Is Your Business Rain Dancing for Profits?

Leah Funk

There's a particular way of doing things when it comes to business. Whenever entrepreneurs establish their companies, they like to imagine that their number one priority is to formulate a solid direction that will guide all future decision-making. This strategic phase happens in a fancy boardroom where well-dressed executives brainstorm around a table and devise a universally appealing plan to execute.


Unfortunately, such a concept does not exist in the real world.


A Business Plan is Not the Same as a Business Strategy

Board meetings do exist, but most of the time, the output that managers produce is a business plan rather than a business strategy. Participants in these meetings like to discuss budgets, profit or loss projections, employee hiring and firing policies, resource allocations, and even mundane things like the upcoming team-building exercise and an outdoor picnic. These activities are essential to a healthy company's daily operation and maintenance but are not business strategies.


A business strategy is about obtaining an advantage over your competitors and attracting clients in your industry, rather than detailing the day-to-day operations of running a corporation. But even with this definition, a significant question still needs to be answered: is it even possible to consciously develop a business strategy, or does it come naturally with time?


A Glorified Rain Dance

Over the years, many analysts have become disillusioned with the idea that entrepreneurs should spend time strategizing about their overall proposal to draw market share and fend off their rivals. There are two reasons for this fundamental change in attitude.


First, strategizing gives the illusion of control without affecting reality. Much like desert shamans would perform a complicated dance to make the clouds rain (something debunked by modern science), entrepreneurs spend countless hours detailing their organization, thinking that merely sitting down and writing about their vision and mission will cause the market to tilt in their favor. Like rain dancing, however, this "business strategy dancing" is a lot of activity that makes the entrepreneurs feel good, but does not affect actual supply and demand.


Second, business strategy is more than just sitting in an armchair. It is formulated on the fly largely unconsciously as the entrepreneur gets buffeted by fierce competition, fraudulent suppliers, and fickle clients and learns how to adapt amid chaos. Business strategy is primarily an experiential process, rather than a thinking one, much like riding a bike means learning while riding instead of learning while planning.


Business Strategy is Necessary 

Since the dawn of modern entrepreneurship, experts have universally recommended that a company develop a definite business strategy to succeed--a glance at the graveyard of fallen corporations always points to a lack of clarity from the management and failure to adapt to changing times.


However, while developing a business strategy is a settled issue, how to go about it remains controversial. There are still those who advocate for the traditional approach that involves writing down the mission and vision statements of the company during hours of planning sessions. Still, many analysts now prefer to keep things simple, creating and adjusting the business strategy in a largely instinctual and unconscious manner as market circumstances transform and evolve.

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Leah Funk

As a National Account Sales Manager at Adams, Evens, & Ross, I have over 26 years of experience in providing credit and collections solutions for the staffing and recruiting industry.

My core competencies include staffing, recruiting, sales management, credit and collections, and industry knowledge. I work with national and regional clients to help them improve their cash flow, reduce their bad debt, and secure their accounts receivable. I also partner with industry associations and organizations to offer educational and networking opportunities for staffing and recruiting professionals. My mission is to deliver value-added services and solutions that enhance the growth and profitability of our clients and our company.