The importance of knowing what not to do in business

The importance of knowing what not to do in business
"The essence of a good strategy is knowing, and choosing, what not to do." - Mathieu Dumont

The strategy is a concept that has its roots in military history, when the high authorities of the army had to plan their campaigns and movements of war.

Today, the term strategy is overused and often misunderstood in the business world. If we were to describe it for Dummies, strategy is the way you bring your business and products from where you are to where you want to be. Present this way, it's pretty simple, is not it? Why always have to complicate things?

When you focus on the marketing portion of a product, for example, it's about identifying the choices that need to be made to overcome the barriers that are required. Often choosing what not to do is as important as knowing what needs to be done.

For start-up companies, it is just as possible to follow a bad strategy as good.

A good strategy
A good strategy should come from an analysis of the product and its objectives. A good introductory approach is to perform a SWOH (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Hazards) analysis.

The FFOD approach is one of the most popular systems for this type of audit. To be effective, this thinking should be conducted with both middle managers and front-line employees across the organization, not just at the top. A good strategy requires an analysis of the competition and all the dangers for the organization.

Be aware, this type of analysis can lead to painful decisions. In addition, in some cases it may be good to conduct this analysis even before the product is created.

Once completed, this exercise should result in a strategy that sets clear objectives that capitalize on the strengths of the product and the company. A good strategy needs to be flexible if external factors change. The term "Agile" should be applicable here.

A bad strategy as for it goes often with a goal or a simplistic vision. It is easy to determine empty and unquantifiable goals to simply get motivated, without getting results as well.

Realistically, entrepreneurs determined to pursue a bad strategy will ignore the issues and focus on the choices available. Rather than making difficult decisions, they will attempt to respond to a multitude of conflicting claims and interests in order to meet a pre-established plan. Managers of these circumstances are likely to follow old ideas and approaches that no longer work, rather than work on new ones.

As we move into a new digital age, such a mentality is bound to fail. It is therefore necessary to know how to equip ourselves with modern mechanisms and practices in order to be able to determine in a concrete way what interventions need to be put in place.

To get ready to set your strategy for upcoming product launch, you need to do an analysis to understand:

  1. What are your strengths such as: the quality of your product, your level of expertise, the customer experience, the ease of use of your product, etc.
  2. What are your weaknesses such as: your production capacity, your availability, the versatility of your product, etc.?
  3. What are your opportunities such as: developing a new product, a market change, etc.
  4. And finally, what are the dangers that you face such as: the strengths of your competition, the limitation of financial and human resources, emerging technologies, etc.?
  5. Following this analysis, you will be in a good position to set clear goals and where to focus your efforts.


Your work does not stop when your product is on the market, but when it generates revenue. A marketing strategy can not guarantee you winnings, but it can certainly limit or eliminate your losses. Now it's up to you to make a good read of your audience and to present the value (not to be confused here with the price) of your product.

Here are some tips that may be interesting to consider for your marketing strategies:
  1. Advertising on Facebook
  2. Adwords Advertising
  3. Collaboration by writing blog post ue
  4. Partnership with web influencers
  5. Hashtag Takeovers
  6. Social networks watch
  7. Intervention and positioning on specialized forums
  8. Newsletter and Email Marketing
  9. Establish mass offers
  10. Writing an introductory ebook


Be creative, but above all, listen to your audience. Never lose sight of the fact that your client always dictates the direction of your business, although you often refuse to admit it. A good marketing strategy is not about what you offer, but about what your customer needs. Have a nice day!