Marketing is NOT advertising. Thousands of firms spend millions on advertising every day without tangible growth in their sales. Sounds familiar? If only a fraction of that money was spent on business strategy development, the owners would be rewarded much better. One can’t promote a product or service successfully without first understanding the market in which business operates and defining all elements of the marketing mix clearly.

Marketing is about how to bring the right product or service in the right place, at the right price, in the right time and with the right promotion. In order to achieve this, one must first define a profile of customers to be targeted including their needs and demands regarding the type of products or services you intend to offer and only then you can adjust product characteristics, price and other attributes. If this hasn’t been done properly, right at the beginning, you have been generating opportunity losses since which might have turned your business negative already!?

Consulting agency POSLOVNA STRATEGIJA (“Business Strategy”) based in Belgrade, Serbia and operating in SEE region has been refining, testing and now successfully apply specific strategy diagnostic methodologies for SME-s and large corporates. The main objective of the diagnostics is to develop a strategy action plan for significant improvement in business performance or “turnaround” if a business is already being greatly distressed.

Many small and big businesses look for sole excuses for own underperformance in recession, unfair competition and/or low demand among other reasons without ever applying methodological analysis to uncover the truth. If this is your business case, then now is the right time to make a strategic move.

SME owners can now use specially designed consulting service which will first diagnose existing strategy and then help in formulation and implementation of new strategy which will focus on sales and profit growth. Besides improvement in performance the value of this service could be priceless in case of identifying and preventing potentially fatal business risk which may be hidden within current strategy. It is also worth mentioning that, if you are in search for a financier, well defined business strategy will be the first on their info request.

We use on-line questionnaire (available in Serbo-Croatian and English) to cover all key people in business – usually owners and directors in the case of SME. In its first part the questionnaire, using a rating scale 0-5, asks each participant to evaluate own managerial capacity, business results, company’s products/services, market situation and general trading conditions from various angles (30 questions in total). Second part contains open ended questions asking you to describe products and services in more detail and write about target market(s) and customer segments. We will then ask about your competitors and what is that unique in your business to round it with questions about current key business challenges and long term objectives. Each participant provides own view of the business situation which will be compared with other answers and later tested and clarified during one-to-one interviews and a group session.

Your answers will be analysed using SWOT methodology (strengths – weaknesses – opportunities – treats), but always keeping in mind the existing business environment and previous experience with similar enterprises in developing economies.

It is followed by the (second) phase of joint work with client, which will include most of their departments, however the majority of information would probably come from finance. This is about additional research and consultations in order to formulate new strategy, goals and objectives but especially a detailed strategy plan and accompanied change programs. Further action plans containing time frames and lists of required resources will be developed and agreed for achieving each goal, both quantitative and qualitative. Before moving into next phase it will be necessary to secure true commitment from client for each of those action plans.

Last and the most time consuming but also most exiting (third) phase is implementation. Work must be organised in a separate internal project with usual project control elements such as key focus areas, check points and key performance indicators. The owner himself (or herself for lady owners), if he is involved hands-on with running a company, and/or a managing director must take leadership role and manage change in their business. However, during this period the consultant will act as a facilitator of change and mentor who, together with client, regularly check progress vs project program, encourage and suggest program improvements that may lead to better quality, rationalisation of resources or simply help to overcome obstacles on the road. The degree of consultant’s engagement during phases two and three will depend on your needs and willingness to engage a third party. Depending on scope and complexity of the change program these projects may last up to 12 months in SME.


One response to this post.

  1. […] USE STRATEGY TO BOOST PERFORMANCE OF YOUR SME. reaaly love this! […]


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