Philie Group Blog

Your Strategy, Your Competitive Advantage
By Mike Philie

This blog originally published in Printing Impressions


Aligning your sales, operations, and staffing efforts can be quite a feat. When it’s working, it can be a powerful thing. When it’s not, well, it’s not. What are the key factors that make the difference between the good, and not as good results? It could be communication, execution, engagement, process and procedure, the wrong people, the right people, lack of clarity or vision, culture, generational differences, and the list goes on and on. Which ones are you focused on?


Strategy planning often takes a knock with small to medium sized business. Especially in a transformative industry, by the time the plan is complete many would say the variables may have already changed. Perhaps. And while I’ve seen many businesses that do not spend the effort on strategy planning achieve solid results, the ones that do make this a priority, seem to outperform the averages. These are the companies that always seem to have the right people in place, have a clear sense of direction, and execute like heck on a daily basis. Their leaders, and their leadership team, are often active learners, always curious, and with a drive to take their business to the next level.


Military leaders wouldn’t think about going into battle without a sound strategy that everyone is aligned with, and while owners running a business might not be under the same daily life and death circumstances as a battle, their livelihood and the families they support are just as important. As business continues to be dynamic, and transformative, the daily decisions and challenges seem to get more complex. What to do?


If you are already a planner, and you’re satisfied with the results, congratulations. If you haven’t taken the time to effectively articulate your strategy so that everyone can get on board, now might be the time to make the time to get this done. Competition continues to be fierce, clients continue raise the bar on expectations, and the challenges and decisions are not getting any easier. Hoping things will improve is not a solid strategy. Get your team together and talk about the things that will make a positive impact on your clients and make it easy for them to do business with you. Identifying your competitive advantages, and supporting it in how you communicate to the marketplace, is a key step creating a sustainable, results-driven business. Let me know how you’re doing and remember, doing nothing is not an option.



Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at





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