“The essence of a strategy is choosing what not to do.”, once said Michael Porter, a renowned Harvard management guru.

With possibilities galore, there is always a tendency to follow too many options for business growth. A strategic focus becomes paramount as a result. If not for a result-oriented approach to business strategy, companies would lose sight of their goal to grow.

Here are the five ways:

1. Identifying competency: To begin with, identify things a business in your sector can do. Take a look at its strength. You must let go things that you cannot do & pick those you can do the best instead. Easier said than done if you are an existing conglomerate or a large business house, right? In non-banking finance, infrastructure financing is a high-value business. There are many other forms of lending a non-banking finance company can get into. For instance, we chose to focus on retail finance.

2. Technology: Once you identify your competitive strength, pick a technology that will let you get to your customer faster. Use it to make your service efficient. A strategic focus will ensure that you will extract the right solution needed from the technology prowess that you build.

3.Innovation: The next thing to work on is innovation. You got to differentiate your product or service. There is no other way you can stand in the fiercely competitive world. The innovation could be either through unique features of the offering or solving a major problem. For example, in finance and banking sectors, the activity to fill up customer application forms, maintain and verify records and approve loans each time you buy something slows the whole process. We took this head-on with a retail EMI card. The customer gets a pre-approved loan amount and can buy multiple things up to that level on EMI.

4. Disruption: When you innovate, you disrupt existing markets for products or services. When you use technology actively, you disrupt the standards of productivity and lift them. Every time you do something, you must question. Is this the best way to do a particular thing? That leads to new solutions or products that could trigger disruption. While nobody starts with a plan to disrupt the market, a strategic focus is a step towards it.

5. Focus on profit: Chasing growth is good but it needs to be a profitable one too. You cannot only focus on revenue and forget about profits. You got to set goals at all levels and ensure that a result-oriented approach is the only way forward. Any action has to have a goal. For business, it has to be profit. It cannot be sacrificed for a faster growth that ends up putting a strain on company resources. At Bajaj Finance, this is a mantra we follow from the word ‘go’.

We would love to know your point of view on this article. What according to you are the ways to make ‘strategic focus’ work for your business?