Checklist for an Effective Business Strategy

Checklist for an Effective Business Strategy

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A strategy is a long-term plan that you create for your company to reach a desired goal. A strategy includes your company’s goals and objectives, the type of products or services that you plan to build, the customers who you want to sell to and the markets that you serve to make profits.

Why do I need a checklist?

Wherever you are in the strategic planning process, it is worthwhile to run a check to ensure you have done everything you need to do. Strategic planning is not complex. Implementing a strategy might be difficult but the planning is quite simple and easy.

Here are 6 things your checklist should have:                                            

Gathered the facts

To know where you are heading, you have to know where you are right now. So before you start looking ahead, you should review the past performance or the current situation. Study each area of the business and determine what worked well, what could have been better and what opportunities lay ahead.

There are many tools and techniques available to help with this process, such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. The most important part of this process is involving the right people to make sure you are collecting the most relevant information.

Developed a vision statement

This statement should describe the future direction of the business and the future goals. It’s about describing the organization’s purpose and values. You should develop both the vision and the statement to successfully create a business plan.

Developed a mission statement

Like the vision statement, this defines the organization’s purpose, but it also outlines its primary objectives. This focuses on what needs to be done in the short term to realize the long term vision.

For the mission statement, you’ll want to ask the questions:

  • What do we do?
  • How do we do it?
  • Who do we do it for?
  • What value do we bring?

Identified strategic objectives

At this stage, the aim is to develop a set of high-level objectives for all areas of the business. They need to highlight the priorities and inform the plans that will ensure the delivery of the company’s vision and mission.

Try to incorporate any identified strengths and weaknesses into your objectives. Crucially, your objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). Your objectives must also include factors such as resource allocation and budget requirements.

Tactical Plans

Convert your strategic objectives into more detailed short-term plans. These plans will contain actions for departments and functions in your organization. You may even want to include suppliers.

You are now focusing on measurable results and communicating to stakeholders what they need to do and when. These tactical plans are short steps towards executing your strategy.

Performance Management

It is vital to continually review all objectives and action plans to make sure that you are still on track to achieve that overall goal. Creating, managing and reviewing a strategy requires you to capture the relevant information, break down large chunks of information, plan, prioritize, capture the relevant information and have a clear strategic vision.

How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

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Social-political situations are challenging when it seeps into the work environment. Whether they are government shutdowns, protests, civil wars, or movements, companies have to face the impacts with these events.

The Impact

The social-political uncertainty has a major effect on the cost of work, cost of resources, and customer behaviour. It threatens business routines and activities and the business may even have to stop their operations due to new foreign importing and exporting laws.

Detailed Analysis of different outcomes is a MUST

To control the scope of uncertainty, it is imperative to evaluate the issues in order to adjust corporate tactics. You have to consider whether there is a big price jump due to the social-political situation, if it jeopardizes the business continuity, or what position it currently is in the market. These analysis can depend on what type of business it is. When it comes to declining markets, entrepreneurs have to be careful with moving the business to a new location since it can be expensive. On the flip side, moving the business might be a good option since it protects the key activities during the crisis. However, if the market is growing then the business has opportunities and resources to be more prepared and ready for uncertainty.

Strategies to deploy in a declining market

There are two strategies that can be used for steady or declining markets. The first strategy is the ‘Hedging Strategy’ in which the activities are reorganized towards the people that can get past the political issues. This is used when firms are faced with uncertainty with economic conditions, such as human resources or internal control. What firms can do is lower the function prices and have a drop in sales. For instance, due to the Brexit, Sony decided to keep all its stores in the UK but moved their EU headquarters to the Netherlands in order to keep their key activities in a safer place.

When there is a high uncertainty due to a decline in the market, the risks and threats to business continuity can be jeopardized if the businesses do not have reserves of cash and a presence in the economy. The strategy in this case should be to salvage as much as possible with saving what you can and lessening the negative effects. To recompense for the drop in profit, you will have to use the reserves of cash and try to dodge selling previous assets that could become handy if the economy rises.

Strategies to deploy in an uncertain market

The first strategy is to rebalance, meaning to relocate strategic and leadership assets to an alternative location that is nearby well-known growth engines. This can be very costly, but it is a practical method that focuses on the resources of the firm to be able to escape the consequences of uncertainty. The other strategy is to shift, which means relocating important parts of activities to another region starting with the functions that can easily be shifted with low costs. This is a thorough method since it is more organized, fast-paced, and its goal is to get rid of the uncertainty in the market.

Conquer Your Inbox

Conquer Your Inbox

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One of the most convenient ways to reach someone at the office is not walking over to their cubicle, rather it’s shooting them a quick email. Not only does this keep a written record of everything, it also allows you to go back and reference what was discussed. But with such a high volume of emails constantly bombarding one’s inbox it can be hard to keep track of what’s important and still needs to be dealt with and what’s been read. These are some simple tips that can help you “de-clutter” and conquer your inbox.

Set time-limits 

For starters as soon as an email has been read move it out of your main inbox to stop yourself from re-reading it again later. Next instead of stopping what’s currently being worked on at the ping of a new incoming email, turn off the notifications and instead allot a set time where you check your emails. This can be at the top of every hour or even every couple of hours depending on the necessity.  

Have a clear-out Plan 

Having inboxes that are overflowing with emails wastes an average of 27 minutes per day according to research. There must be a clear plan to clear out or move read emails out of the inbox in order to avoid building backlog. Archiving or deleting emails after reading them would be the best option. 

Use the Search option 

Finding messages that we’ve already read is a big part of the work of email processing. Search is one fix. Some people create multiple folders to categorize emails to deal with this problem. But research finds this to be 9% slower than the simple Search feature. Search option is argued to be the easiest option to overcome this problem. 

Simplify  

Also, remember your email isn’t a library, it doesn’t need multiple categories to be sorted into. Rather have just two folders, one with emails that need to be responded to, and the other for emails being kept as a record but don’t need a response.  

Set filters 

Reading and processing irrelevant emails costs us 8 minutes per day. So it is important to cut the spam. Have an automated filter to soft out newsletters and flyers that are not read. Make sure to unsubscribe from lists and stores that you don’t actively seek out information from. By cutting the clutter you’re already halfway there to conquering the clutter. 
 
By following the simple tips provided you can take charge and conquer your inbox!