Any kind of business strategy is flawed in that you cannot be completely sure of what the future holds. But crystal balls aren't needed to make accurate predictions - what's more useful is an understanding of present trends.
Some of the biggest mistakes in business strategy arise when the manager is unable to see past his own nose - for instance, when Detroit's car giants didn't spot the trend of smaller cars, unlike the Japanese companies; or when IBM similarly overlooked smaller computers.
Business strategy experts like Faith Popcorn of BrainReserve reached conclusions by careful observation of the present rather than looking at the past. But no wild estimates are made about the future, in which absolutely anything can happen.
The Popcorn Report, Faith's book, contains predicted big trends that are difficult to argue with because they are already happening. For instance:
'Cocooning' - people using their homes for activities more commonly done away from the home in the past, an example being internet shopping.
'Ergonomics' - designing a product according to the needs and desires of the customer, whether through high or low tech means.
'Down-aging' - a refusal of people to grow old, for example with anti-aging products.
'Staying alive' - the trend towards health and fitness, witnessed by the explosion of popularity of alternative medicine.
'Save our society' - the green revolution and growth in popularity of environmentally friendly products and recycling.
'99 lives' - the growing trend for 'fast' everything, not just food, as people live 99 lives a day.
A great many entrepreneurs have already built their business strategy around these ever growing trends and are reaping the benefits. To join their ranks, you have to emulate Popcorn and keep your eyes and ears peeled to spot the present trends and gain a full understanding of them. Observe the business strategies used by the big companies - they don't get it wrong very often.
But rather than jump on any bandwagon, you have to create your very own business strategy from the current trends.Business Strategy And Trends
The above article was written by Robert Heller, renowned management expert and co-author of management and business strategy website Thinking Managers along with world renowned thinker and creativity expert Edward de Bono.