It seems to be that million dollar word that some perceive scary, others don’t understand and many throw around as if it‘s the flavour of the month.

If we look at the business dictionary definition of strategy we come across the art and science of planning & marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use. In other words; a business strategy is a long term plan of action to achieve a goal, set of goals or objectives by allocating resources wisely.

In theory this sound great but in reality it is easier said than done as it can and will go wrong at some point if we don’t keep our eyes on the price.

So what are some of these common failures?

As advisors we often see ambitious and detailed business models, however upon scratching the surface a little, we notice that their feasibility shows serious gaps; revenue opportunity is too limited, costs have been underestimated and much needed key partners are non-existent or not interested.

A second failure can be attributed to the misreading or misinterpretation of the environment and its limitations. How are technological trends, politics and customer preferences going to impact our plan? Some industry giants kept ignoring those factors and let’s have a look where they are now…anybody seen Kodak lately?

On the third spot would be the failure to properly action the strategy. Looking back at the definition above it is foremost an ACTION PLAN that needs to be properly implemented, managed, controlled and adjusted if needed.

So for people that need some clarity on strategy or to whom this is a completely new topic we propose an easy four-step process filled with the most useful tools and techniques for an existing business or a new one.

The 4 major steps and some of the key questions to ask oneself:

Define your position & evaluate the environment

  • Who do we cater to? What are their preferences, needs and wants?
  • What influences might current and future trends represent on our business
  • How stable is the political and economic situation?
  • Where my real risks are and what opportunities am I not looking at?

Develop your strategy

  • What are we doing?
  • Where do we want to get to?
  • How are we going to go about it without compromise?
  • What’s my business model? What are the revenue streams and costs?
  • Can I communicate it easily?

Make a plan and action it

  • What are the priorities?
  • Who will implement?
  • How will I measure progress & goal achievement?

Manage your strategy

  • Am I scheduling, keeping track of actions and goals?
  • Do I review and am I capable of adapting where necessary?

No matter how you twist the “strategy beast” it remains an obstacle to many and a hard case to crack. Throughout our Career Development Module: “Defining business strategies” we try to shed light on strategic thinking and structure the strategic process together with our participants.


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Olivier Verschelde Senior Consultant

Prior to joining Lausanne Hospitality Consulting Olivier has been involved in managing a new boutique hotel & spa project near Paris as well as taking the lead in the setup of several food and beverage outlets from conceptualization to startup.

One of these being a gastronomic restaurant which received its first Michelin guide star five months after its initial opening.

Olivier graduated from the Ecole Hotelière Lausanne in 2003 and has been building up his knowledge of operations in hospitality industry ever since. He confirmed his expertise in managing projects by obtaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2012. He has worked several years on high profile projects within Switzerland and has consequently a good understanding of both the local and national market.

His is a native Dutch speaker and also speaks in English, French, German as well as Spanish. He’s always on the lookout to apply the latest in technological advancement within the industry to current projects.

Besides from being a certified scuba-diver he enjoys a good game of golf or can be found in his kitchen cooking up some new dishes with a good glass of wine.