Arguably, The Best Strategy Template For Family Business!


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Arguably, the best strategy template for family business. Used by my family business clients, it features open ended questions for
each section, designed to get the thinking juices going about the possibilities vs. being
focused on the problems.

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Arguably, The Best Strategy Template For Family Business!

  1. 1. Arguably, The Best StrategyTemplate For Family Business!Who ever said strategy needed to be complicated?I believe a solid template will provide a road map for building your companys wealth,while aligning your people to a common vision.Look for a logical flow, starting with the end in mind and working its way to the present,with tactics that you will execute in market.  And dont forget before you wrap-up, identifythe metrics to which the leaders will measure themselves by.  Without them, how willyou know when you get there?The strategy template my family business clients use contain open ended questions foreach section, designed to get the thinking juices going about the possibilities vs. beingfocused on the problems.Here we go... Best In The WorldWhat can your business be the best in the world at?Businesses that create wealth are ones that think long-term and in a way that enablesthem to be #1 or #2 in their category (however you define the category).Start by thinking big picture and articulate on paper what best-in-class looks like. The End In MindWhat does the business look like when you are ready to exit?This may be the toughest question of them all, because youre being asked to define thebusiness when you are leaving the company - yes saying goodbye!A fast way to destroy business wealth is to stay beyond your welcome, that is beyondthe point you are adding incremental value. Building Company Wealth 905.601.0311 Pg. 1
  2. 2. Challenge yourself to define what great will look like, and then pre-plan your exit.Through the sale process (either to the next generation of family or externally), you willrealize the value of the business and be able to re-invest elsewhere. VisionWhat is your 15 year vision for the business?A clearly articulated vision is as much for you as it is for your employees.  It is a focalpoint for people to work towards, while being a stake in the ground to measure progressagainst. MissionHow does the business provide value to its customer?Here we have a very simple statement that defines how the company adds value to thecustomer.  The greater the value equation, the more money you can charge for theproduct or service. ValuesWhat beliefs does the company value, so much so that the employees will embrace anduphold on their own?Values are core beliefs and behaviours the company will uphold while it creates valuefor the client.  An off-shoot of this is the brands character:  how the employees will act. Building Company Wealth 905.601.0311 Pg. 2
  3. 3. Business FoundationOn what foundation is/should the business be built on:  operational excellence,technology superiority, or customer intimacy?Like when building a house, there are cement footings that form the foundation, towhich everything else is built upon, the same applies to building a business.Whichever you choose - operational excellence (think Wal-Mart), technology superiority(think Bombardier), or customer intimacy (think Apple) - ensure that all other decisionsmade are directly linked back to this foundation.Read a separate blog post on business foundation:   Your Two Strategic DecisionsCritical For Family Business Growth Strategy CanvasWhat product/service features are offered to the customer that are of high perceivedvalue, and how different are these from the competitions?Here we are getting into the first details of how the business will occupy a unique space.Evaluate on a high, medium, and low basis how the company rates on the key purchasedecision criteria of the customer.Then compare your companys results to that of the competitors to determine if yourbusiness is carving out a unique proposition.To learn more about this process, I recommend reading Blue Ocean Strategy by W.Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne Competitive AdvantagesWhat are the 2 or 3 things the company will do better than its competitors, the areasthat will receive the right amount of resources (time, energy, and money) to win?Building off the unique points found in the strategy canvas, articulate the very focussed,very few things the company will do better than its competitors.  Then put yourresources against these few areas to ensure the business does become the best. Building Company Wealth 905.601.0311 Pg. 3
  4. 4. Target AudienceWho must the business win with to succeed?Think of target audience in terms of primary and secondary.  The primary is where thebusiness puts all its effort, while the secondary are the nice-to-have clients that chooseto buy on their own volition. Business CategoriesWhat categories can the business be #1 or #2 in?Being #1 or #2 allows the business to ensure its resources are put to work in a highlyeffective manner.  Think of it in reverse:  If you had $1,000,000 to invest, but had tosupport 5 categories, each gets $200,000.  The outcome will not be as effective asbeing focused.ObstaclesWhat are the obstacles to achieving the above goals?Identifying the obstacles is the critical step before actually writing the strategies. Brainstorm as many barriers to achieving the vision as possible.  With these fullyarticulated, you now know what hills the company must climb. Building Company Wealth 905.601.0311 Pg. 4
  5. 5. StrategiesWhat are the 3 to 7 strategies that will overcome the majority of the obstacles?There is no ideal number of strategies, other than to say too many initiatives will limitproductivity, causing the company to miss targets.The strategies must all ladder-up to an increased level of value to the customer. TacticsWhat are the specific initiatives that will be executed in the market, ensuring thestrategies are accomplished?For each strategy, clearly articulate the specific initiatives (target 1 to 3), making sure toidentify the initiatives owner, the timing to start and finish the project, and the supportingbudget. Key Performance IndicatorsWhat 5 metrics - with cash flow a compulsory - will you measure to ensure the businessis on track to deliver on the above goals? Measuring progress is the way to keep employees focus on the right initiatives, whilegiving them an early warning signal if things are not going to plan.Beyond cash flow, revenue, profit, units sold, throughput, customer satisfaction, time tomarket, fill rates, etc... are just a few of the options. With respect to putting this in practice, I believe strategy is best done in a grouprepresenting each area of the business.  Assemble a cross-functional team, appoint aleader, and as a group work your way through the plan.Consider the benefit of working on the plan for 2 days straight, then taking a 2 weekbreak, followed by another 2 days as a group.  The break in between does wonders forcrystalizing action plans. Building Company Wealth 905.601.0311 Pg. 5