Successful strategy for a startup is the use of resources, not just the resources it has
One of the things that happen in a strategy for a start-up when a team of entrepreneurs start with it is that on the one hand there is a lot of enthusiasm and on the other hand there is a more or less good technical and tactical knowledge, which is gradually being polished and improved over time, however, the lack of strategy from the beginning makes much of the effort and enthusiasm put into the project can be undermining the morale of entrepreneurs.
Regardless of the fact that this morale can rise and return to the load, it is important that, at the beginning or at least at the time of getting up after a bad experience, to work on a strategy that makes the tactics to be developed have the same importance as the rope of a climber on Everest, that is to say, a vital importance.
A very important thing that I have not really applied on many occasions and that all entrepreneurs should do to build a successful strategy is to document the steps that are being followed, obviously it is not easy to do, especially when you are eager to do things, but it is important because it allows you to work on “measurements”, ie, allows you to study well the steps that were taken at a given time and know the points of error that occurred, but on the other hand, a basis of the strategy is to document those steps because it forces you to think consistently.
Key points of a strategy in a start-up:
1.- The importance of understanding the strategy and what it means,
I really do not know if many entrepreneurs, even many managers understand the meaning of strategy but in general it is quite simple and explained in a clear way would be a way to reduce the time, effort and resources to achieve the objectives and benefits in a company, ie reduce the distance between investment and maximum ROI, and that is done knowing how to interact between members of the ecosystem of the company itself, ie between associations, contacts, suppliers, customers, etc..
2.- Identify the company’s competitive advantage and exploit it to the maximum,
All companies can define a competitive advantage in their strategy, sometimes it is more difficult than others to identify it, but it is important to be able to do so in such a way that when you identify it you use it as a launching point, you have to exploit it to the maximum, since it is possible that many others, even if they have a similar one, do not dedicate the effort and enthusiasm to do so.
3.- Position the company in the right way for a start-up strategy,
If there is something that has made companies powerful, that is the focus of the positioning you want to have in the market, even if you offer 100 different services, your positioning must be in those in which you are the leader, in which if the rest did not exist you would continue with them. This positioning is often identified thanks to the mission of the company, and it is vital to have a clear mission, so that the north of the company and the place where you have to row is very clear.
4.- You study the trends, but do not follow them 100%, focus on your own.
Trends are important to understand the world and its evolution, but the strategy could be similar at any time in the history of any company, or at least the main bases of the same, and logically leveraging resources and vision on the technologies that exist at any time, so it is important to create your own trend, which your customers will follow or will understand, of course it is important to have the trends, but if they are very temporary and are small gusts of wind that you have to know how to use for your strategy and that one will lead to another.
5.- Focus your team’s strategy based on the best knowledge and direct it towards the right objectives.
If there is something that today is mandatory is to have people with the best expertise you can for your business, or invest in them to have that knowledge, because if there is something that is becoming a business fuel, that is the knowledge, and knowing how to guide in the right way and with clear objectives, can make your start-up cease to be so in a very short time to start growing, with a clear strategy that all members of your team can know.
6.- Direct the strategy towards success, but on the approaches set by the market,
Possibly the point of arrival that you have in mind when you leave with a new start-up is very different from the one you thought when you started, so it is very important that the strategy is well oriented, but that it is flexible so that the market can guide you in the operational execution of the strategy, since it is who is really in charge.
7.- A good strategy has the same components of commitment and flexibility,
The strategy you propose must be a strategy that all the members of your team must want to “buy into”, i.e. they must be committed to it, because if there is no commitment there is no reality, but also remember that companies are run by people and you must be flexible both in your opinions based on objective criteria and in the implementation and execution of things.
8.- Put your strategy into an action plan that is very well defined in the strategy for a start-up.
If there is something important as well as complicated many times is to translate into an action plan the strategy you want to follow, this will allow everyone to have things clear and know what is the role of each person within the team, even how to ask for help when you need it and offer it when you see that others need it but do not know how to ask for it.
9.- It is important that everyone understands the times and that they act proactively, not reactively.
You have to time the things you do to get the strategy right and the operational execution right or at least measurable. Therefore, the strategy has to be implemented with timelines so that the people on the team actively do what they have to do.