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A Company’s Business Strategy Is NOT Likely To Include

A Company’s Business Strategy Is Not Likely To Include These 3 Things

As we established in our article about what strategy is, the main reason to adopt a business strategy is that the vast majority of your competitors still doesn’t have one – but what are the things a company’s business strategy is not likely to include?

#1 Thing A Company’s Business Strategy Is Not Likely To Include: Financial Goals

It’s called a Business Strategy and not a financial strategy for a reason.

Whenever you’re in an end-of-the-year budget meeting and you hear: “Our strategy is to grow all accounts by 10% and add an extra $20 million in Revenue”, what they’re talking about not only is no strategy, but it is barely a plan – it’s a desire.

For it to be a strategy, it would need to be 1) connected to the company’s unique Force Multipliers and the related services and 2) it would have to address the challenges preventing the company from getting there.

Pro Tip: Financial goals and plans are necessary, but you’ll have way less headaches if you base them around what matters, and framed it in the context of your strategy.

#2 Thing A Company’s Business Strategy Is Not Likely To Include: Marketing Plans

The world’s most successful companies are built on two pillars:

  • Business Strategy: The over-arching set of guidelines, policies and actions you deploy to solve a challenge by allocating limited resources to do it
  • Communications Strategy: The frameworks, processes and tactics you deploy to turn your business strategy into clear interactions with customers and employees.

Marketing plans are part of the Communications Strategy, but they are neither the Communications Strategy nor the Business Strategy. A On top of that, marketing is a game of tactics that are always in very rapid evolution, whereas Strategy tends to become a company’s pillar, a compass guiding its decision – and that’s the reason why a company’s Business Strategy is not likely to include marketing plans.

Pro Tip: Marketing plans are great. However, never let anyone sell them to you as strategy.

A Company’s Business Strategy Is NOT Likely To Include
a company’s business strategy is not likely to include

#3 Thing A Company’s Business Strategy Is Not Likely To Include: Wishful Thinking

I will be among the first one to tell you how essential it is for a company to have a Vision… but you’ll never find me closing one or both eyes when I see my customers engaging in one of the most horrible displays of bad strategy: Aspirations, goals and ambitions.

You see, a company’s Business Strategy is not likely to include your dreams because a Strategy is something you deploy to solve a specific set of problems: It has to be tangible, measurable, and it has to hold people accountable. “Becoming a market leader” or “positioning as a trusted partner” might be pleasant statements to your ears, but in terms of Strategy they mean less than nothing.

Pro Tip: Your company’s Vision is a tool to build culture and to guide some decisions. It was never meant to solve any relevant issue.

What To Include In Your Business Strategy

And okay, these are the 3 things a company’s Business Strategy is not likely to include, but at Sypnotic we hate blind criticism. What should be inside your Business Strategy? After quite some reflection on the work we’ve done for clients, we’ve come to realize that a strategy must include:

  • Customer insights
  • Competitor analysis
  • A list of the main challenges your business is facing
  • The same list of challenges, now ordered by priority
  • Guidelines and action points to guide how you will solve the top 2 priorities
  • An overview of the capabilities you must have to survive in the industry (your Minimum Operational Standards)
  • An outline of the unique skills that enable your company to produce value in an unique way (your Force Multipliers)

With these tools, you can create:

  • Your Unique Value Proposition
  • Your MarComms frameworks & systems
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Your Employee Value Proposition


Not sure about how to include all of this? Let’s chat.

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