I have been reading Sun Tzu’s Art of War since the age of 18. Although there could be more than 30 strategic moves, I find these 4 the most pragmatic moves that are most aligned to my values and style.
On strategic planning and adaptability: Those who strategise and plan are better equipped to handle conflict than those with no plan. Successful entrepreneurs and managers are prepared for change and ready to act on it when the opportunity presents itself. They have the tools, training, and flexibility to change direction when warranted. You can’t execute without a well thought-out plan to guide the way.
Even though you must plan for every eventuality in business, flexibility is critical. You need to recognize when change is needed. This can prove particularly challenging in business, as it often seems wiser to stay the course.
On dealing with competitors: It might also seem that when a competitor takes a shot at you, an immediate counteraction is required. However, the best course of action usually isn’t the immediate reaction, but rather a carefully thought-out and planned response. Some situations may not even warrant a response. Always take a step back and evaluate the situation before fighting back.
Backing decisions with data analytics: We have more data at our disposal than ever before. If you’re still basing business decisions on gut instincts and personal feelings, you’re setting yourself up to fail. In the modern business environment, much can be gained by staying a step ahead of competitors in the technology arena.
What tools or platforms can give you an edge in helping you give consumers a better overall experience? Be there before your competitors are. Set the trends. Offer experiences people don’t yet expect, but will appreciate.
Acquiring market share from others: When you’ve gained ground against a competitor, are you taking all you can and using it to build your own business? This might mean developing an outreach strategy to seek out its unhappy customers and bringing them into your own folds. It could mean taking on a supplier after their relationship soured, in order to offer a specific product that will win over more consumers.