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ScaleUp Endeavor Workshop: Business Strategy

Updated: May 30, 2020

Francois Van Raemdonck, Partner at Bain & Company presenting on Business Strategy.

Why is a good business strategy vital in scaling your business?

It’s definitely not something new, but developing well-thought-out plans for the future tends to be relegated to a later stage in the business. Why do most entrepreneurs ignore the importance of it? The term “strategy” is simply defined as a plan designed to achieve a particular long-term or overall aim. In the business world, as defined in the ScaleUp Endeavor session by Bain & company, strategy is defined as:

  • Choices that set you on a path to full potential

  • A proprietary set of actions that serve customers better than the competition

  • The “science” of allocating scarce resources

So what are the elements of a good business strategy?

Good strategy and ambition

Focusing on good strategy and ambition, an entrepreneur needs to be able to verify if the company has an insurgent mission to redefine the industry. Can you describe your firm’s strategy in a few words? Does your firm aspire to build a leadership position in parts of your industry? By identifying and narrowing down a company’s mission, it allows entrepreneurs to direct their business in the right direction as it plays a part in helping businesses make sound decisions which will be beneficial to the revenue stream.

Clear focus

It’s great to dream big, but a start-up needs a pinpoint focus in the beginning to attract the market and investor attention. Plus, it is almost impossible to do everything at once. In terms of clear focus, what’s the definition of the market that your firm competes in? Are you defining your market too narrowly or too broadly? If so, what risks might result? Being focused allows you to have clear goals and objectives and your work is solely dedicated to achieving those goals and objectives.

Competitive advantage

Comparing your business to your competitors, can you explain your company’s competitive advantage in a few words? Which capabilities are most critical to your strategy? What advantages do your competitors have? Can you describe the most important eco-systems you are part of? With a competitive advantage, entrepreneurs will be able to distinguish their company from its competitors. Without it, it is difficult for companies to survive as having a competitive advantage is essential to a business success.

Ability to learn and adapt

Part of having a good strategy is to also ensure that entrepreneurs have the ability to learn and adapt. Entrepreneurs need to prepare for any changes in the industry to embrace challenges better, become a better leader and to always be relevant. How will the industry evolve? Is your company well prepared for the change? Does your team have the skills of business-building? Some of the ways to develop your adaptability skills are:

  • Learn from others

  • Find the silver lining in the work you do

  • Be willing to make mistakes

  • Ask questions

Scale insurgence journey

How to be both big and fast? Are you on a path to become a scale insurgent? How are you doing on these dimensions? Will your culture allow you to adapt quickly? Entrepreneurs will need to support those in the firm’s mission-critical roles rather than spending days shuffling information, allocating resources, creating routines and issuing instructions to their subordinates in order to become a scale insurgent company.


This blog is based on the key takeaways from our first workshop focused on Business Strategy organised for the 15 selected high-potential ScaleUp Endeavor companies. In collaboration with Bain & Company as part of the global partnership with Endeavor, the workshop was aimed to help these companies in understanding the top-of-mind concerns, brainstorm and prioritize issues to consider and co-create a high-level approach for each solution. Big shoutout to our ScaleUp Endeavor partners: TIME dotCom, CIMB Bank, Prudential Assurance Malaysia, Bain and Company and our venue partner, Common Ground for supporting this event!

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