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Use An Industry Analysis To Discover Your Key Success Factors

And Develop A Strategic Management Model For Your Business

A definition marketing strategy includes an industry analysis, identifies key success factors and includes focusing on managing SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Understand your industry strategies through online strategy guides or a strategic management model.

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Conducting an analysis of your industry is important for many reasons; one of which is that you will become much more familar with your marketplace and with the competition in your markets.

You can use online strategy guides or strategic management models to help in your analysis.

Make sure that you review your industry on a regular, scheduled (e.g. once a year) basis: your market environments can change rapidly and if you are focus on your business, rather than the market, you can miss opportunities and face unexpected challenges.

Definition Marketing Strategy:

A primary reason to make sure that you understand this strategy is that it will help you to identify and track your business key success factors (KSF).

Why is that important to your business?

Because knowing what your KSFs are will help you focus on them; and tracking them will help you understand how your business is doing from a strategic management process perspective.

KSFs are most often used in strategic management and strategic planning. You need to identify them for your industry and then develop specific KSFs for your business.

Key success factors are often used in building competitive strategy and in competitive strength analysis for comparing your competitors to each other and to your business.

Once identified, key success factors can become part of your business objectives (e.g. if attracting new customers is a key success factor then your business objective would be to increase the new customer base).

Key success factors are typically those factors that affect your business' ability to do well in your market. You must be good at analyzing and understanding your industry to determine what your key success factors you need to focus on to succeed in your business. Most industries have between three and five key success factors (focusing on too many factors can be a management issue).

Industry Analysis:
Some Key Success Factors to Consider:

(not all will be applicable to all businesses or industries)

  • Ability to attract new customers

  • Ability to retain existing customers

  • Ability to attract and retain good employees

  • Successful advertising campaigns (success is measured on the increase in sales)

  • Managing your service or product

  • Managing your human resources

  • Managing your cash flow

  • Managing your revenue growth and your profit

  • Utilization of operating capacity (if industry average is 80%, your goal will be to be higher than average)

  • Strong distribution channels

  • Low cost production structure (compared to the industry cost structure); could be through economies of scale or other operational efficiencies

  • Strong technology capability

  • Location to customers (if close, time to deliver to market will be relatively fast and shipping costs will be low)

  • Sustainability of the business

It is critical that you understand what your industry's key success factors are; the only way to discover them is to do a thorough industry analysis.

In your industry analysis, determine
the importance of each KSF:

  • by determining how customers choose between competitors;

  • by identifying what product characteristics, and how much product differentiation, do customers feel are most necessary;

  • by understanding the average level of resources (e.g. people, equipment, facilities) and capabilities to operate in the industry; you need to employ/use the average and more, to be successful;

  • by knowing the unique differences within the industry and how they are valued (do a value chain analysis for key competitors in your industry); tie that to your unique competitive advantage and ensure that it is a sustainable advantage (many competitors look to copy that advantage and your business will then lose it as a unique point of differentiation; try to build an advantage that is not easily copied).

industry and business

Conduct your industry analysis, learn which key success factors are most important to your industry (and how they fit in your strategic management model) and to your business, and act on what you've learned by developing action items and an action plan.

Once you have identified them, build your business to deliver recognizably better-than-the-industry standard on one or more of the key success factors. And make sure that you are able to identify your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) and optimize the strengths and opportunities and minimize the weaknesses and threats!

Once you have conducted your industry analysis you need to deliver on this better-than performance to ensure that your business succeeds within its industry. Your focus then must be on maintaining the advantage and on looking for new advantages.

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Read more the relationship of analyses to strategy in your business:

Return to the Strategy page.

Or return from Industry Analysis to More For Small Business.

A Vision Statement is the start of your business strategy development.

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The Importance of Strategy

Why is strategizing important to your business?

Because it enables you to more clearly understand what you need to do to more your operation in the direction you need, and want, to go.

Doing a thorough analysis and review will enable you to implement more effective strategies, tactics and techniques.

Results and Strategy

strategic results

Definition of Business Model: It's Different

The type of tactical planning you complete as you strategize is important because it forces you to make difficult choices and difficult decisions.

(Make sure you understand the definition business model - the practices, and focus, of the business on delivering the value proposition - to engage in a strong and successful strategic planning process).

Also write down your choices and decisions to plan the actions necessary to move forward (use samples to provide you with a model for your own action plan).

The action plan is your road map. You must ensure that you are managing the direction you take.

Once you begin this planning process you will need to ensure that the plan you develop is do-able; make sure you include effectiveness measures in your plan.

And remember that your plan for strategy in business needs to be reviewed on a regular basis and be adapted as market and economic conditions change.

The end goal is not the plan but rather the results therefore make sure you have measurements in place to track results.

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Tools for Strategy Planning

Start with your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

Add aspirations and results to the SWOT (some do SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results) as a separate activity) to ensure that your vision for your business is incorporated in your goals and objectives.

Conduct a market opportunity analysis and look for unmet needs that align with your objectives.

Doing a thorough analysis and review will enable you to implement more effective strategies, tactics and techniques.