Launching a successful company begins with a business plan, a design that includes mission and vision statements clearly defining why the company exists, who it serves and where it is headed. A company's mission and vision lay the foundation for goals and strategies. Goals set the direction of the company and they are clarified through specific objectives. Once a company develops its mission, vision and goals, the next step is to find the best strategies to achieve these foundational elements. But what exactly is the definition of strategy? What does strategy mean in business?
Strategy is different from a company's mission, vision, goals, objectives and policies. The definition of strategy is a long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or a set of objectives. A core management function, strategy states how business should be conducted in each area of operations in order to successfully accomplish the goals and objectives. A well-crafted business strategy aligns with the core mission and vision, and acts as a road map for sustained profitability, competitiveness and growth. Strategy can also be defined as the continuous process a company undertakes to prepare for its future and knowing the exact steps it needs to take to implement its plan of action to achieve a competitive advantage.
Types of Business Strategies
Businesses large and small can use a variety of strategies depending on the situation. A growth strategy can involve a company introducing new products or services or adding new features to existing products and services. A company might also adopt a growth strategy by finding new markets for its product or service, a new customer base or new packaging for its product. A product development strategy focuses on research and development in order to create new and innovative product offerings that will increase sales and expand the customer base while giving an edge over the competition. A marketing strategy will identify the best markets for a business based on its product and services and present tactics on how to reach those markets.
A turnaround strategy is used when a business is experiencing a decline or other serious problems. It is an attempt to change the organization's business strategy with the intent of reversing its fortunes. Another way a firm can gain a competitive advantage is to use an acquisition strategy by purchasing another company or a product line or division of that company. In some cases, it's good for business owners to have an exit strategy, a plan on how they will leave the business and how they will recover their equity during the process.
Strategic Management in an Online MBA Program
Businesses today operate in a fast-paced, highly competitive global marketplace, so it is imperative that owners and professionals understand not only an organization's mission, vision, goals and policies but also its strategic road map and the types of strategies needed to advance. An online MBA program with courses in strategic management and marketing helps students develop analytical thinking skills, as well as knowledge of operations management, organizational development and change, and the tactics and methods used to gain competitive advantage. An online MBA program addresses strategic planning concepts and processes, which will help an organization to achieve success.
An MBA student will gain leadership skills, understand the importance of defining a corporate strategy, and learn how to implement change within a corporation. MBA graduates with these skills and abilities will have access to a variety of job options after graduation.
Learn more about the Baylor University online MBA program.
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