Smaller businesses are more adaptive and adaptable when it comes to strategy. They are intuitively aware of the urgent changes that need to be made when there is a challenge that needs to be addressed. If there is an obvious threat to the business, the challenge is not only felt immediately; it also needs to be dealt with without unnecessary delays.
In addition to common metrics like: sales, profitability and productivity; it is usually the case that past performance is not a clear indicator of future success or potentialities that may appear on the ground out of the blue.
Bigger institutions are not always aware when a smaller opportunity comes knocking or shows up on their doorstep. They won’t take it on before many other predetermined criteria are met. Even if it’s a perfectly viable opportunity, the company culture may stop or stall its progress as well as any future benefits that may have arisen had the opportunity been seized. Large organisations are simply not wired to adapt.
In practice, increasing the emphasis on the importance of adaptability can be achieved by adding one simple step to any opportunity that arises on the ground. It begins by asking, “What sort of opportunity is this?”
It requires that the business owner has done a thorough inner inventory in order to understand whether or not they can and should take on the opportunity.
Once it has been established that there is an opportunity that needs seized, the business owner can then launch into the familiar process of actually seizing it it.
Strategy is not just about having a strategy or thinking about having one. It involves forethought and thinking strategically about the many opportunities that exist in the marketplace. By reflecting on the nature of the opportunity before seizing it, small business owners can take on more opportunities that are relevant to their expertise and that make long-term economic sense.