Most enterprises talk about their business strategy as a singular entity with a singular focus. Yet, in reality four distinct strategies — all interdependent of one another — work together to help a business align its goals and efforts across departments and maximize opportunities for growth.
1) The Corporate or Business Strategy
The overall corporate or business strategy lays the foundation for the purpose of the business and the value it wishes to deliver to market — and more specifically to its target customers.
When developing your corporate or business strategy, evaluate your business and its purpose. Frame your defining questions in a way such as:
- Is our business building mouse traps or are we exterminators?
- Are we a mapping service or are we a service leveraging GPS to support all activities around movement?
2) The Financial Strategy
The financial strategy designates a business’ financial metrics for success over a period of time and defines the types of revenue, cash flow and margins expected. The financial strategy must align with other strategies to reach its goals.
When developing your strategy, expect to discuss areas such as:
- Do we sell products or services?
- Are we transactional or relationship-driven?
- Do we innovate or optimize?
3) The Solution Strategy
The solution strategy details whom a business is targeting, with what solutions and in what markets, and how the business will compete. This strategy lays the framework for what solutions will be developed, how these solutions will be created — organically, through a partnership or with an acquisition — as well as when the solutions will reach the market.
The solution strategy must:
- Align to the corporate strategy (or work to inform the corporate strategy)
- Support the financial strategy
- Create context for the go-to-market strategy and be informed by the go-to-market strategy
4) The Go-to-Market Strategy
The go-to-market strategy focuses on the successful execution of the previous three strategies. Leaders can most easily set a barometer by which success can be measured here, and they can inform their solution and financial strategies while executing within their parameters and reinforcing the corporate strategy — in effect, creating the brand.
Your go-to-market strategy will incorporate the capabilities of the customer-facing organizations across all channels, including:
Each of the four strategies should be revisited annually, if not more often, and they should be utilized as a filter and validation for one another on an ongoing basis. Misalignment of any of these strategies can lead to missed expectations; reduced return on investments in solution and go-to-market initiatives; confused and frustrated employees, customers and partners; and slow growth or entrenchment. But when aligned, your business will experience synergies and clarity across the organization — and within the market — and will realize corporate growth and success.
Does your team need help creating or reviewing one of these strategies? Do you need an outside eye to review how your strategies align across your organization? Contact us today for further information.