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examples of business strategies
5 min read

Examples of Business Strategies: 20 Ways To Achieve Your Goals

People, politics, economy, technology… Your business’s journey can be affected by numerous external – as well as internal – factors.  

Developing and maintaining a business strategy will help you to survive tough times, adapt your plans when necessary, and keep your customers happy and your team motivated.  

But what makes a good business strategy? According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a good business strategy should be: 

  • Flexible 
  • Responsive 
  • Creative 
  • Challenging 
  • Realistic 
  • Focused 
  • Engaging

And to achieve success, you may need to have several strategies running concurrently.  

So, here are 20 business strategy ideas you can mix and match to achieve your goals.  

1. Prioritising customer retention. By investigating what customers do (and don’t) like about your products, you can market to them more successfully.  Focus on giving each customer a positive experience. Then reward their loyalty, perhaps through referral schemes, gifts, or discounts, to make sure they recommend you to their friends and keep coming back for more.  

2. Scaling up (sensibly). Developing your business by expanding into new markets is a sure-fire way to increase revenue. Or is it? Before pushing forward into a new market, always thoroughly research which areas are likely to yield the best results. A well-thought-out scaling-up strategy will allow you to grow your business safely and avoid unnecessary risks. 

3. Embracing new technology. Streamline operations, reach new customers, increase productivity… New technology adopters can reap rich rewards. Research the most suitable areas for investment to ensure your money will be well spent. Then back up your investment with training on how to integrate the new tools into the workplace.

4. Being a low-cost leader. If your business needs to capture a low-cost product market, high-level streamlining is one way to maintain your margins. Competing with bigger rivals who can afford loss-leading pricing policies isn’t easy, so a low-cost business strategy needs to be agile to encompass clever new ways to stay competitive. 

5. Brand building. Make sure your name is on your customers’ lips: use brand building expertise to grow your company or product name and keep feeding your target market with regular visuals and messaging.  

6. Collaborating. Although numerous meetings can be counterproductive, time spent with staff members can be a great opportunity to identify new ways to streamline or develop the business. Taking on their ideas will also help to ensure team members feel valued, which should in turn boost staff retention rates.  

7. Differentiating. If your USP is very different from others in the industry, focus on highlighting that fact and using it to stand out from the crowd. Be ready too to deal with copycats to ensure you can maintain your differentiator or find a new niche if that becomes impossible.  

8. Marketing. Small businesses can find it hard to see value in a substantial marketing budget, especially when finances are tight. But a clever and focused marketing strategy should prove value for money, whether that’s by concentrating on improving your website’s SEO or by building up a customer email base for newsletters.  

9. Targeting specific audiences. By gaining an understanding of your potential customers, you can target specific audiences to improve sales and make better strategic decisions. Competitor analysis, meanwhile, will demonstrate how these audiences are being targeted by other rival companies. 

10. KPI monitoring. By monitoring your key performance indicators (KPIs) and developing your business accordingly, you can keep these measurables at the heart of your decision making. And regularly evaluating the results will ensure that you are focusing on the right areas.  

Strategy is choice. Strategy means saying no to certain kinds of things. 

Michael Porter American academic

11. Compliance. If dealing with a legitimate and licensed business is important for your customers, take the time to apply for and stay up to date with the certification relevant to your industry. It keeps your teams and customers safe and can be used as part of your marketing policy.  

12. Focusing on sustainability. Sustainability is now a mainstream issue and represents a huge opportunity for businesses. The efforts an organisation makes towards addressing energy consumption, reducing packaging, and managing waste can therefore protect its bottom line as well as the planet. Beware, however, of “green-washing” – your clients will call you out if the sustainability story you’re telling is inaccurate. 

13. Sharing expertise. The knowledge held by people within your company is one of your most important assets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share it. Invite the experts in your organisation to be podcast guests, industry press interviewees, conference panel participants, or guest bloggers… Such exposure is brilliant for networking and collaboration, as well as proving to customers that your business is an industry leader.  

14. Staying agile. Smaller businesses may already be “agile”, but if your established business doesn’t already embrace agility as a business strategy then the next surprise that crops up on the horizon might have a devastating impact. Embed flexibility into your planning, so you can always respond quickly to market changes. 

15. Partnering with other businesses. Creating partnerships with other businesses could mean anything from sharing an office to working with an innovative new start-up to provide a service or product. It’s a forward-thinking way to save money and raise productivity levels.  

16. Diversifying. If your business at risk of becoming an echo chamber, it’s time to mix things up. Bringing people from different backgrounds to your team – and listening to their ideas – boosts innovation and creativity and can also make your company a more attractive place to work.   

17. Taking calculated risks. Any business that tries something innovative is taking a risk. The important thing is to weigh up the opportunity carefully and put measures in place to mitigate any losses that could occur. Even managed failures can prove valuable learning opportunities.  

18. Cross selling. Rather than focusing on always trying to find new customers, why not sell different products or services to the same customer base? Using market research to identify your current customers’ needs and respond to them is a tried and tested way to drive sales. 

19. Playing the long game. This business strategy is not suitable for all companies, but some major players have won big by simply waiting for the right opportunity. Apple and Tesla both chose to wait for other innovators to test the market whilst they developed a high-end product. 

20. Creating a positive workplace culture. Building a positive working environment has lots of benefits, whatever sector you’re in. Not only will it help you attract the best candidates; it will also mean you hold on to them for longer and encourage them to perform to the best of their ability while they are there.   

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Jessica Bown

Jessica Bown is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor. After starting her career in 2000 at the Daily Express, she spent two years at The Sunday Times before going freelance in 2006. Her work appears in national newspapers such as The Telegraph, on websites such as BBC Business, and in a variety of magazines.

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