Strategy is the key to success for any entrepreneurial venture. Once your vision is in place, strategy charts the course of how you’re going to realise it. By developing a plan you know where you are going and not going, and this allows you to focus.
Your strategy enables you to recognise opportunities and to think through the risks, challenges and problems you may encounter – you are anticipating what might be coming down the road and planning accordingly. It also gives your team a level of comfort about the direction your company is taking, and empowers them to align their work so everyone has a common purpose.
On top of your game
Part of a successful strategy involves always looking ahead, so that one can ‘catch the next wave’ when it happens. Good entrepreneurs must be alive to all possibilities and not believe that in the photographic industry, for example, film will last forever and never be overtaken by digital.
By keeping your eye on current trends and macro-economic factors, you can recognise and seize new opportunities. It’s important that all businesses evolve through innovation, and the advantage, particularly for small businesses, is that they can bring about change quickly.
My top tips for recognising new trends and opportunities are:
- Watch what is happening within your industry, gather information through reading relevant news, talking to others within the industry and attending relevant workshops
- Watch what is happening in SA, the world and in general business. We are a global economy which brings the good and the bad, but the good is that we can also get ideas and spot trends faster
- Spend time thinking and talking about the future, what is happening and what may happen; specifically for your business and industry
- Investigate new opportunities when you see them, and always make time or investment in innovation or the growth of your business