Successful strategy and tactics

Dust down your business and give its strategy a good, honest workout with our Sage Business Expert Olwen Dawe

To assist you in your bid, here are a few key steps:

1. Start as you mean to go on

The “R” word (not recession, the other one!) exists because it’s good to set goals and reset the negatives. Had a few lousy months or a project that didn’t fly? Now’s the time to get a few new ideas going, learn from mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell on what hasn’t worked… it’s a pointless exercise

Set one rule for yourself, and that is simply to ensure you start as you mean to go on – and work to remove the issues holding you back. Be fair to your business strategy: don’t allow experiential blocks to impede progress… accept what can’t be changed and adapt how you deal with similar issues.

2.Target practice

One of the things I am fascinated by, is a sense that having goals is enough, in and of itself, to actualise these same goals. Nope! You need to work on identifying the route-map for achieving them. This can involve a little ‘target’ practice (e.g. research, analysis, or using the grey matter and sketching out new ideas, products or services).

3. Understand what success looks like

When I worked in corporate-land, many years ago, we used a statement which really helped to actualise projects and bring about results – and that was an understanding of what ‘good looked like’. So, in your business, what does ‘success’ look like?

We’re all different, and aspire to different personal and professional goals. Know what your business’s look like and build your business strategy to reflect ‘success’. Remember – target practice! Having goals is not enough, you need the roadmap.

4. Appoint a non-executive task-master

Also known as an advisor, mentor or accountability partner. Hugely important in the regular health-checking of business strategy and ensuring that key objectives are being met (and if not, why not?).

5. Bulletins

Keep your eye on progress and set regular “bulletins” – communication is one of the key tenets of successful businesses… so keep your people informed about progress. If you’re a sole operator, then ensure you keep yourself informed by interacting with colleagues, stakeholders and relevant organisations on trends, changes and opportunities.

Remember: this is a time to think of opportunity, action and results, so get moving and work-out your strategy! What’s yours?

Olwen Dawe

Founder of Irish Business Intelligence

Olwen Dawe is an experienced communicator, project manager and advisor. Through her business Irish Business Intelligence, Olwen offers key services to SMEs, economic and enterprise development projects and organisations, and the media. Olwen is an advocate of female entrepreneurship and is currently Secretary and Vice President Designate of Network Ireland. Olwen blogs at

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