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Whenever you set off across new territory you’ll want to consult a map, otherwise you’ll get lost.

Stepping forward into the unknown (also known as ‘the future’) is what companies do every day.

And what do they need to make sure they don’t get lost?

A strategy, of course, which some may also call a roadmap.

Whether you’re looking to set new business priorities, outline plans for growth, determine a product roadmap or plan your investment decisions, you’ll need a strategy.

Coming to the realisation that your organisation needs one is easy. Here are six simple steps to help you deliver an effective business strategy: To know where you’re heading, you have to know where you are right now.

So before you start looking ahead, you should review the past performance, or the current situation.

Look at each area of the business and determine what worked well, what could have been better and what opportunities lie ahead.

There are many tools and techniques available to help with this process, such as SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.

You should look internally at your strengths and weaknesses.

And for the opportunities and threats you should look at external factors.

A great framework for looking at external factors is PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental).