Choosing Business Strategies and Tactics

There are a few steps that have to be taken to ensure that the choice of Business Strategy made by an organization is sound. Firstly there should be the realization that resources and capabilities have to searched for and located and the search has to be systematically made over each of the functional areas including Marketing, Production, Sales and Finance. After this is done, the feasibility of using these resources individually or collectively has to be determined. This is a serious exercise and should involve senior and top management. A firm may have manufacturing skills in plenty, but if the challenge facing the company is to increase market penetration, priority will have to be given to strengthening the marketing and sales functions and provide them with the lions share of the operating budget to achieve the company’s aims. Another requirement to kept in mind, is that skills and capabilities identified in the earlier steps have to tapped and exploited to the full. Only then can the organization achieve the competitive advantage which ultimately ensures the success of the firm in the long run over its competitors. In addition the firm should also provide support to these capabilities. If for instance the marketing initiative has to include a large number of new products developed in a short span of time, it might call for special training of the product design staff in creative techniques and could well include purchase of specialized graphics software and training of key designers.

While business tactics which are short term and narrow in focus can and often do include responses to competitor moves in the market place and other key result areas of the industry, Business Strategy is a long term concept and therefore in it’s planning, and formulation, utmost care should be taken to seriously analyze the business environment of the firm both internally and externally, determine the positives, i.e. strengths and opportunities as well as the negatives i.e. weaknesses and threats, and to determine the best means of minimizing the adverse factors while optimizing the favorable ones. Sound strategy is the most important factor in a firm’s quest for dominance in the market place and once that is ensured, the implementation becomes feasible, and reinforces the soundness of the firms plans for competing with sustained advantage in its business environment. Lastly, it is useful to remember that while the suggestions given by renowned management experts should be respected, we must realize that management is still in the realm of an art rather than that of a science and the rich diversity of the competitive environment permits innovative and sometimes even unconventional tactics can be envisaged and used to competitive advantage. The only thing that we should do is to refer to the competitive space framework of Customers and Markets, Products and Services, and Skills/Capabilities including Technology and choose those moves which will give competitive advantage in the short and medium term while not sacrificing the long term interest.

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