The word ”strategy” is derived from a classic Greek word meaning ‘ the quality and skills of a general”. In business, as in warfare, a fight looks very different depending on where you stand.
If you want to understand the strategic implications of issues, then it is important for you to take a long-term view and stand back from the day-to-day concerns. In fact, what you need is to rise above the confusion and the nitty gritty of the day-to-day management and consider a helicopter view.
The day-to-day management is often about dealing with problems and issues that arise quickly and have to be dealt with rapidly. This type of management is known as fire fighting. Entrepreneurs who are usually overwhelmed by everyday concerns habitually can’t see the forest from the trees and consistently get caught up attending to routine short sighted issues.
Taking the helicopter view is the remedial alternative to the ‘seat of the pants’ fire fighting management. It compels the entrepreneur to totally withdraw from the day-to-day tasks of management and to examine the longer term strategic issues involved.
For instance, before you commence developing your Business Plan choose an area of interest in your business that you want to develop a strategy for. But how do you decide which area of your business has the highest potential for strategy optimization?
The following guidelines will help you decide which part of your business to focus on for your analysis and planning:
• Identify an area of your business where you have control and where you can influence
the development of strategy.
• Try to find an area where you genuinely feel that serious improvement could be achieved.
• Try to avoid areas that are politically contentious within the business.
• Choose an area that is important to you-make it worth your time and attention.
• Choose an area where the first results of any strategic change could be seen within at least six months
to a year of the process.
Conversely, if you are endeavoring to realize a Marketing Plan, the helicopter approach will help you examine your business’ long term strategies with a set of guidelines that directs your organization to reach the desired long-term position.
By examining the results of your SWOT analysis and developing ideas from it, you can begin to map out wide ranging marketing strategies. In the broadest terms, your marketing strategy should address the following questions:
• How do we intend to seek and maintain competitive advantage?
• What, if anything, are we going to change?
Finally, you identify the strategic options relevant to your business unit by choosing a corresponding marketing strategy being aggressive, competitive or conservative. For each of the strategies within the main strategy group for each unit, identify and record the implications and the key advantages that each of the strategies would have on your business if implemented.