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Do You Have a Strategy? My Research Says Only 1 in 10 Do.

One of the big topics I try to get people to think through is:

  • Do I have a strategy?

I did research about 18 months ago that said that 40% of businesses will admit they don’t have a clear, compelling strategy when put on the spot.

That leaves 60% of businesses that say that they do…

Or, I should say, think that they do.

Of that 60%, 80% of those strategies when tested don’t stand up to the test of strategy which is a set of clear decisions:

  • Who is the customer?
  • Why are they picking us?

That means that approximately 12% of businesses really have a strategy.

I honestly think that is high from my work.

With that in mind, I did a thing I called “First Wednesdays with Dave” and I laid out some things to think about if you are trying to lay out a strategy for 2024.

One place that I see a lack of strategy show up over and over again is in the way that budgets are set.

I put together a short piece about the approach to budgeting, but I have to say that my thinking on zero based budgeting has been influenced by Professor Mark Ritson and the way he teaches the topic in Marketing Week Mini MBA with Mark Ritson.

His piece on the topic is a pretty good primer.

Where does your thinking on your business begin?

For too many folks, it starts with the product.

That’s wrong.


Because the most important thing is the customer.

Do you know the difference between customer oriented and product oriented?

Red Lobster’s all you can eat shrimp seems like a great promotion on the surface, but remember: “Discounts are for dummies!” and most of the time basing your price on your COGS isn’t going to allow you to price effectively.

Don’t forget to join me for my next ‘First Wednesday with Dave’ on January 3rd, 2024 at 1 PM Eastern to talk about kickstarting 2024 the right way.