Six factors to consider when creating a business strategy
The time of the small business is now!
With the last two years giving people more time than ever to think, many have started asking themselves, what am I passionate about, and what do I actually want to do?
As a result, we’re seeing more and more people taking a leap and starting their own businesses.
These are exciting times, but with starting and running a business comes a lot of prep work and planning; if you’re running a business or looking to, have you thought about your business strategy?
A business strategy is essentially the plans you put in place that outline your goals and the actions needed.
The problem is that the world of business, and the current economic environment in which we build them today, is anything but stable, making long-term planning a nightmare.
Don’t worry, to help, below are six factors taken from the PESTLE model that you need to be aware of to give your business strategy its best chance of success; let’s take a look:
There hasn’t been a climate of political volatility like what we’re seeing now for quite some time.
The decisions politicians make on things like wars, taxes, pandemics and trade deals have very profound implications on our businesses, and with the current chaos following Boris Johnson’s resignation, more uncertainty lies ahead.
These moment-notice changes we see – taxes, schemes and legislation – mean that your strategy needs to be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice.
Everything from global warming and the deterioration of our environment to the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on businesses of every shape and size.
Add to this the expectations from the new generation entering the workforce for businesses to be greener and 'doing their bit'.
Being environmentally conscious can no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have; if you want to appear as an attractive employer and company to do business with, protecting the environment should be on your agenda.
This could involve small steps like using recycled materials to larger commitments like organising a green group in your business that’s in charge of your eco-initiatives.
Our Chief People Officer (CPO), Stephanie Kelly, recently wrote a blog covering what businesses can do to be more sustainable – read it here.
Our behaviours, expectations and accepted social norms have shifted and continue to change on an almost daily basis.
These social changes impact everything from how we lead our teams to what our customers expect from us.
Take, for example, the sudden rise in instant-gratification culture, where people expect things immediately.
While instant gratification may initially seem to be a customer-focused impact, e.g. people wanting next-day delivery, it’s also had a massive influence on employee expectations.
If one of your goals is to expand your business and hire more, the way your people work needs to be considered: are you relying on outdated processes or do people have access to handy digital tools?
While tech is largely an enabler of business, keeping up with developments requires a keen eye and ongoing investment of time and money.
It may seem like a huge pain to keep on top of the latest tech, but relying on the ways of yesterday could hold your business back from seeing tomorrow.
I’d advise you to identify publications in your industry, such as Small Business Magazine, that discuss the latest trends/tech and regularly check there to ensure you’re up to date.
Economies around the globe are now, at best, challenged and at worst broken.
We have almost all of the major world economies experiencing high inflation or already in recession, with some on the verge of a great depression-like scenario as a result of recent events.
How various economies are coping, whether that’s the micro-economies within the UK (towns and cities) or entire economies (countries), needs to be factored into your strategy when determining where you’re targeting your business.
Perhaps you’ll have to open a store in a different city to attract new business or a lack of talent in your area could result in you recruiting overseas – see the three main considerations when employing abroad here.
Legislation from the Government impacts many parts of our ability to run businesses effectively.
From employment law to data protection, these legislative considerations mean businesses have to adapt constantly to ensure they’re compliant.
The key to a successful business strategy = agility
All these factors mean one thing for business strategy: to be successful, you need to be agile.
Businesses can no longer place all their eggs in one ‘long game’ basket; creating multi-year strategies are now a relic of the past as they simply are no longer viable.
Today, businesses must adapt to rapid changes and discover strategic opportunities/risks as the world unfolds around them.
If you’re looking for more information, my recent blog covered the importance of agile business strategies in further detail – click here to read it.