way, frequently reviewing your business strategy gives you room to rethink your strategy in line with the current business landscape and make adjustments.
The key benefits of frequent strategic analysis include:
- Improving company performance: The process of logically and systematically revisiting your strategy can encourage better performance even if your strategy is not entirely successful.
- Aligning leadership and the frontline: The process of conducting a strategic analysis can align leadership, the frontline and key stakeholders. Frequently reviewing your strategy can help you drive culture and clarity on the future of the business.
- Empowering each person in the organisation: Good communication gives way to an employee’s sense of purpose within the company’s success. Involving the frontline in strategic analysis will further empower them.
Actioning your business strategy review
It is best to take a structured approach to strategic analysis. I recommend the following:
Define your goals
Before you can begin mapping your strategy, you need to set your mission and vision and then create goals that align with these. You can leverage them to define your short and long term goals, define the steps needed to achieve them and how they will fit into each layer of your organisation.
Analyse your data
What data can you leverage to predict the impact of internal and external factors on your strategy? Find data that can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats (see the SWOT framework for more on this).
Map your strategy
This part of the process is multi-faceted and requires you to consider a few angles. You need to be across the resources you have and consider the external resources you might need to meet your goals. Then, you should revisit your goals and objectives based on the strengths and weaknesses you identified. Create realistic plans so that you can achieve your goals. It is important to continue monitoring the external situation while doing this so that you promote flexibility.
Action your strategy
It is time to mobilise your business and implement your strategy. Planning is a great exercise, but you will get very little from it if you cannot properly implement your strategy. It is best to ensure that everyone in the business understands their responsibilities. Make sure they also have the right tools for success.
Measure your success
The most important step in your strategic analysis is measuring your progress and determining if you have hit your milestones. If you are in danger of missing something, revisit your strategy and decide on corrective measures.
Strategic analysis with Resonate
Are you questioning whether you are making the right strategic moves? Are you pouring time, effort and money into your business, but not seeing the expected or desired rate of return? Do you work on your business strategy in a deliberate and premeditated manner?
I help B2B businesses define or refine their strategy. I provide strategic advice and consulting on various facets of strategy; business strategy, corporate strategy, product/service strategy, functional strategy, b2b go to market, competitive strategy, pricing strategy etc.
My aim is to work with business leaders to help them make sound business decisions. I find more often than not that the issues businesses face are caused by strategic issues.
So whether you are looking to enter a new market, create a go-to-market, develop a channel strategy, reshuffle strategic priorities, discuss execution, soundboard talent issues, have a conversation about your financial or resource constraints, let’s connect, let’s talk. Let’s discuss the challenges you are facing or objectives you wish to meet. Let me work collaboratively with you to help you get there.