The key to success for a new company is to start with a vision and define in solid detail the best way to execute your vision. That’s what defines a strategy.
Interestingly, and this applies far too often in the early life of many “new” companies, people are confused between tactical decisions in order to adapt, and strategic decisions that are the essence of the long-term company’s objectives.
A strategy needs to be solid, it needs to have the details of your business model, your value proposition, and most importantly the value to your customers and their customers. At the end of the day, that is why you exist.
This detailed strategy has to focus on one goal, and one only: TO GROW.
Now of course, and this is particularly true during the “start-up” phase, you need to constantly adapt, be clear about the customer’s objectives and challenges, while at the same time staying agile to accelerate your growth. This will sometimes require tactical decisions that a Board needs to work on and regularly reassess as time goes by…
And the truth is, prioritising these tactical decisions can be difficult at times. For example, when more investment needs to be injected into building your operating model, or into developing new services to customise customer requirements.
So, the challenge is: how do you decide when to save or when to reinvest money to fast-track the company growth while servicing at best your customers?
This is why it is crucial to be clear about the fundamental difference between tactical and strategic decisions.
Studies show that the lifespan of new companies is about 20 months, and I think that many founders did not spend enough time on their strategy at the very beginning of their journey or constantly changed it along the way.
At Fennech, when we started 3 years ago, we had a clear vision of what our purpose would be over time, where we would draw the line, and what would be our business model. We had no doubt about it and elaborated on a strategy that would support it.
Today, 3 years later, we constantly review what needs to be done tactically to respond to our challenges with agility and creativity while staying aligned to our overall vision and initial strategy.
As Lee Bolman would say: “A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.”
Written by Audrey Fauvel