Strategy FAQs
What is strategy?
Strategy is defined as a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. In business, it will identify a number variables, both within the organisation and outside, which need to be understood to enable a strategy to be developed.
What is corporate strategy?
Corporate strategy refers to the overall strategy of an organisation that is made up of multiple business units, operating in multiple markets. It answers the question: ‘How do we structure the overall business, so that all of its parts create more value together than they would individually ?’
What is business strategy?
Business strategy is concerned with competing successfully in individual markets, addressing the question: ‘How do we win in this market?’ This strategy needs to be fully linked with the objectives contained in the corporate strategy.
So, what is the difference between corporate and business strategy?
In general, corporate strategy focuses on the organisation as a whole, while business unit strategy focuses on an individual business unit or market.

For smaller businesses, both strategies may overlap or be the same thing.

What is a strategic plan?
A strategic plan provides a clear path to accomplishing key business goals. Its function is to declare the purpose of your business, the goals you hope to achieve over the relevant period (often 5 years), and how you plan to get there.
Why do you need a strategic plan?
There are a number of reasons why it is worth having a strategic plan, including:
  • It provides an opportunity for you to assess your business’s current operations;
  • It sets a direction and priorities;
  • It helps all parts of the business to have common aims;
  • It simplifies decision-making;
  • It drives alignment;
  • It communicates the corporate message;
  • It can create new insights from other peoples’ perspectives;
  • It can identify challenges and barriers;
  • It can produce new ways of thinking about old problems;
  • It can produce a sharpened focus on critical success factors for pushing the company forward;
  • It can force changes;
  • It can help motivate staff.
What elements should a strategic plan contain?
A strategic plan should cover some/all of the following elements:
  • A statement as to the current position
    • Mission statement;
    • Values and/or guiding principles;
    • An analysis of the current business, processes, products/services and markets;
    • Competitor analysis.
  • An analysis as to where the company is going
    • A discussion of the future;
    • Vision statement.
  • A statement as to how the company will get there
    • Strategic objectives;
    • The strategy;
    • Short-term goals/priorities/initiatives;
    • Action items;
    • A scorecard setting out key performance indicators you need to track to monitor progress;
    • Execution factors - who manages and monitors the plan, how is it communicated, etc.
What is the difference between strategic planning and long-range planning?
Strategic planning tends to place greater emphasis on strategies, i.e. how the organisation will achieve its vision, while long-range planning places greater emphasis on determining the vision.
Why is it advisable to employ a consultant?
There are various reasons for hiring consultants:
  • ‘Buying-in” specialist skills not available in house;
  • Help with the implementation of large scale projects;
  • Help with devising and planning large scale projects;
  • Additional capacity at peak times;
  • Independent input or validation;
  • Responding to regulatory change;
  • External consultants are less susceptible to internal politics and/or sensitive situations;
  • Hiring consultants may prove cheaper than retaining the expertise in-house;
  • Consultants can do the ‘dirty’ work.
How do we contact Innovation for Growth?
You can write to us, or telephone us or contact us through this website. Telephone and correspondence address can be accessed here, or you can complete the contact us form here.
What other areas does Innovation for Growth specialise in?
Innovation for Growth specialises in providing business advice in these other areas:
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