More than half of small businesses fail within the first 18 months. This is a sobering statistic for any entrepreneur making their start. One of the best ways to enable your business growth when you are starting out is to have a solid strategy as your guide. Unfortunately, many business leaders—novice and experienced—are constructing their strategies all wrong. Here are some of the most common mistakes.
1. Spending too little time on strategy.
We all know how important strategy is. It’s a shame, then, that executives rarely spend more than 15% of their time on strategic initiatives, according to a McKinsey & Company study. Instead of being strategic, executives are typically focused on solving urgent problems, Setting aside time to create a strategic plan, however, can eliminate potential issues down the line.
2. Expecting the status quo to remain so.
If you want your strategy to succeed, you need to look ahead to the future. Don’t assume that your industry will be the same five years from now. Anticipate innovation, changes in the marketplace, and pursue your company’s true potential.
3. Being too vague.
A strategy needs to be an actionable and measurable plan. Set a goal and then break down how your company will get there step by step. Otherwise, your strategy may be just a faraway dream—especially to your employees.
4. Looking for total consensus or going it alone.
It’s important to involve key stakeholders and foster dialogue when you are discussing business strategy. After all, you don’t want to miss an opportunity that you may have overlooked. Keep in mind, however, that total consensus is rare, so when the time comes, be prepared to step up and make a decision.
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