How you approach business strategy within your organisation is often the line between success and failure. A well-crafted strategy can end up harming the business if it is too rigid. Simultaneously, a strategy without clear guidelines creates a situation where the business focuses on too many projects and wastes resources on endeavours that do not deliver value.
Too often, I see business strategies fail because the leadership team took one of these extremes. In reality, crafting a strategy that yields the best result is about walking the line between rigidity and innovation.
What are the signs that your B2B strategy might fail? Here are some pertinent questions to ask of your business to steer it in the right direction…
Have you crafted an adaptive strategy?
Your strategy should not be a rigid plan. You must account for market changes and adjust the strategy accordingly. It also means that you need a plan for executing new ideas quickly and efficiently.
Of course, the key here is not to pursue every opportunity. You must have a strategy for chasing the opportunities that make the most sense to your business and are most likely to generate value for the organisation.
While it is essential to consider how a new business model will serve your company in the short term, a strategy that fails to think about the long-term will not generate a robust product or service. Strategy is not about creating a rigid set of steps to reach an end goal. It is about allowing the organisation room to experiment within certain bounds to achieve that goal. While you should build experimentation and adaptation into the execution element, any endeavours must align with the objectives set by the leadership team.
When was the last time you innovated?
Leaders of established firms often fall into the trap of remaining static and running the strategy based on the mindset: ‘This is how it has always been, and that is why we do it this way.’ If you cannot remember the last time you pursued a breakthrough idea, I strongly suggest reconsidering how you approach your monthly, quarterly and yearly strategy sessions.
The pandemic showed the value of pivoting in times of change. Many of the firms that attempted to continue with the same strategy and business model struggled to survive. Those that pivoted and adjusted their offerings to suit the landscape had a better chance of thriving.
Leaders of established firms often focus too much on the value the organisation already generates. Conversely, entrepreneurs often make the mistake of pursuing new ideas as they arise, which merely expands their number of competitors.
If you last pursued several breakthrough ideas recently, I recommend slowing down and analysing the viability and appropriateness of these strategies to your business. You might find it easier to generate value if you focus on a few key ideas rather than taking every opportunity.
Does your strategy include technology?
Adopting new technology is a way to gain an advantage over your competition, especially if you become an early adopter. Technology allows you to bring more services to your customers. For example, developments in the technology industry come about frequently, and a business that delivers solutions for digital workplaces must stay abreast of new products and include them in their offering to give the company a significant advantage.
Beyond leveraging new technology in offerings to your customers, you can leverage it to support your strategy internally. Analytics is a powerful tool for gathering data across the business that can help you make better decisions and improve your bottom line. You might also leverage technology to automate processes, so you can invest time and money in more meaningful endeavours.
Do you monitor your competitors’ activity?
Observing how your competitors deliver value is essential to keeping pace with them. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can make informed decisions about positioning your business for success.
Perhaps your competitor has found a breakthrough idea in the market that few companies currently leverage; you will need to stay abreast of these changes. Not so you can develop an offering of your own in response every time, but so you can consider what moves you should make and whether building a new business model is the right move for your company.
Monitoring your competition via their website, social media, blog or company newsletters is the quickest way to stay in the loop on new products or services. Become familiar with your competition and ascertain where or why they might be one step ahead of you. This is when you take the opportunity and execute your strategy to bring it to market quickly.
Set your B2B strategy up for success
More often than not, I find that the issues businesses face are caused by strategic issues. I help B2B leaders define or refine their strategies. I provide strategic advice and consulting on various facets of strategy; business strategy, corporate strategy, product/service strategy, functional strategy, go-to-market, competitive strategy, pricing strategy, etc.
If you are starting a new role as a business leader, or you have been with the business for a while, and you are initiating new projects, let’s connect, let’s talk. I have extensive experience in guiding business leaders on B2B strategy. I look forward to hearing from you.