Classic Mistakes in Business Strategy

For the past 30 or more years, I have spent the majority of my time helping clients in some way with business strategy. Over the years, I have been able to formulate a number of insights regarding the effectiveness of business strategies and companies’ ability to deploy business strategies successfully. My plan is, given a little time, to share a lot of those insights through this blog. One of those insights is that companies that have trouble implementing an effective business strategy often make similar mistakes, and it is those mistakes that can lead to a business strategy being ineffectual. For our purposes here, we will refer to those mistakes as classic mistakes, and here are a few of the most common.

1. Setting expectations too low. With business strategy, companies often take the attitude that if it works, great, there is nothing to lose. That type of attitude demonstrates a lack of commitment to the business strategy. No one really expects the business strategy to be successful, so it probably won’t be.

2. Understanding too little about the market. An effective business strategy relies on a deep understanding of the market, the segments within it, customers, and buying factors. Many companies just do not understand enough.

3. Understanding too little about competition. It is difficult to compete without a good understanding of competitors’ business models.

4. Strategic market position is not truly differentiated from competition.

5. Strategic market position is not in sync with core capabilities.

Here is a link to a brief article that discusses classic strategic mistakes:

When Formulating a Business Strategy — Try to Avoid the Classic Mistakes


About William M. McGee

Bill McGee is a Managing Partner with McGee Partners LLC, a boutique consulting firm located in Avon, CT. The firm specializes in consulting projects in the areas of strategic management, financial management, and business improvements. He has over thirty-five years of consulting and management experience working with clients in a variety of industries.
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11 Responses to Classic Mistakes in Business Strategy

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  7. Hosting says:

    A similar and equally debilitating mistake is to confuse marketing programs with strategic plans. Once again, while necessary and valuable, marketing campaigns are not, nor have ever been, strategy.

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