4 steps when creating a business strategy

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 2:24 pm
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nick Marvin | Former Perth Wildcats and Perth Lynx ceo

This week, I had the privilege of spending some time with post graduate business students from the local university. The topic for discussion was creating a business plan.

The conversation gave me an opportunity to reflect on the matter and put some of my thoughts in writing.

The following are my four ‘C’s to consider when developing your business strategy.

Paperclips and business materials

1. Core competence
First, clarify the core competence of the organisation. In simple terms, this means establishing your key strength. What does your organisation do well? It may be customer service, product development, low-cost manufacturing, communication, innovation, etc. But identifying what you are good and excelling at it is critical for success.

2. Competitive advantage
The next step is to ensure that your core competence is a competitive advantage. In other words, is what you do well better than your competitors? If, for example, the primary strength of your organisation is logistics, yet you are not significantly better than most others, your business will not be sustainable. An organisation must have a competitive edge in its market to exist and excel.

3. Customer focus
Is there a user for what you do? Once you have established what you are good at and better at than anyone else, it is important that there is a need for this in your environment. You may be great at basket-weaving and better than anyone else at it but if there is no need for basket-weavers the entire pursuit is futile. This third step is critical to establishing a performing organisation. Creating and keeping a customer is vital for a sustainable organisation.

4. Commercialisation
It is worth noting that organisations do not always need paying customers. Many successful multi-nationals such as the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul, and the like, have a multitude of customers who do not pay for the services they receive. Where there are non-paying customers, the organisation must still find a way to fund its activities. Most commercial organisations, however, do require their customers to pay for the benefits received. When developing a business strategy, it is important to establish how best this can be achieved.

Each of these four topics deserves greater consideration, and will hopefully be the subject of future articles.

This article was originally posted on Nick Marvin’s Management articles as The four steps to developing your business strategy


Nick Marvin is a company director, management consultant, and author. Nick Marvin studied Business and Computing at Monash University and has an MBA from RMIT University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM) a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Turnaround Management Association. He was listed in the 100 Most Influential West Australians (2015 and 2016) and in 1991, he won Rolling Stone Magazine’s national writing award.

He has been married to Leigh for almost 20 years; they have six children who are home-schooled. They attend daily mass at Victoria Park Catholic Church.

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