Unnecessary luxuries for SMEs?
Every business should allow itself strategic management
When the subject of strategic management crops up, most SME managers react sceptically: many owners have steered their businesses through market turbulence with great entrepreneurial spirit and high professional know-how, and often long time managers with high loyalty to the owners and the company have already made the successful first step in the global market.
Strategic development, strategic planning and strategic management are seen – simply put - as things which because of a firm’s capacity or size (and the related factor of flexibility) are absolutely not required or which one already understands perfectly, because of successes in the past and also because one knows all that one needs to know about the branch.
What does long term thinking and negotiating bring for SMEs anyway? Isn’t there more than enough to do, planning the turnover in the next quartal and the success in the current business year? Doesn’t continual development of core competences already ensure future business success? Can SMEs actually afford to accurately inform themselves of all relevant business developments and implement their findings in middle to long-term plans?
In reality however the decisive questions are different: What ensures the survival of the company in the turbulence and often unexpected requirements of global markets? How can my company stay successful in an ever more unpredictable environment?
Changing contexts now often also affect SMEs, not just in the context of the usual business risks, rather due to very different factors: the globalized market is changing the context for business much quicker than in the past. To name just few factors: Crises and conflicts influence raw material and energy prices to a degree that’s difficult to calculate. Customers of many years are dropping out of the market; new ones are difficult to find in the near environment. Potent competitors are appearing, of whose existence you did not even dream just a few years ago.
There are answers to all these requirements and questions: SMEs must also construct middle to long-term plans to stay successful in this environment. They should invest so little of their own capacities in this, rather acquire the services of a serious and loyal consultant.
This means a painstaking and fundamental analysis of the conditions of the business environment, and based on this the construction of a situation specific middle to long-term business plan, which greatly helps to ensure business success.
Such planning also must describe the steps involved as well as the application of own resources. This makes business life easier; decisions are made simpler and can be made long in advance – it is often the case that short term advantageous seeming solutions are proved wrong in the middle or long term. Strategic – this means, middle to long-term successful – management is neither a chimera nor only to be applied in large organizations. It shows companies of various dimensions a success ensuring and ground breaking way through and thus secures their long-term future. A no obligation consultancy interview will cost you nothing but a little time!
»Strategy is the systematic and coordinated application of available resources to achieve middle to long-term targets.« [Gerald Karner]