Do we really need a strategy?
You want your business to grow, and you want a (sustainable) solid profit? Why then, don’t we just go out there and get some customers, convince them to purchase our solutions at good prices (to us)? Why are you consultants always asking, “What is your strategy”?
Apparently there are quite a lot of entrepreneurs (see note) who do not quite appreciate the need for a strategy. Maybe they have achieved their current success with hard work, cleverness and no strategy. So, why do they need a strategy now?
- What is a strategy?
- What do we mean by “need”?
Strategy: The objective of having a strategy is to achieve more with less: Your current position is A. You want to get to B. Your strategy tells you how to get there most effectively.
Need: When more than one person is working together achieving an objective, it makes good sense to have a plan detailing who does what when. To make a meaningful plan you must have a strategy. Thus, you need a strategy to make a meaningful plan.
Are there situations when you really don’t need a strategy?
Yes, if you have no particular objective with your business and you are happy with whatever happens. If you are not concerned with profit optimization. If you are not concerned with having your staff running in all different directions. If you have enough funds to cover the big holes that also could happen. Then you can do without a strategy.
The reasons why management consultants always ask, “What is your strategy?” are simple:
- If you don’t have a strategy and you don’t want a strategy, then you don’t need a management consultant. We can save your time and our time.
- If you don’t have a strategy but you see the need for one, then we can help you put one together, because this we do all the time.
- If you have a strategy but it doesn’t work, then we can help you fix it, because this we do all the time.
- If you have a strategy and it works, then we can help you accelerate the results, because this we do all the time.
Note: It is actually unfair to accuse entrepreneurs for failing to understand the importance of having a strategy. All types of companies in all trades and sizes either fail to have a logical strategy or they haven’t communicated the strategy to the ranks. Without having the statistical foundation for the following statement, I do believe I am pretty close to reality: > 75% of all companies either do not have a clear strategy or the strategy is not understood by neither the management team nor the staff. This is the basis for an immense waste of resources, where millions of people are working hard every day to accomplish things that basically doesn’t bring value.