How to Lose a World-Class Strategy in Three Easy Strokes
2. Set unrealistic time estimates. A company might have a strong showing in a specific niche market, and might be earning higher than average profit margins, and therefore establish a timetable for a new product using the same metrics. After all, we did it in this market, why shouldn’t we be able to do it in another? To gain an upward curve in any niche market requires expanding many parts of a company. This could include production, operations, sales, marketing and the list goes on. Trying to stand up all of these areas at the same pace of the established business could lead to frustrating results if an appropriate timetable is not established and funded.
3. Test in wide open markets. Rather than experiment cautiously in micro markets with variations on selective strategies, often companies are bolstered by their current success so they employ a full-steam-ahead methodology. Again, nothing wrong with speed, but most successful companies insist their core strategy be written down, then tested and refined, and the full-speed-ahead button is only pushed once the strategy is fully proven. Testing in micro markets is a long-standing practice of consumer corporations, but rarely practiced by their B2B brethren.
Such discipline creates focus and this leads to better managed companies. Knowing how to improve your current strategy will usually outperform coming up with all new ones. These simple practices can be the difference between a company that knows where it is going and is moving there profitably, to one that ends up on the side of a road with a flat tire because it became unfocused.
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Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.