How to Create a Winning Business Level Strategy
Every successful business leverages strategic planning and execution to achieve specific market-related goals. A business-level strategy became more important than ever given the state of the markets, which became volatile and oversaturated worldwide.
It is important to distinguish all types of corporate-level strategy from a business level strategy. Corporate-level strategies define the company’s strategic direction, while a business level strategy focuses on helping a business succeed in a specific market. Now, since we got this out of our way, let’s see what precisely a business-level strategy encompasses and how to create a winning one.
Business-Level Strategy Explained
A business-level strategy encompasses strategic planning and an outline for activity implementation. Its primary purpose is to set a business on a precise course and towards establishing business goals. The goals include creating customer value in the target market and gaining a competitive advantage.
At this point, it may all sound too vague for you to grip onto something. Here’s an example to help you better understand a business-level strategy.
One of the most common business-level strategies is differentiation. As per Steven Fata, one of the most common business-level strategies is differentiation. Companies that opt to use this strategy don’t want to increase the customer base via low prices. Instead, they focus on product development and marketing. Their ultimate goal is to release a product or service that provides good value to customers, especially when compared to similar products and services in the market.
A company can have two opposite business-level strategies for different markets. A great example is Lenovo’s “protect and attack” strategy.
Since every business is unique and every company caters to a specific market segment’s needs, there is no “one-business-level-strategy fits all” solution. How do you create a winning business-level strategy for your company?
Go Back to Your Company’s Vision Statement
It all starts with your company’s vision. It doesn’t provide the narrow frame of reference for your business-level strategy, but it will push you in the right direction. How come? Every action you take through your projects should help your organization and contribute to making your vision come through.
Stick to your Company’s Values
Your business-level strategy can leverage all sorts of actions to help you stand out from the crowd and attract more customers. However, your company’s values will help you determine how you, as an organization, want to behave and be seen in the market.
Define Your Focus Areas
Now you have to define your focus areas. In other words, you want to make a list of things you want to achieve. Do you want to become a trustworthy company, a synonym for the quality, green-tech evangelist, a go-to place for most affordable products, or something else? Once you define your focus area, you can proceed to set strategic objectives.
Set Strategic Objectives
A strategic objective is the central piece of your business-level strategy puzzle. You can have more than one if your focus area is too wide. A strategic objective defines what you want to accomplish. Strategic objectives should be realistic but set high to motivate all parties involved in projects to work towards achieving them.
Identify Your Business Core Competencies
Business core competencies are the business’s strengths you can leverage to accomplish your strategic objectives. They can help you attract more customers, penetrate a new market, or establish a better position in the current market. Down the line, you can create projects that use your competencies or develop them to strengthen them and use them in the future.
Perform Market Research
Since a business level strategy ultimately targets customers, you need to take them into account as well. You should organize and launch market research to discover who your customers are, their pain points, and how you can help them resolve their problems. The research report will help you connect the dots between the business core competencies and customers’ needs.
Determine Which KPIs Are Relevant for Your Objective
Now that you have focus areas and strategic objectives, you should determine the relevant KPIs. You can monitor the execution of a business-level strategy through several KPIs. Identify all KPIs related to your objectives and set a tracking schedule. KPIs will tell you whether your actions are aligned with your strategic objectives and which action is the most likely to help you achieve your goals.
Finally, you need to create and launch projects. When creating projects, you need to be aware of the strategic objectives. A project should be strategically devised to help you achieve your goals and objectives. Plan actions in great detail, delegate tasks to team members, and set realistic deadlines. Pay special attention to task dependencies because delays can put your entire project on hold.
Creating a winning business-level strategy is not an easy task. However, now that you have a blueprint, you can better structure your process and come to the desired outcome. Bear in mind that markets and competition never remain the same. You’ll need to closely monitor your KPIs and make adjustments on the go to achieve your goals consistently.