Business Strategies That Refuse to Cooperate
It happens time and time again. You lay out the business strategy for the coming year, and it doesn't get executed as planned. Here's why.
Time after time, the strategies you create for your company fail to get executed as planned.
Yet other company's strategies seem to go off without a hitch. So what are you doing wrong?
For starters, it's important to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect business strategy. In reality, even the most capable companies encounter challenges in implementation due to the ever-changing nature of small business. But companies that are prepared to address implementation challenges are consistently more effective at achieving their strategic goals and quantitative benchmarks.
Preparing to overcome implementation barriers isn't as difficult as it sounds. The first step is to identify areas of vulnerability and build enough flexibility into your strategy to make adjustments as the need arises.
A shortage of resources is a major implementation hurdle for many business owners. Although your business strategy may be sound, it may be difficult to leverage all of your resources at the same time. For example, if different elements of your strategy require a $50,000 investment each but you can only leverage $100,000 of capital at any one time, it will be impossible to implement your strategy without modification. To avoid a shortage, consider resource utilization when devising your business strategy, including a phased approach (if necessary).
Lack of Cooperation
Business strategies can't succeed unless every stakeholder in the business is on board. Too many small business owners create strategies that rely on the full cooperation of their employees, but never take the time to communicate their vision, strategy, and goals throughout the organization. When the strategy fails to take root, the reason may simply be that the individuals responsible for implementing it either don't understand their role or are unaware that a strategy exists. An effective strategy has to be regularly communicated inside the company with each person's role clearly defined.
Changing Market Conditions
The marketplace is constantly changing and sometimes businesses find themselves trying to implement a strategy in a business environment that is very different from the one that existed when the strategy was devised. The cost of raw materials or new competitive scenarios could have a big impact on execution, making it difficult to accomplish tasks that were decided upon six months or more in advance. In addition to maintaining a flexible approach to implementation, you may want to include suggestions for adaptation to changing market conditions within the strategy itself.
One of the most exciting parts of creating a business strategy is that it gives you the opportunity to dream big dreams for your business. But implementation is the place where your dreams meet the real world. If your strategy is based on unrealistic expectations, you may find it difficult (if not impossible) to execute it. Although it's healthy to dream, it is critically important for your strategy to be based on a realistic foundation. It may even be helpful to recruit outside perspectives to conduct a reality check before you begin implementation.
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs
We've all had the experience of starting on a business strategy and then realizing it won't fly. Please share your experiences below.