In a volatile market, keeping to a strategy, or let’s face it creating one, can be tough.
The downside of not taking time out for your strategy is that there is a tendency to keep a short-term focus at an operational level to try and pick quick wins to generate financial returns. Sometimes in the process, this short-term focus undermines longer term value and returns.
Here are our ‘must dos’:
Know what your position is.
A business health check is an analysis of the current state of your business. It is an analytical review of its operation with view to providing a broad overview of operating performance and identifying potential issues. Understanding your position will reveal your risks and capacity to develop.
Know what to look for.
Once you know your position, the next question is what are the measures that are going to give you the best insight into business performance. In a volatile market, this information will give you what you need to make informed decisions at any one point in time.
Be prepared to make quick decisions.
If you know your position and have the data you need, be prepared to make quick decisions and take the first mover advantage. If you have the two elements above, you have your radar for identifying opportunities and mitigating risk. Most businesses are simply a replication of what they see. While the pandemic and market instability is difficult, we have also seen a wave of innovation as people adapt to find solutions.
Don’t bank on a single opportunity.
If COVID has taught us anything it is that things change, and we need to adapt and change with the circumstances. While one single opportunity might make all the difference, an overreliance on one product, service, or methodology of delivering those products and services, exposes you to risk.
Understand your end game.
What are you aiming for? Family empire? Fast growth and sale? Sustainable growth and sale as a retirement plan? Public listing? Even if you plan on simply running and growing your business for decades to come, that is a decision. Your end game and your progress towards that end game impacts your structure, focus, and decision making.
Document your strategy.
Document your strategy – knowing it in your head is not enough. This does not have to be an onerous War & Peace approach. It is understanding what you are aiming for, and breaking that down into measurable objectives, then into measurable outcomes and timeframes (preferably actionable against rolling 90 day plans). This approach also makes management meetings a lot more meaningful.