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FT Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy: How to Use Strategic Planning to Start Up or Grow Your Business

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FT Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy: How to Use Strategic Planning to Start Up or Grow Your Business

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  • Copyright 2014
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-375111-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-375111-6

Want to take your company to the next level?  You need a roadmap, a strategy.  Preferably one that is simple, workable and saleable.  This book provides you with just that.  It sets out a straightforward strategy development process, the ‘Strategy Pyramid’, and guides you through it.  It uses a lively central case study throughout, as well as drawing on examples of how real businesses have developed winning strategies.  Whether you are intent on growing your business, or setting out on your start-up, this book offers an uncomplicated, practical and readable guide on how to get the strategy you need for your business to succeed.

It offers sound advice on the following areas:

  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Forecasting market demands
  • Gauging industry competition
  • Tracking competitive advantage
  • Targeting the strategic gap
  • Bridging the gap with business strategy
  • Bridging the gap with corporate strategy
  • Addressing risk and opportunity

The FT Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy will help businesses of all sizes to chart and realise their growth ambitions.

Sample Content

Table of Contents


Why strategy?

What is strategy?

What is the output?

What is the outcome?

What is a strategic plan?

What is strategic planning?

The Strategy Pyramid

Business vs corporate strategy

Part One: Strategy Development

1. Knowing Your Business  

Identifying key segments

   Essential example: Apple’s saviour segments

Segmentation in a start-up

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd - the business

2. Setting Goals and Objectives

Setting long-term goals

Essential example: Life at Mars

Setting SMART objectives

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – goals and objectives

3. Forecasting Market Demand  

Sizing the market

Forecasting market demand

   Essential tool: Moving averages

   Essential example: No wrap for the cinema

Forecasting demand for a start-up

Market demand risks and opportunities

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – market demand

4. Gauging Industry Competition  

Assessing competitive intensity

Assigning customer purchasing criteria

Deriving key success factors

Essential tool: Economies of scale

Essential example: Jessops is shuttered

Gauging competition in a start-up

Industry competition risks and opportunities

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – industry competition

5. Tracking Competitive Advantage

Rating competitive position

   Essential tool: Product/market risk

Reviewing resources and capabilities

   Essential tool: The value chain

Essential example: The everlasting Monsoon

Creating competitive advantage in a start-up

   Essential example: Of diet, dance and detectives

Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – competitive advantage

6. Targeting the Strategic Gap

Targeting the portfolio gap

Targeting the capability gap

Profiling the ideal player

Specifying the target gap

Essential example: Could Liverpool FC be champions again?

Targeting the gap in a start-up

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – strategic gap

7. Bridging the Gap: Business Strategy  

Opting for a generic strategy

Essential tool: The experience curve

Strategic repositioning and shaping profit growth options

Essential tool: Uncontested market space

Making the strategic investment decision

   Essential example: Sainsbury’s fights back

Bridging the gap for a start-up

Business strategic risks and opportunities

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – business strategy

8. Bridging the Gap: Corporate Strategy

Optimising the corporate portfolio

Essential tool: The growth/share matrix

Creating value from mergers, acquisitions and alliances

Essential tool: Parenting value

Building strategically valuable resources

Essential tool: Core competences

Essential example: UU U-turn

Corporate strategic risks and opportunities

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – corporate strategy

9. Addressing Risk and Opportunity

Reviewing plan in a market context

Appraising opportunity versus risk

Essential tool: Expected value and sensitivity analysis

Essential example: Britney does it again

   Essential case study: Extramural Ltd – risk and opportunity

Part Two: Strategic Planning

10. The Strategic Plan

   Strategy + Business Plan = Strategic Plan

   Contents of a strategic plan

Reviewing the plan

11. The Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning in a multi-business corporation

Essential tool: Deliberate vs emergent strategy

Strategic planning in a small or medium-sized enterprise

Strategic planning for a start-up



Structured interviewing

Further Reading




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