Strategy is a general word that can be assigned to a variety of different business aspects. It is basically a plan of action that determines how your business is going to develop. What makes creating an effective strategy more challenging is the multitude of possibilities and the different parts of the businesses that may require their own detailed strategy. For an established business, setting a strategy becomes a complex but also essential matter. Early-stage businesses have different types of decisions that they need to take, especially at the idea stage when the entire business concept need to be created from scratch. Even deciding whether to write down a strategy or just set an action plan at every set of the way is an important matter, and it is especially daunting when so many decisions need to be taken in a short period of time.

To make your planning easy, here is a list of all possible strategic decision-making steps that we have identified and that apply at different stages of the company’s development. Click on the relevant links below to view the details of each strategic area:



1. Foundation Strategy

  • Initial tasks outsourced or produced internally
  • Focus on quality from day 1 or build it progressively
  • Operations on-site or online
  • Lifestyle company or higher personal commitment
  • Legal structure and contracts
  • Founding team
  • Business model B2B/B2C/P2P, a mix thereof, or multiple target groups
  • Analysis of resources and entrepreneurial abilities
  • Choice on innovative or traditional sector, or mix thereof, and role of technology
  • Type of innovation and market entry
  • Target of niche or mass market
  • Local or international company
  • Value Chain Positioning
  • Quality vs. budget products
  • Creation of business plan or develop organically / Setting of timeline or develop company as it goes, strategy flexibility
  • Bootstrapping or seeking external finance
  • Setting of financing strategy or raising money when needed
  • Lean approach or careful planning
  • Conservative budgeting vs. high-growth investments
  • Focus on profits or growth
  • Future Exit or Long-term Control
  • Vision/ Mission or Startup Story
  • Growth style, risk profile & speed: startup/ unicorn/ traditional: here you want to ensure that growth and risk are consistent and in line with each other

2. Validation Strategy

3. Marketing & Sales Strategy

  • Problem & Solution
  • USP
  • Bottom Up or Top Down approach
  • Target Market Identification
  • Market/customers innovation requirements and Entry Barriers
  • Osterwalder Business Model Canvas
  • Market Validation
  • Investment Readiness
  • Technology Validation
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Revenue Model Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Branding
  • Marketing & sales strategy
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Retention strategy

4. Competition Strategy

5. New Market Entry Strategy

  • STEEPLE Analysis
  • Customised vs. universal product

6. Execution Strategy

7. Growth Strategy

  • Goal setting
  • Processes
  • Day-to-day activities
  • Staffing strategy
  • Risk management
  • Monitoring strategy
  • How to scale efficiently
  • The Ansoff Matrix, also called the Product/Market Expansion Grid

8. Economic Strategy

9. Expansion Strategy

  • Analysis of Industry Features
  • Porter’s 5 Forces
  • Choice of Location and related support network
  • Adaptation to Financing Trends in terms of Sector/ Timing/ Growth or setting of company’s strategy independently
  • Exit Strategy
  • Vertical vs. horizontal expansion
  • Solberg’s 9 Strategic Windows, a Framework for Analysis of the Strategy Developments in Globalizing Markets
  • How to grow internationally: M&A, organic growth, Licencing, FDI, Joint Ventures, Export, etc.
  • Value maximisation strategy through: economies of scale, economies of scope, number of customers, pipeline, market diversification, brand awareness, technology innovation, market power, supply chain control


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