Business to business expansion outside your confer zone including cross border transactions require trust and an perfect planning to be successful. Such kind of important steps rely on a good defined Relationship Development Process.

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CONSULTING BALKAN Business strategy development services.

New technologies and products have changed the way we do business more in the last twenty years than the previous hundred. Entire industries have arisen and disappeared in a rapidly changing environment that is still accelerating. From the corner store to a media empire, no-one is unaffected, but whoever adapts, survives and thrives.

So how do you navigate your business through interesting times? You have a strategy and someone by your side to help you realise it.

CONSULTING BALKAN strategies aren’t documents that are read and filed away. They are adaptive tools that you can put to use every day to keep you focused on your purpose, deliver on your promise, steer your business on its mission and stay true to its vision.

Business strategy isn’t just about the big picture or outward focus, we can help you with the small things that make huge differences. How to minimise waste, structure your purchasing better, read the signals in the data your business produces every day and recognise the warnings and opportunities the moment they arise.

Business strategy has to be built on good intelligence, and our network of advisors have deep expertise in specific niches as well as a broad understanding of national and local trends. What’s just over the horizon that is truly disruptive and what is just a fad that will have no real effect?

What’s the right amount of growth? What segments, products, territories are going to yield the best results for effort? We can help you with these and many more questions to ensure your growth strategy is focussed and you achieve the best outcome for your effort.


CONSULTING BALKAN business solution advisors’ knowledge and experience will help you sift the signal from the noise and help you understand all your options. They are also experts in helping you put them into action.

Step 1. Business Strategy development

Business Strategy development :(or Strategic) management is the art, science, and craft of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its long-term objectives.


Step 2. Viability study.

Viability study.  To determines whether the Business Strategy development is "feasible". This would involve determining whether it is technologically possible to achieve and whether it is practical in the current technological, economical and social scenario. 

The viability study can contain following steps

  1. Preparation for planning through the identification and review of information relevant for strategy analysis
  2. Performing high-level environmental scan looking at the internal and external business environment with consideration for mission, vision, stakeholders, structure, existing plans, people profiles, and question responses.
  3. Applying a choice of different tools and techniques to analyze the present state of a business environment and mapping out its future.

Including some of the more common analysis tools and techniques:

  1. VMOST: This stands for Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategy, and Tactical. Success in an organization happens with top-down or bottom-up alignment. I was recently reminded of is when working with a client who stated that their tactical is not connected to the strategy. VMOST analysis is meant to help make that connection. 
  2. SWOT: The standard analysis tool, defined as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  
  3. PEST: This is a great tool to use in tandem with SWOT. The acronym stands for Political, Economic, Social and Technology. 
  4. SOAR: This stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. This is a great tool if you have a strategic plan completed, and you need to focus on a specific impact zone. 
  5. Boston Matrix (product and service portfolio): This tool requires you to analyze your business product or service and determine if it is a cash cow, sick dog, questionable, or a flying star. 
  6. Porter’s Five Forces: This tool helps you understand where your business power lies in terms of present competitiveness and future positioning strength. It forces you to analyze the bargaining power of suppliers and customers, the threats to new entrants and substitutes, and competitive rivalry in your marketplace. 
  7. Maturity Models: There are many maturity models that can be applied to a business. From the evolution model, the technology model, to the team model. The idea is that every business or department goes through a maturity cycle. The standard cycle is chaotic, reactive, proactive, service, and value.  
  8. Root Cause Analysis: This is important, as there are times in the strategy analysis process you need to dig deeper into a problem. This is where RCA is used. The key is that you need to identify and specify the problem correctly, analyze the root cause using a systematic approach, verify the causes, and determine the corrective actions. Implementation of the corrective action is extremely important.


Step 3. Business Plan development

Business Plan development: Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you've spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper. The following pages will describe in detail the twelve essential sections of a business plan: 

Project Operations Plan.

  1. Executive Summary.
  2. Elevator Pitch.
  3. SWOT.
  4. Goals.
  5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  6. Crucial Resources and contracts.
  7. Operational and financial forecasts.
  8. Risk Assessment (sensitive and Monte Carla)
  9. Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
  10. Marketing Plan development .
  11. Business Operating development 
  12. Financial Due diligence.

Step 4. Financing strategy development

Financing strategy development: It sets out how the organisation plans to finance its overall private equity and dept structure to meet its objectives now and in the future to realize the defined goals from the business plan . A financing strategy summaries targets, and the actions to be taken over a three to five year period to achieve the targets.


Step 5. Implementation Plan.

Implementation Plan . 

Even the most well-thought-out business plan is just a stack of paper if it isn’t coupled with clear guidelines on your path toward implementation of the business plan. Your implementation plan is the section of your greater business plan, where you’ll clarify objectives, assign tasks with deadlines, and chart your progress toward reaching goals and milestones that'll signal the growth of your business.

Here are the four key guidelines for successful implementation:

  1. 1. Defining Clear Objectives:
  2. 2. Breaking Them Down Into Tasks:
  3. 3. Allocating Time:
  4. 4. Monitor Progress:



1. Commit

It is of foremost importance to clearly identify who you will be selling to. This may sound simple, but there is often an overly optimistic need to capture a larger share of a new market. A smaller market will make it easier to assess customer requirements and ensure that a larger chunk of a smaller market is obtained rather than an insignificant part of a large share. It is also imperative to set a clear timeframe within which the desired target share is to be achieved and results of the move are to be assessed.

2. Identify Entry Points

Once a clear market is identified, it is necessary to identify potential points of entry. To minimize initial investment and maximize future revenues it becomes vital to study key possible entrance points, weigh pros and cons of each and then make an informed decision. The final choice should also ideally allow for future growth possibilities, both inside the new market as well as into adjoining ones. Any entrance point chosen should be assessed against a set of criteria, such as, does it allow access to an underserved market? Is there a strong need that can be fulfilled? Are the key decision makers among the target audience accessible and do they have the funding needed to find the new solution attractive? Are there any existing competitors and is the new solution strong enough to counter their resources and knowledge of the market?

3. Define Market Entry Strategy

All the activity thus far leads right into the roadmap for future steps – the strategy for entry into the market. The first step is to price your product. It needs to strike a balance between affordability for the target audience and feasibility for the business. It also needs to take into consideration existing pricing strategies and how to place the new product within them. Once the price points are defined, the new product or solution can now be positioned accordingly. How do you want to be perceived by the customer? With this target perception in hand, the communication strategy comes into play, where the target audiences as well as the methods to be used to reach them are identified and consolidated. All levels of the target audience need to be considered carefully, including influencers, decision makers, media, end users among others. And once all this is carefully set in place, the distribution model is designed which is the most effective means of putting the product into the user’s hands.

4. Assemble Plan

Any strategy needs to be followed up with a detailed action plan. This turns a high level plan into an on-ground implementation solution. This should include details of all required marketing plans and campaigns as well as timelines for all these to be set into motion. Clearly defined milestones such as sales targets, market share etc need to be decided upon with all the key stakeholders. All campaigns and targets need to be communicated to the relevant personnel and clear ownership needs to be assigned for each of these processes to ensure transparency in evaluations. Processes also need to be defined and communicated for all activities such as what will be the sales cycle followed and how will leads be pursued and closed.

5. Research

A well planned approach following the steps above should ensure that your risk is minimized. But to further strengthen and support the plan, some basic research can be carried out on a focus group. Identifying a well-balanced cross section of the target audience and approaching them either in person or via an online survey can help provide some basic results that can provide data to make any changes before a full market entry is committed to.

6. Test

Another risk mitigation strategy is to run a pilot project in the target market. This test needs to be carefully defined so as to ensure that it is big enough to give an accurate depiction of a large scale roll out effort but not so big as to suck in additional resources and commitment. By reaching a few key milestones in the pilot study, any remaining issues can be ironed out before full deployment.

7. Ramping Up

You are now ready for a full scale roll out. Armed with a concrete strategy, a detailed plan of action and results of research and pilot phases, it is now time to grow and try to achieve more market share. The goal should be to target increased market share and not just increased revenues. A focus on market share will mean increasing both marketing and sales efforts simultaneously. As you sell more, the easier it will to sell because there will be more visibility of your brand in the market and general buzz about the new player.

8. Exit Strategy

The last but extremely important step of this process is to plan for both success and failure. What will you do if you achieve phenomenal success? You could commit for the long term or sell while you’re ahead and move on to new markets. Or if you fail to achieve the milestones set in the specified time, will you try to learn and continue or cut out before further resources and time are wasted. In any case, a timely move can only be made if a plan is already in place.


1. Choosing the right country or region.

If your growth efforts are towards a new country in Southeastern of Europe, identify where the demand is strong and the supply weak. Then pick one country and focus a strong strategy. If you plan to target a region, make sure it is one with a similar culture or languages.

2. Check cost of doing business.

Is your new target market mired in unnecessary or exceptionally high taxes? Are there import duties that you need to consider? Are there any hidden costs that may emerge later on? All these need to be factored into the plan for entry and whether you will be able to have a competitive pricing strategy.

3. Know the people.

Before stepping into a new market, try to get into the minds of the people you’ll be selling to. What are their tastes? What do they like to buy? How much are they willing to pay for products and services? How do they like to shop?

4. Know the competition.

Who is successful and who is just there? Try your best to learn from success as well as failure so you don’t repeat mistakes. If there are too many players already, would it be best to partner up?

5. Choose the right partner.

If you do decide on a business model that supports partnering up, make sure that they have the same way of work as you do. Are they to be trusted? Can you rely on them to do business as you would and ensure that your products/services are marketed and provided as they should?

6. Understand the Challenges.

Make sure that you approach a new market with the appropriate respect. Don’t assume that the target audience and the environment will behave as you are used to. Instead, approach each issue as an unpredictable entity and keep an open mind towards solutions

7. Know the law.

Try your best to work with local experts in understanding the laws that govern business in your new market. From personnel laws to taxes and custom duties, there are many different factors to know and learn

8. Begin with the right attitude.

Begin as you mean to continue with the business. Set up collaborative practices, ensure transparent business and be open to changes in your plans.


For inspiration and best practices, consider the following examples. Both are large companies, recognized world over. But in entering difficult markets, both did their due diligence to achieve successful footholds in their target region.

Huawei Enters India.

Huawei is second largest supplier of telecommunications equipment in the world. Huawei set out to enter India in 2000. There were several challenges to be overcome. The Indian telecom supplier market was heavily saturated and to make an impact, Huawei needed to separate itself from the rest and create a distinct identity as well as a reputation for reliability. Historically, Indians have viewed Chinese companies as hard to form relationships with and Chinese made products as subpar and inferior. In addition, China and India have relatively uneasy diplomatic relations. To counter these issues Huawei employed carefully thought out strategies. Contrary to the market view of inferior products, Huawei channels 10percent of its yearly profits into research and development. Given high sales figures, this is a substantial amount. Huawei began establishing its foothold in India by setting up R&D and service center facilities in India and hiring predominantly locals to show commitment to creating value for Indians rather than just extracting benefits. India is now Huawei’s second largest research center outside China. In addition to this, Huawei works with local producers at its manufacturing plants in Chennai. Sourcing components locally is cheaper and allows local companies to raise their manufacturing standards to international levels of quality and become more competitive and skilled. Huawei is now working on positioning its smartphones as aspirational products by working with local English Language channels to hold contests and beat the stereotype of a low quality Chinese product. As an employer, the company rewards R&D talent and promotes Indians to managerial positions. By establishing a strong research and innovation reputation in India, Huawei can boost its image worldwide. Huawei’s entry into the Indian market is a great point of reference for any company. The lesson to learn is that establishing trust, building and sustaining relationships and showing continuing commitment to the new market can lead to a successful foothold and increased opportunities.

Starbucks Enters China

Starbucks has a strong presence all over the world. Over the years, the company has developed an internationalization strategy that allows it to enter new countries. Market research plays a key part in Starbucks’ major market entrance strategies. In its bid to enter China, Starbucks needed to be as inoffensive as possible to the Chinese culture. Through research it was established that the usual advertising methods may come across as a direct attack on the tea culture that prevails. Instead, stores were opened in busy areas with high traffic and visibility to promote brand recognition. In addition, products were introduced that included tea based ingredients, helping bring together the tea and coffee drinking cultures. Negative views towards elements of capitalism were also a key consideration. Starbucks carefully researched this aspect and discovered that the middle class in China accepts Western brands and luxury items as a means to pursuing a certain lifestyle of quality. The no longer consider these to be signs of over indulgence or decadence and neither do they see it as contrary to nationalism. Major cities in China now rank high in sales of luxury goods and availability of luxury stores. Through market research, the company was also prepared for the fact that China is not one similar market. Instead, different strategies were created for different areas. Northern Chinese culture differed substantially from eastern China. Spending power was considerably lower inland as compared to more prosperous coastal cities. This complexity was catered for by establishing partnerships with local companies to ensure successful expansion. This strategy helped Starbucks customize its offering according to regional tastes. Starbucks also understood that western brands are perceived to higher quality than Chinese brands and are therefore seen as premium brands. Through trained Baristas that act as brand ambassadors, the company ensured consistently high service and product quality. Fearing illegal copies of its business model and brand, Starbucks anticipated the need for copyright protection. Within four years of opening its first café, all major trademarks had been registered in China. Any effort to build a copycat enterprise have therefore been unsuccessful. Through an extensive study of a potential new market, Starbucks has perfected the art of localizing a globally recognized brand. A global brand does not have to mean uniform products. Instead, by catering to many different local tastes and preferences, the brand is strengthened and manages to gain a strong, long term foothold in each new market it approaches.


The key to success in a new market as the Southeast part of Europe therefore seems to be in the correct understanding of what the market is and what the unmet needs are. This knowledge followed by a well-rounded and well researched strategy and action plan may be the difference between success and failure for a business.

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