The firm has asked for my advice regarding possible growth strategies other than franchising. In evaluating possible strategies, I evaluate Armellini’s growth objectives; analyze Armellini’s internal strengths and weaknesses and its external opportunities and threats; develop relevant conclusions; and then offer specific recommendations.
By definition, a strategy is an action plan to achieve a certain objective. So in order to suggest possible growth strategies, I must understand the firm’s objectives, especially those that have been agreed to between Armellini ownership (Armellini family) and top management (Helen Patterson). The case mentions only three overall business objectives that have been expressly agreed to:
These objectives present several problems in fashioning appropriate growth strategies. First, only the third objective definitively addresses Armellini’s business growth; the others may affect the nature and quality of growth, but that is not entirely clear. Next, there are no financial objectives mentioned despite the recent precipitous decline in financial performance. Third, each objective is extremely vague; in order to serve as a guide to action plans, well-developed objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART).
Finally, these objectives ignore two critical standards for good business objectives: that they aim to create sustainable competitive advantage and build value for business owners. When crafted well, such objectives would reinforce each other, with competitive advantage leading to improved financial performance and value, and improved financial performance providing financial resources to invest in growth opportunities that promote competitive advantage.
In light of these problems, in the following analysis I will also consider other growth objectives that would be appropriate to recommend to Armellini along with recommended growth strategies. These other