A Guide to Understanding and Executing a Business Strategy

Executing a Business Strategy

A business plan serves as the foundation for making numerous organizational decisions, such as expanding the workforce or creating new goods. This aids in defining the approaches and strategies you must use within your business.

It takes time and effort to develop a business plan that aligns with your organization’s mission. In order to assist you come up with ideas for your own firm, we’ll go over the definition and significance of a business strategy, as well as its various components and some sample business strategies.

Although the concept of a company plan is straightforward, it can be difficult to establish and apply in practice.

A business strategy: what is it?

When reading it for the first time, the definition is as simple as it is confusing:

A business strategy directs the decision-making processes to strengthen the company’s financial stability in a competitive market and describes the course of action to fulfill the organization’s vision and goals.

Many internet sources seek to simplify things by referring to a more straightforward definition of strategy as:

A comprehensive strategy that aids in a company’s goal-achieving.

Although this is still true, it does not provide a clear picture of how these objectives are really met.

I shall make reference to the previous definition in the upcoming chapters to facilitate a deeper and more detailed understanding.

What differentiates strategy from tactics?

It’s critical to comprehend the differences between a strategy and a tactic before delving into the specifics of developing one.

Despite the frequent confusion between the two names, they are two completely different things:

An organization’s long-term objectives and its plans for achieving them are referred to as its strategies. Stated otherwise, it illustrates the way to reach the specified goal.

The precise steps done to accomplish the objectives in accordance with the plan are referred to as tactics.

How to write a business strategy?

Formalizing a plan around these three key components—company objectives, target audience, and strategic management—is the first step towards developing a successful business strategy. Put these six action items to use and start crafting a business strategy that will help your company achieve its objectives.

  • Think about the purpose and vision statements of your company.
  • Determine the basic values of your business.
  • Make a SWOT evaluation.
  • Describe strategies to meet objectives.
  • Make a strategy for distributing resources to get the intended result.
  • Assess outcomes for efficacy.

Senior executives must support procedures that keep a team focused on the goal in order for corporate strategy planning to be executed disciplined.

Levels of business strategies

Executing a Business Strategy

Generally, strategies are executed at three levels: corporate, business, and functional.

An organization’s strategic framework is comprised of these three levels:

1. Corporate Level

The top management of an organization formulates its strategic plans at the corporate level. They serve as the foundation for the company’s purpose and vision statements and have a significant effect on its long-term success. They serve as a guidance for decisions on investments, diversification, growth, and acquisitions.

2. Business Level 

Strategies at this level concentrate on a particular business while still integrating into the corporate goal. At this point, the goals and vision are translated into practical plans that guide a company’s approach to market competition.

3. Functional Level

Plans at this level are intended to address how departments such as marketing, human resources, or research and development might complement the established business and corporate plans of a company.

A company often has more than one strategy at every level. In actuality, this is necessary to guarantee that the various requirements of every stratum are appropriately represented.

Conflicting priorities and objectives are a danger associated with various strategies, however this risk can be mitigated with proper management. This is where we will return to in a moment.

Why is it important to have a business strategy?

A strategy’s existence is essential to every business’s success.In essence, it shows the company’s advantages and disadvantages as well as its plans for handling opportunities and challenges in the industry it works in.

A strategy considers the available resources and how to use them most effectively to meet its predetermined goals.

For this reason, a strategy is frequently referred to as the management of a company’s lighthouse: it unifies the activities of all functional departments and provides staff with a Northstar to direct their everyday decision-making.

To further illustrate this issue, consider a scenario in which a company lacks a plan for how it would compete in a given market:

Lack of such a blueprint would cause disorganized activities in every area, which would reduce the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. Every time there is incoherence, there is a loss of competitive advantage that the market will take advantage of.

How do you formulate a business strategy?

An organization’s vision, goals, and long-term growth and competitiveness must all be outlined in a plan.

There are five steps in the process of developing a strategy:

  1. Define your vision.
  2. Determine your most important goals.
  3. Examine your business and the market as a whole.
  4. Describe how to obtain a competitive advantage.
  5. Build a framework strategy
  1. Define your vision.

The majority of internet resources advise starting the process of developing a strategy by outlining the goals of the firm. However, this assumes that the service, the market, and the target customer base have already been established, which is reaching too far, too quickly.

A strategy needs to take into account the company’s basic beliefs and intended future position in the market in order to be effective. The company’s vision is another name for this.

  • uncheckedSome of the biggest companies’ vision statements include the following examples:

“With its cutting-edge hardware, software, and online offerings, Apple aims to provide the greatest personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers worldwide.”


“To create a location where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online; to be the most customer-centric company on Earth.”


It is possible to describe a company’s offer, consumers, and market based on its vision.

As it guarantees that the created strategy reflects the true needs of the relevant market, this is a crucial step in the strategy formulation process.

Value Proposition and Offer

A successful business plan directly expands upon the value proposition and offering of the organization.The value proposition explains why customers should buy the products or services in the first place, while the former lists the products and services that are available.

Keep in mind that a company’s value proposition explains why it exists and sets it apart from competitors. Put another way, it describes a company’s strategy for generating demand and engaging in market competition.


Determining the kind of client a business serves is a crucial first step in developing a successful business plan.

Clients are divided into two categories: businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C).

When making purchases of goods and services, the two groups have different standards, justifications, and incentives. By getting to know people, a company may tailor its strategy to precisely meet their unique needs and desires.

Target Market

Lastly, strategy developers must be certain about the market that their value proposition and product are aimed at.

  • A market can be described by demographic and socioeconomic criteria, such as gender, age, occupation, education, income, wealth, and place of residence, if a business sells to customers (B2C).
  • On the other hand, markets are normally defined using elements like the industry, business, or sales model of the targeted consumer groups if the offering is intended for other businesses (B2B).
  1. Determine your most important goals.

Establishing an organization’s primary goals comes next in the process of creating a company strategy, after establishing the vision.

Increasing a company’s revenues and earnings is typically the main goal of these goals since it guarantees the company’s survival and raises shareholder value if it is publicly traded.

Because of this, a strategy basically seeks to provide an answer to the question of how a company may compete in the market to increase revenue while simultaneously strengthening its financial position.

Take note that achieving a company’s mission or embodying its fundamental values are not included in the creation of high-level objectives.

This is due to the fact that a general business plan only aims to raise the financial worth of the organization for its proprietors or investors.

The lower-level plans, such as the marketing or operational strategy, are designed with consideration for the mission and fundamental values.

  1. Examine your business and the market as a whole

Following the definition of the vision and goals, strategy developers must assess the advantages and disadvantages of their company as well as the market’s opportunities and obstacles.

A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) can be used for this:

The data gathered during a SWOT analysis is the foundation for developing a strategy that takes into account both the external environment of the market segment and the internal features of the organization.

Decision-makers can use these insights to make sure that a company’s strengths take advantage of market possibilities while simultaneously addressing any potential risks or weaknesses that can hinder the organization’s long-term performance.

  1. Describe how to obtain a competitive advantage

The topic of how the stated objectives are met is addressed in the fourth step of the strategy formulation process.

Companies that sell in cutthroat markets must decide how they wish to stand out from the competition, generate demand, and boost profits.

Various types of business strategies

  1. Cost Leadership,
  2. Differentiation, or
  3. Focus.
  1. Cost Leadership

The ability of a business to produce a good at the lowest cost in its sector is referred to as cost leadership.

Economies of scale, proprietary technologies, or the capacity to generate and sustain cost advantages throughout the supply chain can all be used to attain this cost advantage.

A company using the cost leadership strategy must successfully reduce its cost structures while maintaining typical industry prices for its products.

  1. Differentiation

A company using a differentiation strategy aims to develop a special offering that appeals to its target market. Customers must believe that the offer is significantly more valuable than other options available in the market. A business can then demand greater prices for its goods in exchange.

  1. Focus

Target market segments are the only ones that the generic strategy of focus attempts to reach. Porter’s matrix characterizes the competitive scope as restricted in these situations since a firm is targeting a relatively tiny portion of the larger market segment.

In that situation, a business may choose to concentrate on distinction or costs:

A company that wants to obtain a cost advantage employs a cost-focused approach. The company’s offering is a less expensive substitute for the top product on the market but yet appeals to a particular customer base.

On the contrary, the differentiation focus aims to address a particular consumer segment demand. Many small and local firms use this differentiation focus, a traditional niche marketing technique, to compete with the larger chains in their industry.

5. Build a framework strategy

It is possible to establish a general company plan based on the way the preceding steps were executed.

However, unless this generic plan is converted into more focused lower-level strategies, departments like marketing or finance will not be able to successfully contribute to it.

A strategy framework is created by assembling these more basic strategies underneath a general business plan.

Because it reflects the needs and vision of the individual departments and harmonizes them with the overarching goals, it guarantees the success of the general business plan.

The success of a company’s overall generic business strategy is influenced by a variety of factors, including its operational, marketing, branding, and product strategies.

How to measure the success of a business strategy

When a business plan directly contributes to sales and organizational growth, we may say that it is effective.

But we need to create a more precise measurement if we are to truly know if a strategy is working. You must define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at this point.

Usually, departments develop KPIs, and each of them has an impact on the business’s overall success. Among them are:

Financial outcomes

  • Revenue
  • Gross profit
  • Net income
  • Operating profits
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization, and depreciation, or EBITDA
  • Unlimited cash flow

A competitive benefit

  • Market percentage
  • Recognition of brands
  • Media attention
  • Growth versus rivalry


  • Revenue from sales
  • Quantity of customers
  • Recurring business sales
  • Rate of customer retention
  • Rate of Conversion
  • Order Value Average (AOV)
  • Volume of Business

In reality, businesses might take a more precise approach to gauging strategy performance. The reason for this is that distinct departments formulate their own lower-level tactics.