Chapter 13. Thinking Strategically

In This Chapter

  • Discovering why strategy can make a difference

  • Exploring the low-cost leadership strategy

  • Applying differentiation strategies

  • Focusing on a focus strategy

  • Examining other strategic alternatives

  • Coming up with your own strategy

In this chapter, we help you formulate a strategy for your company that's in keeping with its basic mission. First, we explore why strategy is so important to the business-planning process. We examine what it means to have a strategy and when that strategy works best, and introduce several basic strategies that you can apply across many industries. These off-the-shelf strategies include efforts:

  • To be the low-cost provider

  • To differentiate your products

  • To focus on specific market and product areas

We talk about several other general strategic alternatives as well, answering questions such as 'What does it mean to become more vertically integrated as a company?' and 'How should you act when you're the market leader or a market follower?' We also give you some pointers about creating a strategic blueprint for your own company.

Making Strategy Make a Difference

Some companies think that strategy and planning are four-letter words. Those companies would never think of using either term in the context of their own organisations. It isn't that these companies don't move forward; it's just that they don't talk much about it ahead of time. So why do the two terms have such bad reputations in certain quarters? More than likely, ...

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