The essential steps for developing a roadmap to success

Whether you're an entrepreneur or in top management, having a strong business strategy is essential to achieving long-term success. It helps you to navigate challenges, capitalise on opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition. But the process can be tricky if you're new to the business world.

Whether you are looking to start a new business, expand your existing one, or simply want to fine-tune your approach, this guide will provide you with the tools and insights you need to create a winning strategy that will take your business to the next level.

What is a business strategy?

A business strategy is a roadmap to follow to achieve business success. It's a bespoke blueprint of how to develop and grow your business, so that it fulfils its vision. A business strategy defines the method and tactics to follow and is the framework to reference when making organisational decisions and taking actions, such as innovating products or making hires.

Why is a business strategy important?

There are plenty of reasons why a business strategy is essential. Here are just a few: 

It provides direction

A clear business strategy provides direction to a company by defining its goals, objectives, and priorities. This helps to align the efforts of all employees towards a common purpose and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.

It helps to prioritise resource

A well-defined business strategy helps an organisation to prioritise resources so that efforts are focused on the areas that are most important to achieving its goals. This mitigates the risk of wasting time and energy on activities that are not contributing towards business objectives.

It enables better decision making 

A good business strategy provides a framework for decision-making, as it helps to identify the key factors influencing success. This helps leaders to make informed decisions, based on a clear understanding of the risks, opportunities, and trade-offs involved.

It supports growth and innovation

A strong business strategy can enable companies to identify new opportunities for growth and innovation by looking at new markets, products, or a way of doing business. Having a clear vision of where the business wants to go makes it easier to identify new opportunities and to invest in the necessary resources.

It enhances competitive advantage

A solid business strategy aids organisations in developing a competitive advantage by identifying unique strengths and capabilities that can be leveraged to outperform rivals. This can help to differentiate the organisation from competitors and create a sustainable advantage in the marketplace. 

What are the components of a business strategy?

There are six key components of a strong business strategy, including:

1. Vision and business objectives

A business strategy's purpose is to enable you to reach your business objectives. But objectives only make sense with a clear vision of the business's direction. If you know where you want to go and what you want to achieve, you can create clear instructions for what needs to be done and the roles and responsibilities of those involved. 

2. Core values

The values of a business are in place to guide the behaviour, decisions, and actions of an organisation. They reflect the organisation's culture and define how it operates, interacts with its stakeholders, and achieves its objectives. A business strategy must uphold the values to keep everyone on the same page.

3. SWOT analysis

An organisation needs to know exactly where it stands in a marketplace to make informed decisions about what to do and what not to do. A SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a strategic planning tool which can be used to identify and evaluate the internal and external factors that affect a business's performance and potential.

4. Tactics

A business strategy is a high-level plan used to achieve objectives. The tactics are the specific actions or techniques used to execute that strategy. Business strategies outline the operational details of the tactics, including who is responsible for jobs to be done, to maximise efficiency. Some plans might use the RASCI model

5. Resource allocation plan

A business strategy will also outline how the company will allocate its available resources to different projects or initiatives. This may include financial resources, human resources, technology, equipment, and other assets. This plan will help to define resource requirements for the business to achieve its objectives.

6. Measurement

Measurement is a fundamental part of a business strategy, as it allows executives to track progress towards goals, identify areas of improvement, and ensure the business strategy is effective and aligned with the organisation's objectives. Having a way to track and evaluate the company's output in relation to targets helps the organisation to stay on the right course.

How to develop a good business strategy

Now that you know the fundamentals of structuring a business strategy and the types of details that are included, it's time to put it into practice. When developing a business strategy of your own, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who are we?

Your first aim is to get down on paper what the business's mission is. This will incorporate your business's purpose, values, and goals. Think about what you do and why you exist. Also, consider the business's aspirations by reflecting on where you want to go and what you want to achieve in the long run.

2. Where are we now?

Next, paint a realistic picture of your current situation by conducting a self-assessment to help identify and evaluate the areas for growth and success. This is best actioned through a SWOT analysis. Use performance data where possible, so that your conclusions are as accurate and realistic as they can be.

3. Where do we want to go?

When you've conducted your research and have a clear understanding of where you stand in your market, it's time to work out the specifics of where you want to go, by setting goals and objectives. 

Once you've identified business goals, work backwards and implement cascading goals through all stakeholders involved in the execution of your business strategy to ensure alignment. For example, business goals feed into department goals, which feed into employee goals.

4. How are we getting there?

Once your objectives are set, think about all the requirements of each business objective. Start with reviewing the resource you need and cross reference this with what's available and what must be procured. Then consider the action plan, which should include the tasks to be completed and an outline of the steps to achieve the objective.

5. How will we know we've arrived?

Finally, reflect on what success looks like, the targets to be reached, and how impact will be measured. You can't set goals and just hope things work out. Regular monitoring and measuring are key to ensuring the execution of your business strategy remains on the right track.

Examples of business strategies

Here are five examples of great business strategies to inspire you when developing your long-term goals:

Product differentiation

A differentiation strategy is a business approach whereby a company seeks to set itself apart from the competition by highlighting superior elements of its products. This could be across features, design, or pricing. 

Technological advantage

Technology can open many doors in business, from better sales to improved productivity. Whether you're using automation to speed up processes or purchasing from other organisations to onboard their tech, focusing on a technological advantage can help a business to thrive.


Focusing on your business's sustainability is a great business strategy if you're playing the long game. Integrating environmental, social, and economic considerations into the business's operations and decision-making processes, while avoiding high-risk, short-term procedures, will ensure longevity. Plus, it will strengthen the trust between you and your employees and customers.

Innovative products and services

Many companies in the SaaS and tech space distinguish themselves by creating the most advanced products that push boundaries. Cutting-edge products gain extra media attention and are popular amongst niche groups, especially if they are a first mover, which can drive sales, brand recognition and loyalty.

Customer retention

It's cheaper and easier to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. If you've identified ways to improve the retention of your customers, then pursuing a business strategy that identifies tactics and projects is a good decision.

If you've worked in a leadership position, chances are you've built up your arsenal of skills in business strategy development. Check that you're emphasising your valuable skill set in the best way by submitting your CV for a free review.

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