The Need for Realistic Self-Assessment Prior to Strategic Initiatives
Working with firms who vary in size, resources and technologies Vogel Management learned many firms fail to conduct a realistic self – assessment prior to embarking on a new initiative – – international or domestic. Often firms will retain “fresh eyes” to validate their self-assessment and identify gaps between self-perception and market reality. Key factors in this self-assessment should include:
- Strengths and Weaknesses. What are the firm’s key competitive advantages and where is the firm vulnerable to competition? Many firms mistakenly believe their domestic competitive position will ensure their competitiveness and success in global markets.
- Target Customers. Who are the firm’s customers in global markets and why will they purchase the firm’s product/service? Knowing the customer is key to success in any market; however many firms believe “hot buttons” for their product and services are uniform across all global markets. Importantly, a strong position in the domestic market does not necessarily translate into a strong global market position even with existing domestic customers.
- Competitive Position. One of the biggest mistakes firms make when entering global markets is to assume that customer behavior is the same throughout the world. Another common mistake is to assume “we have no competition” only to find strong competitors and a different basis of competition in global markets.
- Reaching the Customer. Firms often fail to answer the question “how will the firm deliver its product or service to the customer?” An interesting framework for analyzing issues and answers related to this question is presented in the 1992 Harvard Business Review article “Staple Yourself to an Order.” Vogel Management recommends this insightful article for its insight into both strategic and operational issues facing the client.
Realistic assessments are essential to all firms from the international market novice to the global multinational. Vogel Management delivers unbiased, actionable assessments that enable clients to improve performance and achieve success.
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