What added value can a strategy offer? Does it push my company forward? Do I need a strategy if my company is very small? These are questions you will probably inevitably be confronted with when it comes to reconciling (management-) theory and practice. I will summarize a few answers from both worlds here.
Strategic or Without Plan - SMEs in Germany
The term "strategy" originates from the military context and means loosely translated from Greek: to lead an army. Today it is about taking actions and decisions within the framework of a long-term plan. This plan, the strategy, is based on rational considerations that serve to achieve a central corporate goal. (NE GmbH | Brockhaus, 2014). A strategy should be at the core of entrepreneurial activity and affect all areas of the company.
This is a central requirement for strategy development - only if everyone accepts and follows the general "direction of the road" the company can profit from it in the long term.
In the previous blog post I talked about the likelihood of failure for new companies. In the literature it is generally agreed that companies with strategic approaches have a much greater chance of survival than companies without a plan. So "Think Big!" in the sense of "Think long term" is not only a question of mindset but can really be useful for the company.
Strategic management - tanker vs. fishing boat
The majority of companies in a market face similar challenges. These arise, for example, from economic changes, globalization or the general competitive situation.
Whoever masters these challenges best will win the competition, the race for customers and the largest market share. These external factors or challenges have different impacts on companies of different sizes. Just as a wave of the same size affects a large tanker less than a small rowing boat. Nevertheless, it is possible that the small boat will win the competition here if it navigates smartly and avoids rough waters early on. So even if the conditions are not equal, good planning and strategy can make the small boat, the small company, superior to the big one.
In other words, small companies in particular should have a strategy on which they can rely in times of crisis. Especially when there is no time to lose, the plan and the procedure should be fixed.
Does a strategy restrict me?
No. We at Merus had the approach: Our strategy is "no strategy". In the next blog post, I will show you exactly how this can be realized. In the course of developing a strategy, it should be identified which room for maneuver remains in the long term in order to continue to be successful. In other words, we have thought it over carefully: If we don't make any progress on the path we are currently on - what other options do we have? As a starting point for an uncertain future, it's not bad to have a plan B, C and D up our sleeve, isn't it?
NE GmbH | Brockhaus (Hg.) (2014): Strategie (allgemein). Brockhaus.