What are the Strategic Goals of Small Businesses?

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What are the Strategic Goals of Small Businesses?
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
When assessing the goals and the success of an organization, such as when advising on the organization’s strategy, it is important to not only consider its growth strategies, but also other perceptions of success by the business owners:

The ‘success’ of an organization is often measured by company growth. However, in a context of small businesses, many small business owners (SBOs) are reluctant to grow because of a wide range of reasons:
  • Fear to lose employees.
  • Fear to lose the atmosphere within the organization.
  • Fear to lose organizational commitment.
  • Fear that employees may be less satisfied.
  • Fear of the effect of negative events such as an economic downturn.
Besides these fears, small lifestyle-oriented business owners set up businesses to undertake activities that they enjoy doing, generally via an activity that can provide the owner an adequate income. In those cases, business growth cannot measure its success.

When assessing the success of organizations, it is therefore critical to consider SBO success perception. In particular, consultants on strategic management should avoid any mismatch between success measurement and success perceptions by the business owners / users of their services. Weber c.s. mention several possible other measurements for success in small businesses:

Jennings and Beaver (1997) argue that success of companies may also be measured by the extent to which businesses are able to sustain satisfaction of stakeholder aspirations, specifically of principal stakeholders. Those aspirations can range from growth in terms of assets, market size or profits to do business in a socially or environmentally justified way.

An organization’s success does not only emanate from the fulfillment of extrinsic objectives. Intrinsic successes can be an important measurement for success as well. Success in terms of intrinsic objective refers to an internal sense of satisfaction that emanates from being the owner of the business and managing this business.

⇒ Do you know of any other strategic goals and ways to measure the success of small business firms?

Source: Weber, P., Geneste, L.A. and J. Connell (2015) “Small Business Growth: Strategic Goals and Owner Preparedness” Journal of Business Strategy Vol. 36 Iss. 3 pp. 30-36

Small Businesses Should Focus on the Customer
Carlos Nava, Sistemas, Mexico, Member
One of the vital and strategic goals of small businesses are service and quality of their products and services. SB must focus on exceeding expectations of their customers.
Service is their competitive advantage!

KSI (Key Success Index) to Measure Consulting Services to Small Business
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
Here are a couple of similar KSI's in order to measure (focus) consulting to owners of a small business:
1. Improvement of Business Economic Value generation (positive cash flow - profitability.
2. Improvement of Quality of Life to the Owner (releasing time to enjoy his life dreams and/or explore new horizons)
3. Improvement of the Ability of his Key Members (Head of Sales, Operations, Finance) in order to generate and implement improvement projects.

In short your consulting services shall allow the owner to be a business OWNER not a business SLAVE (working from sunrise to sundown).
Note: Be sure yow start your consultancy with learning/finding out the owner's life dreams.

Competition and Cooperation Strategies
Eugenio Bastianon Ph.D, Teacher, Italy, Member
The shrimp hermaphrodite becomes "male/great" when it want to compete; the shrimp becomes "female/small" when it wants to cooperate.
1. OPTIMIZATION STRATEGIES OF SIZE: large size if a company decides to compete, small size if a company decides to cooperate.
2. MIXED STRATEGIES OF COMPETITION/COOPERATION, as in the shrimp hermaphrodite and in the sparrow of Harris
3. PRIORITY OF THE COOPERATION STRATEGIES, because the cooperation assures the survival of the species.
Source: Maynard Smith "Evolution and Theory of Game".

Growth Strategies for Smaller Firms
Charles Alter, Consultant, United States, Member
Smaller firms need to be clear on their REASONS FOR EXISTING in the first place. Indeed some firms are lifestyle companies whose only reason for existing is to generate cash for the owner. They will only exist as long as the owner is getting paid. These businesses should forget about growth.
However, the majority of smaller firms exist to sustain themselves and grow. The growth strategies of these firms vary depending on the product or service they offer and the markets they serve. To clarify a growth strategy a company should:
1. Understand what their strengths are, what they can do better than their competitors and what opportunities present themselves now and in the future.
2. Be clear on what they stand for individually and as a business, in other words their values, and what they would not do with their business even though it made money but conflicted with their values.
3. Understand what generates revenue and why, and conversely what doesn't and why.

Continual Improvement Strategy
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
Does continual improvement in all aspects of the delivery mechanism as a strategy in order to cope up with the internal and external changes for growth and sustainability make sense?

Mix Between Personal and Business Goals
Frans Vogels, Business Consultant, Netherlands, Member
I an working with SBOs in both the US and in The Netherlands. Personal goals of SBOs in the US differ from those in the Netherlands. Americans want to become rich and Dutchmen want to run a nice company with nice people and nice customers.
Moreover SBOs in both countries mix personal goals with business goals. The question is many times "what do you want" and not "what does the business want". The best thing to discuss is always "why do your customers choose your company and not your competitor". If they got that clear, there will be both company and personal growth.

Strategic Goals of Small Business Requires State of Consciousness
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
With regards to intrinsic goals, being the owner of a business, I believe that is a state of consciousness where energy of being starts getting aligned with spirit behind the business objective. That state cannot be attained unless the being is sufficiently prepared at physical, intellectual, emotional, bliss, conscious and subconscious aspects of the being.

Strategy Goals of a Small Business
tunde adeleye, Director, Nigeria, Member
My view as a small business owner is that the key issue is survival in two contexts:
- The Competition with large corporations.
- The Internal struggle within the systems which in most cases will determine the survival of such enterprise.
One of the strategic goals of a small business is surviving beyond this small business and grow to become a large corporation. It should survive and grow. So, what will make a small business survive and grow under present environment and challenges? Those are its strategic goals.

Advising Small Business Firms
salem ahmed, Manager, Yemen, Member
First: focus on listening to the customers what they want and compare that what you want. Through that you are strengthening the confidence of your customers in you. Then, be sure that all their questions are a part of your business. And initially don't focus on answering the questions, but focus on what the questions will be.

Strategic Goals for Small Business
Purity N. SIMIYU, Manager, Kenya, Member
In my view, the ability to create and develop consumer preference for your company's products is a key strategy for small business. This entails invention, innovation and market research.
Secondly, ensuring the daily operations are in line with the long term goals of the organisation. And ensuring sustainability of the existing market share and resources.
Growth is also important through market penetration, targeting niche markets through differentiation and advancement of products and services. .

Small Business Key Strategic Tools
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
A common mistake by small businesses is trying to compete versus big businesses using the same tools (weapons).
Be small, have some advantages that you can use. Here are 3 generic strategic small business tools:
1. Flexibility
2. Market Segmentation
3. Direct Contact With Customers.

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