Roy's Blog: May 2009

May 27, 2009

How can small business create a really awesome strategy?

If you own or operate a small business, how much time do you spend developing a strategy that allows you to navigate the turbulent waters of the current economy? I often hear ‘I don’t have time to plan, I’m too busy running my business.’, or ‘Everything is so unpredictable these days I don’t see the point.’ The truth is that every organization needs a strategy; otherwise how will you measure success?

It doesn’t have to be a complicated time consuming exercise. Using the BE DiFFERENT approach you can build an effective strategy in three days and execute it on the fourth.


1. First, set your financial goals by deciding HOW BIG do you want to be?
The numbers’ determine the character of your strategy: modest goals yield minimal change and a relatively low risk strategy; aggressive goals require more directional change for your business with higher attendant risk.

2. Second, decide on the customers you want to target by answering WHO do you intend to SERVE? You have a choice here; customers are not all created equal and you need to focus on those who have the potential of satisfying your financial goals and leverage your core competencies.

3. Third, determine your competitive strategy through determining HOW will you WIN? This requires you to define your uniqueness versus your competition. If you can’t give your chosen customers unique and compelling reasons why they should buy from you and not your competitors then unfortunately you will have to play the price game which is not a strategy for the long term.
Try to develop your only statement. ‘We are the only ones that…’ This is an effective way to summarize your HOW to WIN work. It forces you to define precisely what you and only you provide the customers you have chosen to SERVE.

The final BE DiFFERENT step is to integrate the answers to all three questions into your Strategic Game Plan.

‘We will (HOW BIG) by focusing our scarce resources on (WHO to SERVE). We will compete by (HOW to WIN).’

Here’s an example:

‘We will grow sales revenue by 25% over the next 36 months by serving the needs of the four seasons vacationer market in Washington State. We will compete and win by creating personalized experience packages that incorporate the many activities that Whistler has to offer.’

Cheers, Roy Osing

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 5.27.09 at 01:06 pm by Roy Osing
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