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Business Fundamentals: Business Strategy 2 Business Plan

Business Fundamentals of Business Strategy, combining MBA level Business plan writing for CEOs and Entrepreneurs
Instructor:
Joe Parys
584 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Discover the Business Fundamentals of Business Strategy and the Business Plan and how the two inter-connect
Discover the main strategic analysis frameworks and discover how to complete a SWOT analysis
Be introduced to some of the key Business Models taught in Business School, providing a toolbox of frameworks to use when formulating Business Strategy
Understand how to critically appraise Management
Find out how to create a Competitive Advantage for your Products and Services
Understand your Competition and use some classic Business Models to appraise them
How to evaluate your External Markets and Industry Sector
Use the Business Model Canvas and other frameworks to assess your Business's operations
Use my Six Minute Strategist Templated Scorecards to SWOT analyse your Business
Understand the Customer Value Proposition and how to apply it to your Business
Apply some Business School frameworks to your Sales and Marketing
Discover my Six Minute Strategist Digital Business Transformation methodology
Understand the three main Financial Statements, Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Discover how Financial Ratio Analysis can improve your understanding of Financial Statements
Use my Case Study to analyse real financial information using Ratio Analysis
Complete my Six Minute Strategist Analyser Assignment to evaluate the achievability of your future strategy
Discover SMART goal setting and the OKR framework to understand Goal Setting and Performance Management
Review a wide selection of Growth Strategies to identify those most suitable for your Business
Understand the key Valuation, Funding, Exit and Returns factors most important to your potential investors
Discover how to carry out a Risk Assessment on your Business
By completing all the Assignments as you go through the course, you will draft your comprehensive Business Plan as you learn
Synthesise your Comprehensive and Complex Business Plan using the guidance in the final section

Business Fundamentals: Business Strategy 2 (MBA) Business Plan – Take your Business Planning to the next level!

Welcome to the Business Strategy 2 Business Plan Course – which will enable you to understand Business Strategy to MBA level AND create a comprehensive Business Plan simultaneously as you take the course.  Everything you need is here teaching you Business Plan writing with our detailed template.  A comprehensive easy to follow course to improve your Business management.

Discover Business Strategy to MBA standard – from an MBA (with Distinction from Cass Business School, London) – and simultaneously create a comprehensive Business Plan guided by an award winning 30 year London Investment Banker.

I guarantee that this is a unique course: the only course that teaches you Business Strategy and shows you how to create your Business Plan – at the same time!  The 21 Assignments in this course draw on John’s unique experience, including bespoke strategic exercises of his own which you will not see anywhere else.  Step by Step following the incredibly detailed Business Plan template, John will guide you to apply the Business Strategy lessons to create your Business Plan. These will help any students of all levels and in any industry. 

This course has over 160 lectures, over 14 and a half hours of detailed instructional video and nearly 180 downloadable materials (available from a dropbox link you will find at the start of the course).  Despite its complexity, John has created a detailed course matrix for you to use to navigate through the course and understand the synthesis of Business Strategy 2 Business Plan.  There are over 20 Assignments to make the course fun and highly interactive.  The 2 Quizzes will challenge you too!  Every section has an introductory video explaining the learning objectives and lessons in that section.

Following 8 years as a British Army Officer, John started his 30 year+ investment banking career in 1988 and since then he has floated companies, bought and sold companies in M&A deals, raised capital from Venture Capital and Private Equity.  John was awarded the Tallow Chandler’s Prize for the Best Dissertation in his year when graduating with his MBA (with Distinction) in 1993 from Cass Business School in London.  John has transacted deals worth well over $1billion in his career as a senior Investment Banker for Westdeutschelandesbank, Societe General and Security Pacific Hoare Govett.  He has also co-founded two London Investment Banking Boutiques.  In his career, John has advised dozens of companies on their Business Strategy as well as reading (and writing for his clients) hundreds of Business Plans.  In addition, John has two degrees (BA and MA) from Cambridge University

Its hard to think of a more experienced or better qualified instructor to teach this topic on Udemy or anywhere else!

In this Course you will discover:

  • The connections between Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy and your Business Plan

  • Understand the main frameworks for Strategic Analysis and be able to complete a SWOT Analysis

  • Discover some of the Key Strategic Business Models taught at Business School, providing you with a toolbox of frameworks to apply to your Business Strategy formulation

  • Learn to think critically about the role of Management and their skills

  • How to create a competitive advantage for Products and Services

  • Use classic business models to evaluate your Competition

  • How to conduct an industry wide analysis of your Markets and Competitors

  • Review your business’s Operations, with a close eye on Customer Management

  • Use my templated scorecards to do a SWOT analysis on your own business

  • The importance of your Customers and your Customer Value Proposition

  • Frameworks to maximise your return from your investment in Sales and Marketing

  • How to transform your online Digital Business Strategy

  • Understand the three main financial Statements, the Income Statement or Profit and Loss Account, the Balance Sheet and the Cash Flow Statement and how they fit together.

  • To understand the key Financial Ratios that apply to the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet and the Cash Flow Statement to enable you to interpret the financial information in these statements.

  • Use a real Case Study to analyse real financial information using Financial Ratio Analysis

  • Exercise to evaluate the achievability of your Strategic Goals when compared to your predicted rates of growth

  • Frameworks to incorporate Performance Management into your Business Strategy and Business Plan

  • Growth Strategies to help your Business Strategy execution, also incorporating your Business Plan

  • Understand what factors are important to your Investors, specifically Valuation, Funding, Exits and Returns

  • How to incorporate a Risk Assessment into your Planning

  • Finally we show you how to synthesise your complete Business Plan from the lessons, assignments and templates in the course

This course is COMPREHENSIVE and enables you to benefit from John’s real world Investment Banking and Business Strategy experience.  NO ONE  ELSE has shown the experience required to create a course of this complexity and value, teaching you MBA level Business Strategy and showing you how to practically apply that knowledge in creating your Business Plan – in the same course at the same time.

I am totally confident that this course offers you a TOTALLY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE AND OPPORTUNITY and one which will enable you to create an amazing Business Plan while developing a deep understanding of Business Strategy.

Take this Course today – Click the Add to Cart Button now

Best regards from us both

Joe and John

WELCOME - HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS COURSE

1
Learn Business Fundamentals and Create Your Own Business Plan Today!
2
Getting Started - How to Use Our Course!
3
Quickfire Strategy Quiz How much do you know about your business strategy?

Before we get started, lets have a bit of fun with our Quickfire Strategy Quiz to get you thinking about your Business Strategy and to see how much you already know!

You can download the Quiz from the Resources Section of this lecture, along with the PDF of the Slide Deck or just watch the video.

Watch the next video to get My "answers" to the questions!

4
Quickfire Strategy Quiz - My "Answers"

Thank you for taking the Quick Fire Quiz.

As you can imagine there are no right answers. The purpose behind the quiz is to get you thinking about your Business Strategy and Business Plan from the very start.

Lets take a look at these questions and discuss what they could mean for your business? All of these topics and many more are addressed in the Course, both theoretically and practically.

The course also helps you to address these issues within a systematic framework and as well as bringing them into your Business plan.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

5
How to get the most from this Course

Let me show you right up front how the content of this course is organised.  Our principal objective here is to show you how to devise a corporate strategy and then turn this into a business plan.  I have also provided the Slide Deck from this lecture as a PDF which you can download from the resources section of this lecture.

6
Using the Course Map Matrix

I have created a Course Map Matrix which shows you on a lecture by lecture basis how this course connects Strategic Analysis and Planning to the creation of a Business Plan.  Watch the lecture and then download the spreadsheet from the Resouces Section so that you can see what I show you in the video - the connection between Strategy and Business Plan.

I have also provided the Course Overview image and the PDF of the entire Slide Deck from this lecture there for you to download.

7
Guide to the Course Assignments

I want to explain what you can expect from the course Assignments and their purpose. There are 21 Assignments and they are all there for a purpose. This lecture takes you through them step by step and in particular shows you how the Business Plan Assignments are design to enable you to create your Business Plan as you go through the course.

The Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section to provide a detailed guide to the Assignments in the course.

8
Download All Course Materials Here

I wanted to make the course materials as accessible as possible so I have organised them by section and lecture number and you can download them at your convenience from the link in the external resources of this lecture - or just watch the video and I give you the link there too!

A PDF of this Slide Deck is also available for download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS: Connecting Business Strategy to the Business Plan

1
Section Introduction: Connecting Business Strategy to the Business Plan

Section Learning Objective: Discover the connections between Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy and the Business Plan.


Section Introduction

The key objective of this course is to enable you to develop a detailed Business Strategy for a business and then be able to convert that strategy into a Business Plan. The first problem is that a Business Strategy is an internal document and a Business Plan is for external consumption. The audience is different. The purposes are different.

We will achieve our goal by making sure that we understand both the Strategy and the Plan right up front and then working through the course maintaining the links between them. To start with in this section we are setting out to understand the main course objective, what we mean by a Business Strategy and a Business Plan. We also discuss Corporate Strategy as this is an intermediate step between Business Strategy and the Business Plan.

A full Business Plan template is available to download from the Resources Section of the Business Plan lecture.

We take the opportunity to challenge your perspective of Shareholder Value - often (and we think mistakenly) a key objective of Business Strategy.

We conclude this section by explaining Strategic Management as this is a key framework for creating your Business Strategy.


At the end of this section...

At the end of this section you will have a clear idea of what we mean by Business Strategy and a Business Plan and you will be beginning to understand how they eventually will be connected together.

2
Business Strategy to Business Plan

One of the objectives of this course is to enable you to learn about Business Strategy but then immediately be able to apply that learning to creating a business plan for your business. 

Please start by downloading the Business Plan Template from the Resources Section of this lecture.  I will be referencing this Plan and its numbering through out the course.

I have also included a formatted Word Document of the Business plan for you to use in the Business Plan Assignments.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is also available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

3
What do we mean by Business Strategy?

Business Strategy is set through analysis and evaluation of the business. From this goals are set to measure whether the implementation of the strategy is a success or not. This leads into the implementation phase when the strategy is executed. This then is measures using financial metrics to assess the success or otherwise of the strategy.


A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture.

4
What is a Business Plan?

If you are new to Business Strategy and Business Plans, it will be helpful to explain exactly what a Business Plan is.  If you are familiar with Business Plans, you can skip this lecture.  Please make sure you have downloaded the Business Plan template from the previous lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is also available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

5
What do we mean by Corporate Strategy?

Corporate Strategy is the next step following the formulation of Business Strategy

We have set the direction - what does the Business need to do to achieve that? Corporate Strategy challenges Management to create an organisation which is greater than the sum of its parts

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

6
Should You Be Creating Shareholder Value?

Should you be creating shareholder value? This is a contentious point but an important one.  In this lecture I argue that there are more important priorities for you to consider.  When setting your strategic goals - think about who are your most important constituents?  Is shareholder value really the key objective?  Watch this important lecture and see if you agree with my conclusion.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

7
Introduction to Strategic Management

Strategic Management asks two questions:

  1. What business should we be in?

  2. How shall we compete in this business?

This has two principal components: Formulation and Implementation

Formulation involves:

  • Analysis

  • Strategy Formulation

  • Goal Setting

Implementation involves:

  • Structure

  • Control and Feedback

This lecture explains this framework and introduces many of the topics we are going to address in this course.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture.

BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS: The Value of Strategic Analysis

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Section Introduction: The Value of Strategic Analysis

Section Learning Objective: Understand the main frameworks for Strategic Analysis and be able to complete a SWOT Analysis


Section Introduction

This section provides a high level introduction to Strategic Analysis. We are deliberately starting from the beginning. We explain the main framework for Strategic Analysis and introduce some of the main Business School models that you will be using throughout this course. You will become much more familiar with these as we go through the course. This section concludes with your first Assignment in this course which is a SWOT analysis of Apple Inc.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section you will understand the key components of Strategic Analysis that will enable you to start mapping out the initial outline of your business strategy.

2
Strategic Analysis - The First Step

Strategic Analysis is the first step in the Formulation Phase of our Business Strategy. This lecture introduces this topic and what is to follow.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

3
What is Strategic Analysis?

As we have already seen, Strategic Analysis addresses the company's internal and external environment and its Industry environment. I believe you need to have clearly formulated your Vision, Mission and Values. We then discuss the four phases of Strategic Analysis and the Three levels within the business to which this analysis applies.


A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
Frameworks for Strategic Analysis

This lecture introduces at a high level the idea of the analysis frameworks and business models you can use to evaluate your business. I learned many of these when I studied for my MBA at Cass Business school and they provide you with the tools you need to undertake strategic analysis. We will go into these in a lot more detail in the next section.


A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

5
Strategic Analysis Frameworks Case Study: Apple

In this Case Study, I want to go through some of the financial models we have been discussing and consider Apple, its products and Services.  This shows you how you can utilise these models to think strategically about a business.  It is also a lead in to the Assignment which follows this lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture.

6
Strategic Analysis Assignment - Apple SWOT Analysis

BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS: Frameworks and Theories Business Strategists Must Know

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Section Introduction: Frameworks and Theories Business Strategists Must Know

Section Learning Objective: Discover some of the Key Strategic Business Models taught at Business School, providing you with a toolbox of frameworks to apply to your Business Strategy formulation


Section Introduction

One of the most useful takeaways from my MBA was discovering Business Models and Theories which provided me with a tool box from which I could tackle business problems. We have included this section to introduce you to an important selection of these, many of which we will return to in later sections of the course.


Many of these frameworks overlap and many benefit from being used in combination. There is no right answer here, just the challenge of using the model to examine the problem in front of you and seeing what insights you can discover by following through the systematic approach of the model or theory to shed light on your business.


We explain why we think they are important and useful. If there are models that you would like further explained, please reach out to us and we can add them to this section of the course.


You will also find your second Assignment which is a quiz about the Business Models you are about to be introduced to. So, pay attention and then do the quiz without going back to look up the answers. How many points can you score?


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section, your Business Strategy Tool box will be filled with a selection of frameworks and theories that you will be able to use as you work through this course and beyond.


2
Why are these Business Models important?

By way of introduction to this section, I want to explain WHY these business models are important to you and to your Strategy Analysis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck can be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture.

3
The Story of the Hedgehog and the Fox

The Tale of the Hedgehog and the Fox is an essay by Philosopher Isaiah Berlin from 1956. He divides thinkers into two types: Hedgehogs and Foxes. In this lecture I explain why this is a useful metaphor for Business Strategy and why Business Strategists need to think like Foxes


A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
Why are Management Theories Useful in Business Strategy?

Management Theories have been helping business leaders think about the approach they take to their work for well over a century.  Here we explore the main management theories, comment on them and examine why they help Business Strategists.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

5
SWOT Analysis

This is one of the cornerstone strategic frameworks which you must be familiar with.  We will refer to it many times during this course.  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  Once you understand this, the SWOT acronym is very hard to forget and its great simplicity is its strength.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

6
Introduction to Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model

This is another of the major building blocks of Corporate Strategy with which you need to be familiar which is why I am introducing it here - quite early on.  We consider the five forces of intensity of rivalry, threat of potential new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and threat of substitute goods and/or services. 

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

7
Lafley and Martin Five Step Strategy Model

This lecture is from my Business Transformation series of videos but I wanted to included it here because Lafley and Martin's model is a great framework for understanding the fundamentals of Business Strategy.

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The 5Cs Model

This framework allows us to broadly assess and evaluate a firm taking into account some of the major factors which may influence its success: Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context.  We explain these in the lecture and how you apply them to the assessment of the company's environment.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

9
What is PEST or Broad Factors Analysis?

PEST or Broad Factors analysis is a key tool in evaluating the external macro economic factors affecting a business. We discuss these and I take an example, the Corona Virus Pandemic, to show how this can be useful in Strategic Analysis


A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

10
PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL Analysis is an extension of PEST Analysis with the addition of Environmental and Legal.  We explain all six factors in this lecture and some of the potential overlaps with other models as well as circumstances when the model can be particularly useful.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

11
Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix - also known as the Product/Market Expansion Grid helps firms to analyse and plan strategies for growth.  It also enables them to understand the level of risk associated with each of the four strategies.  These are:

  • Market Penetration

  • Product Development

  • Market Development

  • Diversification

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

12
Value Chain

Michael Porter's Value Chain Analysis is an excellent framework for evaluating the internal efficiencies of a firm and understanding the profitability and contribution each part of the firm makes to the margin that the firm makes on sales.  We discuss the different activities both primary and secondary in this lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

13
Business Model Synthesis

This lecture shows you the benefit of using these models in combination to develop a sophisticated strategy for your business.  Each model on its own challenges you to ask questions about your firm, but when used together they provide a much more challenging approach which will enable you to be much more rigorous in your strategic planning.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

14
Black Swan Events - Coronavirus

Black Swan events are major negative events that were very hard to predict, although they seem to occur with monotonous regularity.  I mention several in the last 20 years in the lecture.  You need to be aware of the phenomenon and try to include them into your strategic planning.

A PDF of this Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

15
What is GAP Analysis?

Gap Analysis is an excellent tool for evaluating the current state of your business, identifying a desired future state and understanding the gap between them.  With this knowledge, and being able to measure the gap, you can formulate plans and projects to close the gap.  This lecture explains the key concepts that you need to understand Gap Analysis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

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Business Model Quiz

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF LEADERSHIP

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Section Introduction: Critical Evaluation of Leadership

Section Learning Objective: This section invites you to think critically about the role of Management and their skills. Their vision should be reflected in the Vision Statement.


Section Introduction

An important part of Strategy - its conception and execution - depend on the leadership of the organisation. This is why this section is here. We want you to think critically about the contribution of the business leadership to setting the strategy and delivering it.


Does the organisation benefit from a visionary leader? We examine the good and bad traits of senior management and follow this up with a summary of the management skills we think are important.


The Management should be responsible for setting the initial direction of the strategy through their "Vision Statement" so we discuss what it is and its purpose in our project.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section you will have a new perspective on management and leadership which will enable you to critically assess the leadership of an organisation.

2
Vision and Leadership - Starting at the Top

Visionary Leaders set the tone for their organisation. If we are going to start to develop a business strategy and from it a business plan, we need leaders who have the vision and can support its execution.  We explore here too the traits of both good and bad leaders.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

3
What Skills Are We Looking For In Management?

Management Skills are critical to Business Strategy success. Without these the implementation of the Business Plan and the execution of the Business Strategy will not happen.  We review here the Types of Management Skills as defined by organisational psychologist Robert Katz and look at some practical management skills.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
What is the Purpose of a Vision Statement?

A vision statement communicates the strategic vision of the management - which will be defined by its Business Strategy.  It needs to contain some key points which are also explained in this lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

1
Section Introduction: Products Services and Competitive Advantage

Section Learning Objective: Our focus in this section is on the Products and Services of the firm and how to create a competitive advantage.


Section Introduction

Now we come to the first major section in the course dealing directly with both the Business Strategy and the Business Plan. Note that the last lecture explains the content of the Business Plan and the headings you will have to cover.


These can be downloaded as a PDF with the Slide Deck in the Resources Section.


The main emphasis of this section is to identify how to create products and services which are competitive, have unique characteristics and are differentiated from the competition. This is at the core of strategic advantage. So we discuss product differentiation, diversification, quality management, competitive advantage and provide Bowman's strategic clock as a very useful framework to help you think about the strategic positioning of your products and services in the market.


The section concludes with the first Business Plan Assignment which will enable you to complete the Products and Services section of the Business Plan based on what you have learned in this section. Use the Business Plan template, which is provided, to do this.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section you will be able to understand how to strategically position a product or service in the market and have the frameworks to understand the key aspects of competitive advantage.

2
What do we mean by Products and Services

Before we discuss some of the detailed aspects of Products and Services, let us be clear what we are talking about and understand what these mean to the firm. We also highlight that Products and Services are not static in the market and innovation and change are a constant threat.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

3
Why Product Differentiation is Critical

Product Differentiation is what makes your product stand out from its competition.  It also helps your business stand out from your competitive rivals.  We discuss the key aspects of Product Differentiation and help to explain why its critical to your business strategy.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
Product Diversification in Business Strategy

Product Diversification is a key business strategy and part of Ansoff's Product Market Matrix Model. Here we discuss its part in your firms Business Strategy and why it should be carefully considered. It is not without risk and and any diversification initiatives in a firm have to be carefully evaluated.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

5
How Does Quality Management fit into your Business Strategy?

Quality Management has to be an integral part of your business strategy and while we are discussing products and services I want to challenge you to think about how you will achieve this. 

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

6
What do we mean by Competitive Advantage?

This is one of the Core Concepts of Business Strategy and I want you to focus on it while we are thinking about Products and Services.  How are you going to create it?  Watch the lecture and find out its key characteristics so that you can.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

7
Bowman’s Strategic Clock - Strategic Positioning

This model gives us more variants on Competitive Advantage and is therefore a useful tool to bring into the conversation while we are discussing Products and Services.  It expands the options to eight and I explain what these are and which three are complete duds and why.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

8
Products, Services and Technology in the Business Plan

This lecture explains the tie-in between the Strategy Analysis and the Business Plan for Products and Services. The two topics do not dovetail precisely - which is why this course is necessary. I explain the key headings and how they relate back to Business Strategy.

A list of the key Product and Services headings from the Business Plan may be found in the Appendix to the Slide Deck which can be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture.

9
Business Plan Assignment: Products, Services and Technology

COMPETITION - KNOW YOUR ENEMY

1
Section Introduction: Competition - Know Your Enemy

Section Learning Objective: This section is dedicated to understanding the competition our firm faces in the marketplace and uses some classic models to assess this.


Section Introduction

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu


Understanding your competition is one of the key steps to creating an effective strategy for your business. We therefore have focused this section on mastering this aspect of not only your Business Strategy but your Business Plan too. Look out for the tie in lecture at the end of the section.


We introduce the Boston Consulting Group matrix here - a key tool, as relevant today as ever.


We bring in Michael Porter's Five Forces Model - an absolutely essential tool for understanding competition in an industry.


We discuss different aspects of competition - intensity and the business life cycle.


The Business Plan Assignment which concludes the section will enable you to address the Competition section of the Business plan armed with the models and information contained in this section.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section you will have the ability to complete a strategic analysis of the competition in and around your own business. This will enable you to describe it in your Strategic planning and draw insights about the steps you need to take. You will also have the context for your Business Plan contents and the headings under which to evaluate your competition in your Business Plan.

2
Competitor Analysis

Understanding your competition is a critical step in your Strategic planning and your business plan.

Evaluate their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to your product or service.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

3
BCG Matrix

This is one of the fundamental strategic building blocks for any business strategist and helps you to evaluate a firm's business portfolio in terms of its competitiveness and market attractiveness. In this lecture we explain the BCG Matrix so that you can apply it to your strategic analysis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
Competitors and Competitive Forces

Here we are focusing on three forces from Porters Five Forces Model.

  • Intensity of Rivalry

  • Threat of Potential New Entrants

  • Threat of Substitute Products

It is important to make sure we understand the impact competition can have on our business and the conditions under which it can impact our business strategy.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

5
Competitive Intensity

Here we are drilling down further into one of Michael Porter's Five Forces.  This is so important to your strategic analysis and your business plan.  Focus on the factors we discuss here and work out how you are going to position your business to cope with them and out compete your competition.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

6
Industry Life Cycle

Lets take a look at the dimension of time to see what impact that has on competition in an industry.  To do this we use the Industry Life Cycle Model and its five stages of Startup, Growth, Shakeout, Maturity and Decline.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

7
Competition - Business Plan Tie In

In your strategic planning its critical that you identify your competitors so that you can work out how to out compete them with your own competitive advantages.  You need to explain this in your business plan and I explain how that works in this lecture.  The Business Plan references are in the Appendix to the Slide Deck which you can down load from the Resources Section of this lecture.

8
Business Plan Assignment - Competition

EXTERNAL STRATEGIC ANALYSIS - Industry, Markets and Competition

1
Section Introduction: Industry, Markets and Competition

Section Learning Objective: This section moves beyond the immediate threat of competitors to review competitive conditions in the whole of the external market place and brings in context from the industry as well.


Section Introduction

You need to have an objective perspective beyond the walls of your office. This means understanding your industry, your marketings, your regulatory environment, and yes, even more about your competition.


We develop these themes in this section. Firstly we introduce more frameworks to help you understand how to tackle this problem.

We explain why you need to analyse your Industry and then dive into a series of models to help you to do this; PEST analysis, business and funding lifecycles, value chains, the total addressable market, market segmentation.


We take the bargaining power of suppliers and customers out of Michael Porter's model and look at them in greater detail.

Of course, the section ends with a tie in lecture which provides you with the relevant sections of the Business Plan template we are working with.


The Business plan Assignment will enable you to complete the Business Plan Industry Markets and Competition Section and enable you to draw on the models and frameworks you have just been introduced to.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section you will be armed to the teeth with external analysis tools to enable you to look at this aspect of business strategy from a number of different angles. Remember that each one of these provides insights and their collective value exceeds that of any one model used on its own, so use them all!

2
What do we mean by External Strategic Analysis

This introduction to External Strategic Analysis explains some of the key models we are going to address in this section and why External Strategic Analysis is so important. (Hint: Thinks Strengths and Weaknesses from the SWOT model).

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

3
How Does Industry Analysis Help?

Industry analysis is critical to our interpretation of the market conditions surrounding our business and we discuss the benefits of conducting this analysis in this lecture. The main models used for conducting this analysis are discussed in other lectures.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

4
Conducting PEST or Broad Factors External Analysis

If you are conducting a PEST or Broad Factor Analysis for your business, this lecture explores the four macro economic factors in more detail and cites specific examples which will help you to brainstorm how these factors are likely to affect your business.

If you are a student and you are conducting a case study, this is a great starting point for your analysis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

5
What are the Business and Funding Life Cycles?

Understanding the external strategic environment over time is as important as studying the current state of the industry.  This lecture considers both the Business Lifecycle and the Funding Lifecycle.  Understanding the latter will be particularly useful when we get to the financial part of this course.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

6
Value Chains: Connecting Companies to their External Environment

Michael Porter's Value Chain analysis has elements of both External and Internal Strategic analysis.  I have introduced it here so that you understand the external part of the connection but also appreciate that Business Strategy is a highly interconnected subject and it is very difficult to silo topics on a stand alone basis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

7
Addressing the Total Addressable Market (TAM)

The Total Addressable Market - and its subsets - is important for your Business Strategy and its is also an important part of your Business Plan.  Here we explain what it is and the different approaches used to calculate it.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

8
Market Segmentation: Choosing Customers

Having identified the Total Addressable Market, the next logical step is to segment that market to identify the groups of customers or segments who are most appropriate for our products and services.  This lecture discusses how you conduct this strategic analysis and it ties in very closely to the Business Plan as you will see.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

9
Bargaining Power of Suppliers

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers is one of Michael Porter's Five Forces of Industry Attractiveness and its a critical factor in your External Strategic analysis.  You will need to reflect the relationship with your Suppliers in your Business Plan as well, which is why we are addressing it here as a separate lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

10
Bargaining Power of Customers/Buyers

This is another one of Porter's Five Forces and looks closely at the relationship between a firm and its customers.  We evaluate who has the power in the relationship and what impact that has on Industry Attractiveness, Competitive Advantage and potential profitability.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

11
Business Plan: Industry, Markets and Competition

Now we come to the interesting part of this section which is relating the content of your Business Strategy and Strategic Analysis to the Business Plan - explaining what you are going to be doing in an easy to follow and easy to understand way.  We have been discussing the External Environment of the Business and this ties into the Industry, Markets and Competition section of your Business Plan.

The PDF of the Slide Deck which includes the Business Plan Topics (and numbering) in the Appendix, can be found to download in the Resources Section of this lecture.

12
Business Plan Assignment: Industry, Markets and Competition

INTERNAL STRATEGIC ANALYSIS - Operations and Customer Management

1
Section Introduction - Operations and Customer Management

Section Learning Objective: In this section we turn our attention inwards to the operations of the firm, focusing on all aspects of Operations but keeping a close eye on Customer Management


Section Introduction

Having looked outside of the firm, it follows that we should turn our attention inside now and look at the business itself more closely. Business Operations can cover a wide range of activities so we share with you what we think they mean.


We introduce you to the Business Model Canvas, one of the most useful strategic analysis tools out there - we love it and we know that you will too.


Our discussion then turns to corporate structure and organisation and a review of operations. Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo. Just because this is how you do it today does not mean that there are not better ways out there. You need to think and we provide the tools to enable you to develop the insights and critical faculties you will need.


We have to address the challenge of eCommerce and we discuss the hybrid Click and Mortar approach as well as different eCommerce business models.


The final lecture ties in the Business Plan headings as I hope you have now come to expect.


The Business Plan Assignment completes this section enabling you to add further to your Business Plan and cover off the Internal Operations section.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this section, you will be critically evaluating how your business is organised. Why do you do things this way? Can you do some things or everything differently and better? The key to good strategy is not being afraid to challenge the status quo and ask difficult questions. We hope you are starting to do this. Welcome to the awkward squad!

2
What are Business Operations?

Business Operations are the activities of the firm designed to create value for customers and profits for the firm.  The challenge is to evaluate your business strategy for firm in relation to the internal business operations while at the same time being able to relate this strategy to the Business Plan you are writing for the firm.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

3
Strategic Analysis with the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a critical model in our Internal Strategic analysis which is why I have gone into significant detail.  The nine components of the model are:

  1. Key Partners: to optimize operations and reduce risks of a business model

  2. Key Activities: The most important activities in executing a company's value proposition

  3. Key Resources: The resources that are necessary to create value for the customer

  4. Value Propositions: The collection of products and services a business offers to meet the needs of its customers

  5. Customer Relationships: must identify the type of relationship they want to create with their customer segments

  6. Channels: deliver its value proposition to its targeted customers through different channels

  7. Customer Segments: must identify which customers it tries to serve

  8. Cost Structure: costs of delivering the company’s value proposition

  9. Revenue Streams: how a company makes income from each customer segment

A PDF of the Slide Deck as well as a Template and Checklist are available for download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

4
How can Corporate Structure impact Strategy?

Have you considered how your firm is organised and why its organised the way that it is?  Is this the right structure for the future?  These are the questions we raise in this lecture.  Do not accept the status quo - challenge what you find and make sure that you have the right structure for your strategy.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

5
Organisational Development

Identifying and effecting strategic change within an organisation are inextricably linked.  This model shows you how your strategy can be implemented inside your organisation on a continuous basis.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

6
Reviewing the Operations of the Firm

Any internal strategic review will require a comprehensive review of the operations of the firm and we discuss the required steps in this lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

7
Click and Mortar - Online meets Offline

You cannot afford to ignore Online Business in your strategic planning and while this is not a digital marketing course, we need to reflect this aspect of 21st Century business in our planning processes.  This lecture introduces the topic with Click and Mortar and we will discuss eCommerce Business Models in more detail in the next lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck is available to download from the Resources Section of this lecture.

8
eCommerce Business Models

eCommerce is now an established part of the business landscape and must be incorporated into your Strategic and Business planning.  This lecture covers the three main types of eCommerce business models and challenges you to ensure that you include this key topic in your planning!

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

9
Internal Strategic Analysis - Business Plan Tie In

The Internal Strategic Analysis has focused strongly on the processes of the organisation and in your business plan you need to reflect these under the headings of:

  • Staff and HR

  • Technology

  • Process

  • Innovation and Technology Capital

  • Regulatory and Social

Don't forget that in the complexity matrix of topics in your Strategic Analysis and Strategic Plan, some of these topics are to be found, at least in part, in other sections of the course.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this lecture

10
Business Plan Assignment - Internal Operations

Six Minute Strategist SWOT Assignment

1
Section Introduction: Six Minute Strategist SWOT Assignment

Section Learning Objective: Use the templated score cards to carry out a SWOT analysis of your business and use the frameworks we have discovered together throughout the course.


Section Introduction

This is an assignment to challenge you to review your business using the SWOT Analysis model using what you have learned so far in the course.


This is a management tool I devised to help clients think objectively about SWOT Analysis and their business. Its also I hope fun to complete while you think about your business and fill in the score cards. This is an opportunity to apply the models and frameworks that you think best apply to your business, to complete the exercise. Better still convene your management team and do the exercise together and discover the ranges of opinions that will become apparent in the discussion you have following the completion of the Assignment.


Following the guidance of the video and slide deck, this assignment is designed to encourage you to think strategically about your business. There are dashboards and score cards for each of six strategic areas which I challenge you to complete.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this Section you will have had a chance to practice using the Business Models we are uncovering in the course and to discuss their applicability to your business. This may result in you making some revisions to your draft business plan. You have been warned!

2
Six Minute Strategist SWOT Assignment

CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION

1
Section Introduction: Customer Value Proposition

Section Learning Objective: We focus on the importance of the customer and how a firm can add value to them. Understand the Customer Value Proposition as a central core of your strategy.


Section Introduction

“The only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer” Peter Drucker


Now we are getting deeper into strategic analysis by applying what we already know and focusing on the Customer to see how we can ensure that the firm positions them front and centre of the Business Strategy.


The Customer Value Proposition is a very useful concept when trying to connect your products and services to providing benefits for your customers. We discuss market positioning, profit models and introduce Hax's Delta Model to help you to connect your business strategy to your customers.


You need to develop an effective customer strategy so we explore switching costs, the customer experience and the customer journey (horrible name, very effective framework).


Of course, we tie this into the Business Plan in the last lecture for you.


The Business Plan Assignment in this section will help you to complete the Customer section of your Business Plan.


At the end of this Section...

At the end of this Section we believe that every business has to get very serious about serving its customers. We think that you will believe this to at the end of this section. What is more you will be equipped with the strategic tools and frameworks to evaluate this challenge effectively and make decisions about your own business. You will also know how to transpose this to your business plan.

2
Understanding The Customer Value Proposition

The Customer Value Proposition is at the heart of your business strategy and will permeate your Business Plan.  This lecture explains the concept and how you can go about creating it.  It should explain:

  • the benefits the customer gets from your product,

  • why they should be buying from you,

  • how you differentiate your product from the competition.

Some Customer Value Proposition examples are also included in a downloadable PDF with this lecture.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

3
Positioning Your Firm in the Market

Market Positioning is how you influence customer perception about your product or service. Market Positioning is the key link between your Customer Analysis and your Marketing Plan.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

4
What do we mean by a Profit Model?

A Strategic approach to ensuring that a company makes profits.  How it will make revenues which exceed the costs incurred, both fixed and variable.  This is a term too often used and not properly understood, so we are addressing that small knowledge gap here.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

5
Hax's Delta Model

Strategy framework with a pro-customer approach towards implementation of effective management and corporate business strategies - devised by Arnoldo Hax (Sloan School of Management at MIT) and Dean Wilde.  This connects your customer focus to your business strategy and is an extremely effective strategic tool and you must evaluate how you can use this for your Strategic Plan and work out how you are going to deliver it in your Business Plan.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

6
Switching Costs and Customer Strategy

Switching Costs are incurred by customers when they switch from one brand, product or service to another.  These can affect customer behaviour and companies can use these as deliberate strategies to prevent customers switching away from their products and services.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

7
Managing the Customer Experience

The Customer Experience is the sum of the total inter-connections a customer has with the firm over the lifetime of the relationship.  You need to ensure that making sure that your firm's customers have a consistently great experience with you and want to recommend your firm to their friends.

A PDF of the Slide Deck may be downloaded from the Resources Section of this Lecture

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