June 28,2021 Strategic Planning

Strategy For the Small Business Conclusion

Strategy For the Small Business Conclusion

Strategy For the Small Business Conclusion

Strategy For the Small Business Conclusion

Many clients and friends ask why I bother to focus on the small business? There is very little money to be had. Most of my colleagues debate that small businesses make a minuscule impact overall. It is too easy to get pushed around by resource wealthy corporations.

Part of the American tradition though is the love of the underdog. I am no different and love the challenge of competing against people that believe the world can ultimately be manipulated by money and influence. While it increases difficulty in the fight, these behemoth organizations have numerous fatal flaws as well, they are just hidden better.

The key I prefer to focus on is that I can make an impact with small businesses. The people that run these companies or organizations are normal people. They are not multimillionaires running the business who have lost touch with their customers. Small business owners never play the victim and carry the outlook that they always control their own destiny. They also have sloppy competitors who try to do to much leaving themselves open where they can be taken advantage of.

Changing Behaviors Instead of Processes

I set out in writing this book not wanting to be prescriptive in nature. I gave a process but want you to live the behaviors of always working on strategy instead of following a procedure. For strategy is not an annual process, financial plan, or visionary end state. Strategy is a daily approach to how to compete over the long term.

I started writing this book for myself. I’ve always held an amusement with strategic maxims and the desire to relook at my own business strategy. The more I wrote and reflected on previous engagements though the angrier I got. This anger at well-intentioned consultants. Those that sell bad products because they depend so heavily on recurring revenue streams that annual strategic planning can create. In the end they can do more harm than good. With razor thin margins and no room for error, I wanted to provide the small business with the approach to a more sustainable future. One where they can list their goals on a note card and they don’t need long revisitations of bromides.

Following the Herd Mentality

Larger corporations follow a social herding that presses them to think that everything is ok because they say so. True strategists in corporate environments washout quickly as their beliefs are too much against the grain. However, strategy is having the balls to step away from the norm.

A strategy is simply a way to relate a choice of means to one’s goals. Typically, goal achievement is winning. However, if these goals are pushed into following the status quo, these goals are nothing more than window dressing.

If you were to look at strategy in a collegiate context, it would be labeled as an advanced course. Advanced courses are the ones that are on the edge of science. We don’t understand the concepts very well yet. It doesn’t call for surface level thinking or quick closure. It is difficult and complex where it takes time to figure out. If it was clear and concise it would be an introductory course.

Due to the Complexity of Continued Strategic Thinking

When I think of complexity, I think of the term scale. While thrown around boardrooms incorrectly representing regular growth it is something far more complex. Scaling is explosive growth without the matching of expended resources to achieve that growth. It is replacing a financial plan with an actual strategy. You don’t replicate building capacity to scale and then standardize. This is not a wicked problem, but it is close.

Combined with the regular challenges that businesses encounter, there is a new order to how the world works. The world is characterized by diffusion of power, changing international systems, political polarization, populist elite distrust. The world is so complex right now that a grand strategy is needed. For what works now won’t in five years.

The tools I’ve provided will help keep your organization evolving. That will not be enough for the long-term though. You will need to develop an organizational culture that not only allows a questioning attitude but one that encourages vigorous debate. If your strategy can’t hold up to candid feedback, you cannot expect it to overcome real competition.

I wish you and your organization luck moving forward. I and many others are here to help you along the journey, there are many charlatans lingering out there as well. Continue to be aggressive and charge the hill, just make sure it’s the right hill to take.


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