• Ricardo Benitez

Are You Looking to 'Find Your Strategy'?

I can’t help but cringe when I hear someone talk about strategy as the way you “make money fast.” Yes, that is most definitely one of the expected outcomes, but it’s also just one part of the journey. There is so much more to what truly encompases a strategy and the way one is able to synchronize every element makes all the difference in this process.


Too often do we come across business leaders who think a great idea will sell itself and that the only thing that needs to be done is to get out and sell without thinking it through or giving their teams any direction other than “go make us money.” Quite honestly, after seeing this happen so many times I have come to believe that this frame of mind often leads to the demise of organizations that once had great potential. (I guess it’s easier to focus on a crisp 1-dollar bill than to notice the five quarters you passed along the way…)


A corporation may be a person through a legal fiction but, just as a real person, there is a lot more to it than what it does. Aside from focusing on what a corporation does, we also have to know why it does it, how it does it, and who it does it for before we define a sustainable long-term strategy. Strategies, like life plans, come from within but cannot ignore the external elements that will allow it to prosper. More often than not, management is too close to realize whether or not all these elements have been considered when defining their strategy.



Context

Just as when rearing a child, we always think we know best when it comes to the way we “raise” our business. However, as time passes the wise learn that it is completely fine - or encouraged - to ask for an outsider’s opinion, even if just to be sure they are heading in the right direction. Without a doubt, being too close to something never fails to cause someone to miss the big picture, robbing them from the chance to truly take it all in and understand what is working and what needs to be improved.


At Alamo Solutions, not only are we committed to enabling you to see the big picture, we also take responsibility to suggest any necessary changes to improve chances of success. As an extension of your team and as your partners, our purpose isn’t to get you out the door as soon as possible by selling you generic advice and wishing you well… we need you to do well and be the best you can be, because we win when you win.


With this in mind, Alamo Solutions has a diverse team with experience in management, strategy, international and local laws and regulations, communications, accounting, and many other areas that come together to allow us to enhance your success. Our mission is to take a deep dive into the nitty gritty of your organization and its diverse teams and subcultures to truly understand who you are, what you’re doing and why. This 360 analysis allows us to understand your strengths and areas for improvement, and help you design a strategy that uses all your resources (and ours) to their fullest in order to pursue long-term and sustainable growth.


The Client

One example that comes to mind happened with a company that had one of the most disruptive products that has come across our desks at Alamo Solutions. This company, dealing in SAS, was holding the keys to many of the problems that modern companies face and had a clear service many would be interested in. Knowing this, the company’s management thought the only thing they had to do was offer it to customers in the USA (sell), leading them to take the US market by storm overnight.


If you have read this far you can imagine there was a huge flaw in this company’s strategy… mainly in that there was no strategy. Thankfully, this is where Alamo Solutions stepped in.


The Process

Once Alamo Solutions and this company joined forces, our team had the opportunity to dive into their daily operations, understanding their business model and the different roles in the organization. In addition, we were able to observe how their internal culture impacted their strategy definition. In little over a month, the Alamo team was on its way to become an extension of our client’s team and enough trust had been established for the hard part to take place… tell them what we found.


This analysis of the organization, designed to quickly bring out strengths and areas of improvement, enabled us to have a unique perspective capable of identifying both low hanging fruit and larger strategic opportunities. While the company had successfully grown a client base in their home country, this model wasn’t necessarily going to work when entering the US market and certain changes were needed to secure a more sustainable long-term growth in the US.


By understanding the company better, we were able to discover that their value proposition was not clear and they lacked a coherent mission to guide their team. Once we helped them define their own value proposition they truly understood what they had to offer to the target market and, together, we were able to define a strong strategy for US entry. Knowing exactly what they brought to the table enabled us to identify key strategic partners in the US that would generate mutual benefits and accelerate their international launch.


Wrongly identifying their value proposition had become an invisible handicap. However, once corrected, this gave way to the identification of strategic ecosystems and how this company fit into them. Their strategy went from “let’s find clients and sell like crazy,” to “this is who we really are as a whole, and this is why the market needs us, let’s get the word out,” thanks to our fresh perspective and genuine interest in helping them prosper. This apparently simple, but potent, insight opened the gates to an entire rebranding which paved the way to a successful expansion which was easily understood by American stakeholders and helped advance adoption in this new market.


Outcomes

Due to the hard work and commitment of the Alamo Solutions team, this company was able to:

  • Truly understand themselves and the target market, and learn that what they have to offer their target market is a solution and not just a product to sell.

  • Empower their team to identify opportunities and overcome challenges together.

  • Seek to establish long-term relationships leveraged on their newly identified differentiators (which weren’t just a good product) with local partners in the US who ultimately catapulted their success in this market. This has guaranteed a self-sustaining US operation for the company.

  • Generate a name and reputation in the target market which preceded their hard launch, greatly improving the success of cold calls once sales kicked off.


Lessons Learned

For a strategy to be successful it must come from within and from top to bottom; you must truly understand all the cards you have drawn to foresee your odds to win based on your skill at playing them. Knowing who you are, what you truly have to offer, and the ecosystem you are trying to enter will improve your odds for longstanding success. Rather than simply trying to sell and compete, it’s easier to break market barriers when the market understands you will make it better.


Not too different from the way one nurtures their friendships; when you support your partners towards achieving their goals the success is mutual. It is no secret that you can go much further if you are rowing with others in the same direction, rather than going at it alone in search of individual gain. We all want to reach the same place and Alamo can get you there faster by helping you define a strategy to identify those that will help you get there together.

Let us do this for you.