The topic that really gets me pumped is business strategy. One of my favorite books of all time is Kellogg on Strategy from the Kellogg school of management. This book is so thorough on the subject. Since this book has had such a profound impact on my business brain I figured I would briefly go over strategy.
Basically there are three generic strategies to choose from: differentiation, cost, and niche. These are the basic foundations for any and all strategies throughout the business universe. It is wise to know your product throughly inside and out before venturing into the unknown. The basic question to ask oneself is do I have a cost advantage that will allow me to deliver my product/service cheaper relative to the competition? or do I want to add more value?
The issue many deal with is trying to be all things to all people. This particular strategy is actually the quickest way to irrelevance. After conducting the proper market research the target market should be pinpointed, be it large or small. The marketing message should then cater to this group and this group alone. By taking the shotgun approach you will end up with the worst of both worlds, no quality or quantity!
Determine what your company wants to do and the appropriate goal of the strategy. It may be to simply grow and expand or it may be to dominate a particular niche or even to drive out rivals and increase market share. It is so crucial that the overall goal is carefully thought out. It will lead to disaster if down the road the vision is not clear. For example if your company has sought to be a cost leader, even if quality is sacrificed, and eventually you start providing more value the margins will be pressed and profitability goes out the window.
Pinpoint the strategy. Construct a working model for how the biz will deliver to the intended market. Define the company relative to competition. And brand the company with the strategy.
So much more but I’ll keep it brief. (Haven’t even gotten into defining competitive advantage!) I will save for another post. 🙂