Developing your Business Strategy

What is a “Business Strategy” or a “Strategic Plan” for my business? It may be best to start with what is “not” strategy. Strategy is not operational best practices. Strategy is not a forecast. Strategy is not simply a plan to make more money this year.

Business strategy is a long-term plan of action that an organization takes to achieve its goals and objectives. It outlines how the organization will use its resources to create a competitive advantage and increase its value to its stakeholders. Being different from your competitors is the core of a successful strategy. Business strategy is crucial for the success of any organization as it helps to align the resources and efforts of the organization toward a common goal. Implicit in these statements is the fact that a strategy must be communicated throughout an organization.

A successful business strategy comprises several elements, including the organization’s mission and vision, its competitive environment, its resources and capabilities, and its strategic goals and objectives.

  • Mission and Vision: The mission and vision of an organization define its purpose and guide its decision-making. The mission is your north star, the vision is your map to the vision. The competitive environment refers to the external factors that affect the organization’s ability to compete in the market. The resources and capabilities of an organization are the internal factors that determine its ability to achieve its goals – do I have the right team, do I have the right systems, equipment, and assets?
  • Analyzing external and internal environment: Creating a successful business strategy requires careful analysis of the organization’s external and internal environment. This involves understanding the market dynamics, the competition, and the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Based on this analysis, the organization can identify its core competencies and competitive advantage. It can then develop a strategy that leverages these strengths and capabilities to achieve its strategic goals. Understanding and leveraging your uniqueness (your competitive advantage) is the key to a successful strategy. What do I do differently from my competitor that will increase a consumer’s willingness to pay for my product or service?
  • Implementation: The implementation of a business strategy requires a clear understanding of the organizational structure, processes, and culture. A strategic plan must be communicated effectively to all stakeholders, and the organization’s structure and processes should be aligned to support the strategy. This involves creating a culture of accountability and measuring progress toward strategic goals. Without a system to measure success and maintain accountability, there is no need for a strategic plan.


What is the business strategy for PIPESTONE?

At PIPESTONE, our mission is “Helping Farmers Today Create the Farms of Tomorrow.” It is extremely important that our strategy aligns with this Mission. If we are offering services that ultimately result in a competitive advantage for the farmer – it does no good for the farmers we work for. Over the past few years, PIPESTONE has placed a focus on partnerships as a competitive advantage for farmers.

Wholestone Farms
Wholestone Farms was founded in 2018 with a vision to bring the consumer closer to the farmer. Today, Wholestone Farms is owned by 200 family farmers and continues to follow their vision to create a unique and authentic pork supply chain. On the farm, the 200 farm family owners proudly raise over 12 million market hogs per year and care for 400,000 acres of land across the Midwest. At the plant, WholeStone Farms proudly harvests 2.9 million pigs per year and produces 567 million pounds of nutritious quality pork. WholeStone Farms is a pork processing facility in Freemont, Nebraska. Announced in February 2023, WholeStone Farms partnered with Prestage Foods of Iowa to form a joint venture, Prestage Wholestone, LLC. Prestage Wholestone will enhance customer offerings while streamlining pork sales and partnering in hog processing operations. The company will operate from two plant locations Fremont, NE & Eagle Grove, IA.

YellowStone Cattle
PIPESTONE is offering investment in YellowStone Cattle, LLC to create and capture value in the beef supply chain for cattle owners. The YellowStone Cattle Board of Directors is value driven and is working to find an opportunity that will benefit the 300+ farmer owners.

GreenStone Farmers
GreenStone Farmers is an ownership investment facilitated by PIPESTONE to create and capture value for farmers in the U.S. carbon market. Taking a common-sense approach to carbon farming, GreenStone Farmers will focus on positioning farmers for success in a new economic opportunity. GreenStone Farmers is directly owned by farmers and the Board of Directors is working to find an opportunity that will be a difference maker for climate change and a market maker for farmers.

Sow Farm Ownership
The independent pig farmer of today faces challenges different than generations before them. Managing a successful pig business today is both labor and capital intensive. Started in 1988, Pipestone Management offers farrow-to-finish management services to help pig farmers compete and grow in a consolidating industry. Today, Pipestone Management works with over 450 independent farmers, providing them management services while they maintain ownership of their pig business.


What is a business strategy for me?

Strategy is not hope. Strategy is an intentional long-term plan to be different from your competition. Finally, strategy is not written in ink – it is an evolving and iterative plan that seeks to stay ahead of the market and requires a change in thinking when your uniqueness comes into question.


Article by Sean Simpson,
Chief Strategy Officer, PIPESTONE