How to Craft an Effective Growth Strategy
Learn how to craft a fully realized growth strategy, so you can continue to meet the market's needs and develop a competitive advantage.
March 10, 2020
Forecasting can give you incredible insight into your brewery’s future, but what are you forecasting for? What goals are you looking to accomplish with forecasting your future sales orders, required inventory and financial requirements? When used effectively, forecasting can be used as a benchmark to discover if you can achieve your growth strategy.
With this in mind, ask yourself, what is your growth strategy and how will it differentiate you from your competitors? If you are unsure, it’s time to devote time to craft your growth strategy.
Why is crafting your strategy important?
Your strategy is your roadmap. It tells your employees why your brewery exists and what you are aiming to become.
Your strategy is an integral part of your brewery's story. It speaks to your values, expertise and offerings.
Having a strategy provides context behind your operational goals. It answers why you are working on certain initiatives.
How to craft an effective, realized strategy
Craft your story
Crafting your story is important in the process of crafting an effective strategy because it will lay the foundation of who you are and who you want to be as well as help you determine your brewery’s strengths and weaknesses.
As a bonus, your story will help humanize your brand and differentiate it compared to other craft beverage businesses. Crafting your beverages are just half the story of a brewery. You need to have a story that builds personal and brand connections within your community.
For tips and tricks on writing your story, please read our blog, "Beer Branding 101: How to Determine Your Business's Story."
Determine what your team wants to accomplish within your next fiscal year by crafting a deliberate strategy
When people traditionally think of strategy, they think of executives getting into a boardroom to discuss the plan for the upcoming year. First you brainstorm, formulate a plan and then execute on it for the rest of the year. This type of strategy is known as a deliberate strategy.
Your brewery’s deliberate strategy is your goal post for the year. It provides the vision of where your brewery is heading, and the objectives needed to be accomplished to achieve your deliberate strategy.
Tips on crafting an effective deliberate strategy:
1. Spend 1-2 hours creating a SWOT analysis with a diverse group of employees
A SWOT analysis organizes your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and provides a foundation for your deliberate strategy for the year. Having a SWOT analysis on-hand when beginning to discuss and craft your strategy for the year provides the information you need to ensure that your objectives rely on your strengths and mitigates your weaknesses and potential threats in the market, so you can focus on taking advantage of your business's opportunities.
Creating a SWOT analysis doesn’t take long. All it takes is hosting a 1-2 hour(s) meeting with a diverse group of employees to brainstorm a list of your top strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats. You want to have a diverse group of employees to get diverse viewpoints. One tip for achieving this: have each employee fill out the SWOT analysis ahead of the meeting, to their best ability, and then come together to compare similarities, differences and align on the final list that feels most true for your brewery.
For more tips and tricks on how to create a SWOT analysis the right way, check out LivePlan’s guide on crafting an effective SWOT analysis. The article includes a list of questions to get you thinking in the right direction.
2. Break down your strategy into SMART Objectives
When creating each objective for each department, you want to ensure that each objective is SMART, meaning:
The objective is specific and it's easy to understand what needs to be done
The objective is measurable and attached to measurable metrics
The objective is achievable by a person within the time-frame and resources allotted
The objective is relevant to accomplishing your business's deliberate strategy
The objective is time-oriented with specific end points and due dates built into them
3. Ensure your deliberate strategy aligns with your company's story and vision, & helps foster a competitive advantage
To create a successful deliberate strategy, your leadership team needs to ensure that the strategy addresses these four questions:
Does your strategy address your audience's needs and wants?
Does your strategy layout how you'll increase your market share?
Does your strategy address how your operational processes need to change and outline the raw talent needed to achieve it?
Most importantly, does your strategy align with your story and what you want your business to become?
Ensure your strategy is flexible by leaving room for emergent strategies
While your deliberate strategy guides your business's actions for the year, it is only created at one point in time. As we all know, the market and your business’s objectives can change drastically throughout the year. There maybe times in the year that you need to revise your strategy to correspond to the changes occurring in the market. In combination with a deliberate strategy, your brewery needs to have processes in place to respond to opportunities and threats and to put in place emergent strategies.
Emergent strategies are strategies that are crafted by employees within your business who come up with ideas and strategies on-the-spot based on potential changes in the business and market that you could act upon.
The value of emergent strategies is simple. Your employees working the floors have information and expertise that your leadership team may not have ever thought of, so involving your employees in crafting your strategy can further increase your competitive advantage.
For example, an employee on the production floor has an idea to reduce bottlenecks within your production process. If you don’t have a process to hear out this employee, you could lose an opportunity to drastically reduce operational costs and increase your sales potential. Putting an emphasis on involving your workforce in crafting strategy can have huge financial and operational impacts on your business.
Tips to foster emergent strategy
1. Create an ideas portal focused on improving processes and your products
The reality is that your leadership team does not have enough time and resources to talk to every employee about operational improvements the brewery could make, so a way to involve everyone in crafting the brewery’s strategy is by implementing an ideas portal.
At Orchestra we have an ideas portal that all employees have access to where they can post their ideas to improve our software and add-ons. These are reviewed by our leadership team monthly, and many of them are often incorporated into our product roadmap.
2. Host Q&As where all employees can ask your leadership questions on strategies & processes
An ideas portal, while useful and does provide a place for employees to address their ideas to improve the brewery, does not mitigate the value of in-person communication. Hosting an optional company-wide meeting that provides employees a chance to ask questions to the leadership team can help employees feel heard and could provide amazing feedback that could drastically improve your business's operations.
3. Host process-improvement workshops to fix high priority problems
When a problem has been brought up several times by employees, it is sometimes useful to host a workshop to address the issue and find a solution with a selected group of employees. For example, if your production scheduling process is too complicated and has created many communication issues throughout your brewery, sometimes the quickest way to find a solution is to get a group of employees together and brainstorm solutions to reduce bottlenecks and improve communication between the team.
The market is ever changing, and so you must ensure that your business’s growth strategy is adaptable and perceptive to change. By fostering emergent strategy by involving your entire team in crafting your strategy, you strengthen your deliberate strategy, creating a fully realized strategy: A strategy, that when achieved, ensures your craft beverage business has a competitive advantage within the market.
One way you can begin to accomplish your fully realized strategy is by connecting your disparate systems through our all-in-one beverage management software, Orchestrated. Discover how our software can help your brewery realize your strategy through providing a single source of truth for your entire operation by signing up for a demo below.