Creating Winning Strategies for Year-Long Success

Creating Winning Strategies for Year-Long Success

December 29, 2020 0

Strategies are essential elements of successful enterprises. Top-performing businesses leverage long-term plans to sustain the organisation’s business, preserve growth, maintain effective performance, and ensure profitability. These business leaders know that the advantage of long-term strategic plans is in their ability to stay relevant in changing economies.

This year has shown us that change is inevitable. The next few years are certain to welcome the total takeover of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) conditions, disrupting traditional systems and setups.

Creating Winning Strategies for Year-Long Success
An SME owner strategizing

Long-term strategies are driven by a leader’s daring vision, coupled with an investment and subsequent optimisation of the organisation’s workforce. After all, strategies are operated by individuals, humans, and people who can process and analyse data to predict foreseeable and distant futures.

Going practical, the strategies that would win in the coming year must envision courage and humility. This means leaders must factor in all business stakeholders, thinking in terms of customer satisfaction, customer need, setting feasible targets, and leveraging on individual abilities for unified progress.

In preparing your strategies, consider these areas of actions that will determine the end-goal your organisation achieves in twelve months (or more):

Clear Communication of Vision and Goals:

The vision covers your organisation’s foundational objective(s) and how those are integrated into your daily (or yearly) operations. Your workforce needs a roadmap for crossroad situations, a guide when having second thoughts, and a constant reminder of why they do what they do. But you can be so caught up in production and execution that you drift off the organisation’s vision. The remedy is to create a system that simplifies the vision into the company’s practices.

Consider Uber’s vision to have “transportation that’s safer, cheaper, and more reliable…” You may argue their services aren’t cheaper, but Uber has lived up to the safe and reliable tag. The five-year, ten-year vision is simple enough to run with, specific enough to be unique, and feasible enough to be achieved.

Plan, Plan, Plan:

A short-term plan – the twelve-month variety – is essential for any long-term strategy. You need to draft a business plan that reflects the vision. The plan may feature only a few initiatives, with each initiative containing steps that lead to execution. Run your plan through a SWOT analysis to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will help you identify what your business should focus on within a window. It will also help you highlight complementary ideas worth exploring.

Customer Retention:

The customer is your business’s end-user. Most businesses work with no end-customer in mind. But the top-selling businesses and brands streamline their services to meet the needs of a specific group of people. Who constitutes your target audience? What plans do you have in place to reach these? What’s your organisation’s customer service like? 

According to Market Metrics, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5 – 20%. Yet businesses invest more resources – efforts, time, and money – on gaining new customers. Customer retention is not an automated process. It doesn’t come with having a great product or service. Your market strategy plan should consciously consider customer retention.

Projecting through Data Analysis:

Algorithms are altering the face of business. The growing demand for data scientists suggests that businesses must equip themselves with personnel to connect numbers and figures to detect futuristic trends. Leaders who can read beyond the norm detect the unusual from a distance and set themselves for maximum benefits.

Insight gleaned through correct data analysis can inform company decisions, leading to better outcomes. You can detect your market structure, and determine improved ways to serve through products and services. What’s more? You will find ways to reduce expenses and boost revenue.

Encourage Creativity & Innovation:

In the coming year, modify your workspace to encourage idea-thinking and sharing. You need as many diverse opinions as you can get. Innovation gets easy when idea-sharing is a fundamental part of your organization. Give individuals and sub-teams platforms for discussion, mentorship, and helpful communication. Innovation and creativity are the accumulation of little steps. You may not get it right the first time. Your response when an innovative idea fails, will show if the fear of failure inhibits you.


Take Risks Yesterday. The biggest shots you’ll call as a leader would carry with them a degree of uncertainty. Be courageous about taking action, even in the midst of uncertainty. Strategic leadership isn’t about predicting the future and hoping things would align. Be open to risks and experiments, sufficiently armed with data, skills, and need-to-know information.

Leverage Technology:

Technology is a revolving form. In business, technology, presently, includes social media optimisation, digital marketing, and cloud computing. The role of technology in business is to drive growth and ease operations. Usage of the right technology will increase the efficiency of employees and teams. You can upscale your service delivery by using technology as a means of reaching a global audience. From e-commerce to virtual conferences, technology has introduced new dynamics into business operations.

The plans you create for the year’s business should be regularly visited and updated. Strategic leaders involve the team in the company’s growth without sabotaging company culture. They drive a growth culture in themselves and their employees, thus creating opportunities that benefit stakeholders. The leaders who record sustained successes are the ones who learn to optimise their team for all-round growth.

Kemi Ogunkoya
Kemi Ogunkoya
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