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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR SMES


MAKING TOUGH DECISIONS


1.The industry is new and has attracted many new companies, mostly SMEs – these companies are much more likely to benefit from business development advice


2.Paul is so enthusiastic about the industry he is more than willing to give advice to help as many companies as possible share in the opportunities available


He has such a straightforward punchy style there is no need to pad things out with too many words – if you would like him to elaborate further in any area please just get in touch.


WHAT DOES STRATEGY IN BUSINESS ACTUALLY


DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY


For me, strategy is quite simple – Strategy is about doing things differently to your rivals to create competitive advantage.


IT IS ALSO ABOUT CHOOSINGWHAT NOT TO DO


In choosing what you are going to do differently from your rivals, you need to choose things that your customers want and that they value - otherwise your strategy will be impotent. Sounds obvious I know, but so many companies get that wrong.


The choices you make will ultimately determine how your company is positioned in the market and lead you to decide the customers/markets to attack and the products/services to provide.


It may involve some tough decisions to discontinue certain activities for the right reasons – many companies have products which are “DOGS” or income streams which don’t materially contribute, yet consume valuable resource. Many companies have customers similarly – jettison them!


INVOLVING YOUR TEAM


It’s important to involve your senior management team in strategy definition and it’s generally beneficial to take yourself away for a day or two to discuss and refine it in detail. Tools like SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTLE (Political, Economical, Sociological, Technological, Legal, Environmental) analysis have a part to play in the process and it will help to be equipped with detailed information on your key rivals’ strategy and positioning.


DEFINING YOUR STRATEGY


MEAN? There’s so much business babble out there on the subject, that you’ll probably get 100 different answers from 100 different people!


You should aim to define a strategy that is difficult for others to imitate. Every move that you make in the market is likely to evoke a response, so when defining your strategy, always put yourselves in the shoes of your rivals. Ultimately, the key to defining a successful strategy comes down to your people and your internal business processes, so give these the utmost consideration.


EXECUTING YOUR STRATEGY


Once you have a clear strategy, it’s all about how you execute it and most strategies fail due to poor or inconsistent execution. That’s a crying shame. To execute effectively you must give your top team clear ownership of a plan of actions to implement and SMART objectives to achieve.


You may like to consider embracing the four aspects of “Balanced Scorecard” (Customer: Finance; Internal Process: Innovation & learning) in setting strategic objectives as a proven way of enhancing long term business performance. You may also want to arrange these within a “quarterly priorities management” framework providing an optimum interval for implementation and review. Be prepared to make small adjustments to your strategy as market conditions change and as your competitors react, but avoid at all costs making wholesale reactive changes to your strategy as this can generally be very dangerous.


KEEPING IT SIMPLE


With so much mystique around strategy it’s important to give your organisation absolute clarity on how you will create your own competitive advantage to outperform your rivals. Keep it simple and focus on executing the heck out of it, and then execute the heck out of it.......


Paul Luen Market Marine Ltd www.market-marine.com


Wind Energy NETWORK


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