Business Strategy

Your business strategy determines how you will achieve the long term goals of your business.  In other words, when you know where you are going, your strategy describes which roads you will take to get there.  So, strategy is important for the long term viability of your value-added business.

To help you develop strategy read Strategic Thinking in Value-Added Businesses.

Analyzing an Industry and Industry Analysis—The Five Factors are important aspects of developing strategy.

Strategy involves using a unique set of Business Strategy Terms and Strategic Management Concepts that are important for you to understand. Conducting a SWOT Analysis is another useful strategic planning tool.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Understanding Strategy

Strategic Planning

  • Strategic Planning: Scanning the Horizon -- Purdue University Extension – Strategic planning involves making decisions now to reach a desired future.
  • Strategic Thinking, Forecasting for Growth – Small Business Administration -- Strategic thinking is a process whereby you learn how to make your business vision a reality by developing your abilities in team work, problem solving, and critical thinking.
  • Keeping Track: Performance Measurement, Control & Strategy – HBS Working Knowledge -- In today's fast-moving economy, how do managers balance profit and growth against control? What's the trade-off between short-term results and long-term capabilities? How can you calculate the effectiveness of your business strategies?
  • Strategic Planning: Not Just for Big Business – Small Business Notes -- Strategic planning has become a concept that is commonly suggested as the "solution" to many business problems.
  • How to Develop a Strategic Plan – -- Strategic planning is matching the strengths of your business to available opportunities.
  • Devising Business Strategies – PlanWare -- Success and failure, existing strategies and future SWOTs, strategic combinations and statements, and next steps.
  • How to Perform SWOT Analysis -- -- A valuable step in your situational analysis is to assess your firm's strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities, and threats through a SWOT analysis. This is a very simple process that can offer powerful insight into the potential and critical issues affecting a venture.
  • Your Company Strategy - in Pictures - HBS Working Knowledge -- Preparing a company strategy can bury you in data.  Make it easier by drawing a strategy picture.

Creating a Strategy

  • All the Right Moves - HBS Working Knowledge -- Superior strategy is all about continuing to find and exploit unique strategic positions.  Here are key ingredients of a distinctive strategy and the kind of "breakthroughs" that separate winning strategists from the also-rans.
  • Does your HQ Operation Fit With Corporate Strategy? - HBS Working Knowledge -- Is a lean headquarters operation the key to success?  How should headquarters design fit with corporate strategy?
  • The Role of the Board in Corporate Strategy - HBS Working Knowledge -- Strategic planning, according to a recent survey of CEOs, ranks high in importance but low in terms of board effectiveness.
  • A Perfect Fit: Aligning Organization & Strategy - HBS Working Knowledge -- Is your company organizationally fit?  Business success is a function of the fit between key organizational variables such as strategy, values, culture, employees, systems, organizational design, and the behavior of the senior management team.
  • Going Green Makes Good Business Sense – HBS Working Knowledge -- Green can be good.  How environmentally-minded company policies can make good strategic sense for business. Here are some strategies you might consider.
  • Strategy for the Recession - HBS Working Knowledge -- What would your company do if demand suddenly fell off the table?  If a global recession hit?
  • Strategy for Small Fish - HBS Working Knowledge -- Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and eBay provide ecosystems in which other companies thrive or fail.  But what are effective strategies for a small fish in a big pond?
  • Strategies for Tough Times - HBS Working Knowledge -- Are you a master of uncertainty?  Every strategist needs to be.
  • The Strategic Role of Marketing - HBS Working Knowledge -- Marketing must help drive organizational change.

Strategy and Your Core Business

  • The Core of Strategy – HBS Working Knowledge -- The most successful companies know how to ignore distractions and build market power based on their core business.
  • Moving Beyond the Core Business – HBS Working Knowledge -- Finding opportunity in new directions.
  • Figuring Out What’s Core – HBS Wokring Knowledge -- Most would agree that the best corporate strategy these days is focusing on your core. Problem is, just what is essential in your company may be a matter of opinion. Here’s how to separate the essential from the expendable.
  • Your New Core Strategy: Employee Retention - HBS Working Knowledge -- The Baby Boom is de-booming and soon there will be many more jobs than people available to fill them.  The message: Keep your workers happy today.

Strategy Tools

  • Mapping your Corporate Strategy – HBS Working Knowledge -- From the originators of the Balanced Scorecard system, Strategy Maps is a new book that explores how companies can best their competition. A Question and Answer report.
  • The Strategy-Focused Organization – HBS Working Knowledge -- In the ten years since it was introduced, Robert Kaplan's and David Norton's Balanced Scorecard has become not just a measurement tool but a means of putting strategy at the center of a company's key management processes and systems.

Links checked July 2014.