As you know, the success of a company never comes by random. When you count on random you might have to wait… When you count on your hard work you look for the best return. To optimize your work you need to understand which are the keys that lead to success in the strategic activity domain you have chosen.
I propose to do this exercise in two steps. In the first step I invite you to imagine someone, you really appreciate and you would like to help, asks you the question “what is needed to have success in your activity?” Take a sheet of paper and write down everything that pops up in your mind.
If by no means you don’t know how to go about with this question maybe the 4 P’s of the marketing mix might bring inspiration e.g. What is important regarding pricing? Which features the product or service must absolutely have? etc.
It happens very often that this list is very long and that’s why I suggest a second step. If we defined to many key success factors, the risk we get lost in the details is too important. When this situation should show up, the different elements must be chunked or grouped. For example if you have different points regarding pricing, try to bring them under one statement. Ideally you will have 6 to 10 key success factors.
Enter the key success factors you defined in the first column under chapter 2 of the SST document (download here) and describe in the second column why this is a key success factor. You have now defined what is important and fixed your focus on what you consider essential in the business domain you deploy your activities.
Time has come now to assess your performance for each of the key success factors. This assessment needs to be done on two levels. In the third column describe how you judge your proper performance regarding the key success factor. In the last column quote your assessment between 0 and 10.
Quotes between 0 and 3 can be considered as a weakness and those between 7 and 10 as a strength. The in between can be considered as an average performance.
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You have now created an “objective” framework within which is not only useful to assess your own performance but also the performance of your competitors. In our next article we will help you using this framework in order to assess your competition.
To your success!
PS I share this method, as I want to help SMB’s and small organizations to enhance their strategic approach. Any constructive remarks are welcome and will be taken in consideration to improve the method for the benefit of all users. Thank you!