Strategic Planning for Your Small Business

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Strategic Planning: Uncover Your Competitive Advantages

Ultimately, you know what makes your company unique; however, for your uniqueness to be useful in strategic planning, you need to state what you know to be absolutely true about your company. Your list [more…]

Elements of a Strategic Plan in Brief

Not to oversimplify the planning process, but by dividing a strategic plan into four areas, you can clearly see how the pieces fit together. The four pieces of the puzzle are found in these questions: [more…]

Strategic Planning: Where Are We Now?

As you think about where your organization is as you create your strategic plan, you want to look at your foundational elements (mission and value) to make sure that nothing has changed. More than likely [more…]

Strategic Planning: Where Are We Going? How Will We Get There?

When developing your company’s strategic plan, the elements of the question “Where are we going?” help you answer other questions, such as these: What will my organization look like in the future? Where [more…]

Strategic Planning: How Will We Measure Our Progress?

How will you know whether you’re hitting those mile markers in your strategic plan or whether you’ve steered off course? Every plan needs some check-in from time to time. Some important progress measures [more…]

Is My Company Ready for a Strategic Plan?

Strategic planning is doomed to failure when certain circumstances aren’t in place. If you’re aware of what you need to make the process work well, you’re more likely to be successful. Companies that jump [more…]

Time Frame for the Strategic Planning Process

In order to put a strategic plan together that gets you from Point A to Point B effectively and efficiently, you need a system in place to help you achieve the end result. This process is continuous and [more…]

Strategic Planning, Phase 1: Determine Your Mission, Vision, and Values

A mission, vision, and values in a strategic plan can sound abstract, esoteric, and downright fluffy to a lot of people. However, they’re important to building a strong foundation of consensus for your [more…]

Strategic Planning, Phase 2: SWOT Analysis

To plan your strategic position, take a look at the industry or market you’re operating in. Also, look at your company culture — teamwork, leadership, climate for action, as well as your employees and [more…]

Tips to Improve Your Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning is a process that you want to flow smoothly, but sometimes you have to face the facts: When you plan for a smooth ride, it never goes that way. Something always throws a wrench in the [more…]

Strategic Planning: Customer Management Processes

Customer management processes cut across all your customers — current and new. In evaluating your performance, written or unwritten, your organization goes through the following processes when acquiring [more…]

Strategic Planning: Understand Your Relationship Management Processes

Organizations don’t operate in an isolated pool with just their employees and their customers. Instead, companies and departments have relationships with the communities they operate in, governmental agencies [more…]

Strategic Planning: Technology, Communication, and Productivity Process Areas

Many process areas are important to understand and explore during your strategic planning process. These processes don’t stand on their own or exist without a process that tangibly produces results. However [more…]

Strategic Planning: How are Your Profit Margins?

Even if you’re running a nonprofit or government agency, you’re always looking at improving your profit margins. Your margins tell you how much is left after you’ve paid your direct expenses. In the analogy [more…]

Strategic Planning: Benchmark Your Place in the Pack

In strategic planning, benchmarks are surveys and assessments that help determine how well your company performs compared to other companies in your industry or business size. Following are just a handful [more…]

Strategic Planning: State Your Organizational Purpose

Without a strategic plan, sometimes business owners lose sight of why they started their business. Your organization exists for a very specific reason, and most likely its purpose is different than any [more…]

Strategic Planning: How Do You Make Money?

Understanding where your income comes in is critical to your strategic plan. If someone asked you how your organization makes money, more than likely you’d reply by explaining the types and number of products [more…]

Do You Need to Change Your Strategic Plan’s Profitability Focus?

Strategic planning is often about doing what you’re already doing but tweaking it slightly. Sam, the owner of a chain of regional retail auto parts stores, thought his focus should be on profit per store [more…]

Strategic Planning: Why Do Customers Buy From You?

Ideally, as you develop your company’s strategic plan, you’re performing some market research and asking your current customers why they use your services. But you also likely have a general sense of what [more…]

Identify Your Competitive Advantage: Some Examples

You should be able to state your competitive advantage succinctly, both in your strategic plan and when talking to others about your business. Learning from others can be helpful in identifying your own [more…]

Strategic Planning: How to Test Your Competitive Advantage

As far as strategic planning goes, having an advantage over your competitors isn’t enough. For your business to be great, it needs to be sustainable and able to endure the test of time. You have to be [more…]

Strategic Planning: Take Advantage of Your Advantages

If you have time to work on only one part of the strategic planning process, take time to formulate your competitive advantage. By knowing what you’re best at, you can focus on what matters for success [more…]

Strategic Planning: Evaluate Your Current Mission Statement

The worst thing for your strategic planning effort is to have a mission statement that’s meaningless to your staff and other stakeholders. A mission statement is a statement of the company’s purpose or [more…]

Elements of an Effective Mission Statement

Your mission statement serves as a guide for day-to-day operations and as the foundation for strategic planning and future decision making. Make sure that your statement includes the following criteria [more…]

Strategic Planning: How to Write a Mission Statement

As part of your strategic planning process, you’ve determined the need for a new mission statement. You can start from scratch or even revise the one you currently have. [more…]

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