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60. Corporate Strategy and Igor Ansoff for small business (part 1)

Igor Ansoff (1918-2002) pretty much invented the concept of corporate strategy – all of course based on large corporate organisations (he worked with Rand Corp and Lockheed). But small businesses also have to make strategic decisions so what he had to say can be relevant. Ansoff drew a qualitative line between strategic decisions which were fundamental […]

59. Management by Walking Around for small business

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are not just famous for their computer company – they named the concept of Management by Walking Around, which had a period of popularity and prominence some decades ago – and perhaps its a bit of a shame that it has been somewhat forgotten these days. In large corporates its easy for […]

58. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (part 8)

Having looked at the five forces Michael Porter identifies in Competitive Advantage, Porter goes on to develop a theory of  what he calls the Value Chain in business. This looks at the elements in any business (some of which will not be very applicable to certain types of business) including processes:  inbound logistics, operations, marketing and […]

57. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 7)

Michael Porter’s third generic strategy in Competitive Advantage is focus. In some ways, differentiation (see the last post) and focus go hand in hand. They are both ways of setting yourself apart from the competition and appealing most strongly to a segment, but differentiation is focused on the product or service and looks to modify […]

56. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 6)

Michael Porter’s second generic strategy in Competitive Advantage is Product Differentiation. Product Differentiation is about your product being perceived as different from other competitive offerings. It may be that the difference is real – your product or service is faster, healthier, safer, more reliable, bigger, smaller etc. (If so, it is only relevant if these […]

55. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 5)

In Competitive Advantage, Michael Porter identified the five forces affecting market attractiveness and profitability which have been outlined in more detail in previous posts. These were Power of Customers, Power of Suppliers, Industry existing competition, the Threat of New Entrants and the Threat of Substitutes. From this analysis, Poter reasoned that there were only three […]

54. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 4)

Michael Porter’s book, Competitive Advantage, identified 5 forces that determine the likely profitability of a business, and we have discussed four of these in previous blogs, namely the Rivalry of Customers, of Suppliers and the level of internal market competition, representing forces internal to the market and then the threat of new entrants as the first outside force. The […]

53. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 3)

Having looked at Michael Porter’s first three forces from  his book, Competitive Advantage, the internal ones of Buying Power of Customers, Buying Powere of Suppliers and the existing Competitive Rivalry in the industry, we can now move on to the first external market force, the Threat of New Entrants. Some markets are inherently very difficult to enter, […]

52. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 2)

The third of Michael Porter’s Five Forces affecting market attractiveness  identified in his 1985 book Competitive Advantage is the level of Competitive Rivalry in the Industry. The degree of competition affects the price a service can command and ultimately the survival of the players in it. Porter was thinking of large national and global industries […]

51. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 1)

Porter is the strategic planning and strategic marketing guru of the late eighties and nineties. He is very much one of the acedemic business gurus but his ideas – and even his vocabulary – have become part of the fabric of how we talk about business and marketing. His terms competitive advantage and the value chain […]

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