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How to create a business strategy

How to develop a strategy

With the company goals, you have defined which milestones you want to reach by WHEN. Now you should create a business strategy, in which you show in the business plan HOW you want to achieve these goals. One of the three business strategies is possible: cost leadership, differentiation or niche strategy.

The starting point for the company strategy is the customer benefit of your offer and the positioning of your company in the market. 

The business strategy is followed by goals

Now that you’ve set your business goals and milestones, you need to answer the question of how you want to achieve those goals, and keep this in mind when you create a business strategy.

The business strategy chapter in your business plan provides answers to this and thus shows the path (corporate strategy) that should ultimately lead to the achievement of the goals.

The starting point to successfully create a business strategy is always a complete market analysis. Determining market growth and market potential is just as important as a comprehensive competitive analysis.

Derived from the findings, you can determine the comparative competitive advantage that puts your offer in relation to the other offers, and then determine the positioning. Based on positioning, it is then relatively easy to find the appropriate corporate strategy.

1. Basis of the business strategy: the customer benefits

If you don’t offer a particular customer benefit (competitive advantage), it may be very difficult to stay successful in the long run. The special customer benefit can appear in a variety of forms (price, quality, service, etc.).

Since the special customer benefit (also known as USP; Unique Selling Proposition or unique selling feature) is an important part of a corporate strategy, you can find more information on the Customer.

2. Basis of the corporate strategy: the positioning

A clear positioning is essential for a successful start-up. With positioning, you determine where you want to stand in price-performance compared to the competition. The positioning not only helps to find the right corporate strategy, but also clearly signals to the customer which segment the customer can place your offer in. The positioning depends strongly on the special customer benefit and follows the customer’s usefulness in the business plan.

The heart: set the right business strategy

Once you have worked through the two chapters of Customer Benefits and Positioning in the Business Plan, it should be relatively easy to create a business strategy that suits your business.
The best way to do this is to proceed in two steps when it comes to corporate strategy:

  1. Determining the right corporate strategy
    In addition to the corporate strategy, Niche (clearly limited, specialized and mostly small market) you can either consider yourself as a Cost guide establish itself or deal with the corporate strategy of Differentiation — clearly distinguish it from competitors.
  2. Set a business strategy direction
    To whom they align their corporate strategy depends essentially on the marketing strategy.

Which corporate strategy you ultimately decide on depends, among other things, on your business model.

In particular, it is important that you define a defined corporate strategy in the other areas of the business plan (in particular Marketing & Organization) and then consistently implement the corporate strategy.

The goal is …

….that you set a business strategy that will explain in your business plan why you chose which strategy. The customer benefit, the special competitive advantage as well as the positioning are important influencing factors for the determination of the company strategy. 

When you set a business strategy, it forms the basis for many parts of your business model in the business plan (e.g. cost leadership is usually only possible with a lean, efficient organization). This makes it all the more important that you take care when determining your corporate strategy. 

The corporate strategy as well as the orientation of the corporate strategy also form the basis for the next chapter in the business plan, marketing.