No matter the size of your business, having a strategy that dissects the way your operation is going to evolve is essential. It will plot the way you expect your business to develop, help you look ahead to new markets you can diversify into, and ensure that you’re constantly adapting and staying ahead of the competition. But when your results begin to plateau or your business is declining, how do you know if it’s time to change your strategy or if it’s simply a stormy patch you should weather?

The first thing to remember is that you can’t predict when you’ll need to readjust your strategy. Just because it’s been in place for a certain period of time doesn’t mean it will no longer be effective. The best way to maintain a beneficial strategy is to respond to changes in your business environment as and when they happen:

  • Is there a new piece of technology your competitors are using to interact with customers?
  • Has there been an influx in overseas sales that requires your working hours to alter in order to accommodate your new customers?

These are the kinds of circumstances when you should be re-evaluating and reacting to, but before you do anything, ask yourself whether it’s part of the strategy that’s failing or if it’s being implemented or executed poorly. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when a few careful alterations can reinvigorate your model.

One of the only instances that can require a mass overhaul in your strategy is when your business grows beyond maintainable levels. If this is the case don’t just abandon the key points that have gotten you there, build your new strategy on a foundation of knowledge and ideas that you know work.

James McNevin on behalf of BT Business http://business.bt.com/

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