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Why SMEs must have a decision making strategy

Traders sell their vegetables at Kangemi Market [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

How do businesses make important decisions? Is it by gut feelings, guidance from family members, or is there a written down business strategy to guide daily decision making?

In June 2021, WYLDE International carried out a Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Performance survey to find out the impact of the practice of business strategy on the success of SMEs.

WYLDE International, an innovative management consulting firm specialising in strategy development for SMEs, recently released its 2021 Strategy Pulse: An Analytical Report on Business Strategy Impact on SMEs 2020-2021.

Aiming to drive a culture of data-driven decision-making, WYLDE International conducted a baseline customised mobile-based survey to find out the role that strategy plays in building resilience and unlocking growth for SMEs.

The survey was carried out on 126 SMEs across 15 sectors whose business life cycles ranged from below a year to over 10 years; a combined 34 per cent of SMEs surveyed were below two years while 13 per cent were more than 10 years. The majority of the businesses-  65 per cent were in the bracket below a Sh2 million revenue.

Businesses with higher annual revenues had a business strategy plan, with 67 per cent of high revenue businesses relying a great deal on their strategic plans for the daily decision making.

"Lack of clarity will cost you and drag you down. Take advantage of external strategy experts who have experience and objectivity to help you develop and effectively execute your strategy,” said Director of Strategy at WYLDE Kiriinya Kithinji gave recommendations to the SME sector.

The survey findings showed that organisations with a turnover of Sh100 million and above carry out regular strategy reviews.

Due to the changing dynamics in the market, SMEs are being encouraged to review their strategies much more frequently and to use strategy to affect their day-to-day decision making.

Country Manager at Business Partners International Mike Muthengi, a panelist at the event, noted that “running a business without strategy is like driving a car without a dashboard."

"Having a good business strategy is not a threat to your finances but a growth plan that is a must-have when seeking funding,” he said.

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