One of our founding principles is to help businesses achieve their growth by allowing them to understand some of the fundamental issues around achieving their goals. We put this report together which will give you a brief insight into the issues of achieving various milestones from someone who has been doing this for years. Our expert has given us some pointers on how to address the various issues concerning the correct business strategy. This person has worked for some of the world’s largest organisations assisting at board level with the companies’ visions and strategies.
Currently just finished an Interim role with a large Utility company as their Portfolio Strategy Manager. Before this she has utilised her expertise advising companies on market entry strategies, differentiation and positioning in Russia, Ukraine and the Caspian Region.
1. What is the most important aspect of developing a B2B strategy?
Success of most strategy projects is defined by understanding project objectives & expectations of project sponsors. Does it need to solve a “big problem, define sustainable competitive advantage, help in acquiring new customers or expanding in new markets? Who are the key stakeholders and what their expectations are? What do they need strategy for?
However, success of a strategy is in its implementation. Good strategy should consider internal strengths and weaknesses of a company and come up with an option which will help the company to achieve its aspiration. Bad strategy will remain on paper without practical application.
Thus, the most important aspects would be: Clear project objectives; Clear business aspirations Understanding of internal resources & capabilities; Understanding of stakeholders’ expectations and addressing them.
2. How would you advise companies on market entry strategies?
Market entry strategies depend on company’s commitment to invest and expected outcome or return on investments.
The usual approach is to start with the analysis of a market, a company wants to enter, and company’s capabilities/ technologies/ expertise. The internal and external environment analysis helps to identify business or investment opportunities which may be a strategic fit for the company or address business aspirations.
Sometimes, the analysis of the market may lead a company to make a decision to withdraw from the market or consider enter it later. This could be the case when a company does not want to take associated risks or return on investments is not satisfactory.
3. Any advice on the best way to attract potential investment targets?
I worked with both, investment seeking companies and companies with cash to invest in, and found that it is quite challenging for both parties to meet their objectives.
Keeping an eye on the market of interest ensures that a company is aware of any developments and may spot an early sign for an opportunity to invest. If it is a technology that a company is interested in, cooperating with universities, research centres and technology boards helps to be known to technology developers and be approached early for a request of investments.
It is important to have a clear set of objectives: amount of investments, expected ROI, type of investments, position, etc.
4. Who are the 5 most important people you to help make the strategy possible?
It is hard to define the 5 most important people, as it depends on a scope that needs to be covered. For a consultant, all people in the project steering board will be important and their views will be considered. If you do not get a buy in from one of the stakeholders and it falls on her or his shoulders to implement it, then even a good strategy will be useless.
5. Any uncertainties that could cause concern?
Quite often my clients have different ideas about strategy. At the beginning of a conversation I usually try to scope out what a company is looking for, what their challenges are, this helps me to understand whether strategy for them is defining ways to achieve a goal or whether it is something different.
Regular communication during a strategy development project ensures that any uncertainties are cleared and the project still meets client’s expectations.