Good Strategy begins with assessing your Business’s Capability & Capacity

2021 has begun with a flurry of activity as we all continue to adapt to an everchanging landscape and plan strategically for an unknown future.

The shifting sands of strategy faced in 2020 will continue well into 2021.

Companies can no longer make decisions based on flight or fight responses, and everyone needs to assess their business’s capabilities and capacities before we can begin to build good strategy. A core focus for the ECA in 2021 across our training and support programs will be helping businesses develop good strategy to succeed in the unpredictable arena of international trade.

Begin with an assessment of 2020 and review how your domestic and export markets evolved. What similarities between your sales channels emerged and what lessons do they take into 2021? Can you through your reporting mechanisms, obtain clear view over pricing trends, inventory control and competitor’s activities. Reporting and the speed at which you report is key to weathering the changing landscape. The fluctuation and volatility of domestic, regional and international trade aren’t eliminated and there will be further hints of disruption along your sales and supply channels. You will need to remain agile in your approach and willing to continually evolve.
Moving forward, your capacity, resources and ability to scale will be tested. Consider how your financial situation has changed. Many businesses are still reigning in bad debt from 2020 and gaining control of cashflow will be critical to your success. Allow an assessment of your capacity to inform your financial plans for growth in 2021.

Next, look inward at your capabilities and how they have been stretched. We have seen new structures employed across a wide range of industries and the development of new expectations across workforces. Many businesses have become much flatter in decision making as they have adapted to the necessity of becoming more agile in decision making.

Where does your business rate on efficiency and speed of communication that is required for making strategic decisions? How are your teams placed and what is their attitude that they have returned with for 2021? The culture of your business has never been more important.

Businesses can no longer rely on old cultural structures; they must be cultures of accountability and learning in order to succeed. It is a business’s responsibility to rebuild staff capabilities to propel them towards the overall corporate objectives. With the world still changing, it’s time to realign.

Finally, a key activity across 2021 should be to assess and review your business’s digital position and data analytics. A digital position is no longer a choice, and most Australian exporters have not devoted adequate resources or skills to build a digital position. If you do not possess a strong digital position, then you will need to look outside of your organisation for the specific skills set. A digital position is a valuable investment and asset.
The ECA is focusing on developing skills and resources to assist exporters plan and measure their capabilities and capacities. These resources will be delivered through online training modules, webinars and face to face seminars. The ECA will also be offering a series of consulting and mentoring services to support businesses in 2021. If you would like to enquire about any of these services, please do not hesitate to contact the ECA at