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Strategic Planning for Your Small Business

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Examples of World-Class Mission Statements

If you don’t already have one, you should develop a mission statement as part of the strategic planning process. Mission statements are as varied as organizations. Here are a handful of mission statements [more…]

Strategic Planning: What Are Your Organizational Values?

More and more companies are articulating the core beliefs and values underlying their business activities. Strong values account for why some companies gain a reputation for such strategic traits as leadership [more…]

Strategic Planning: Effective Organizational Values

As you’re working toward developing a values statement for your strategic plan, beware of the personal and emotional connection most of your team members have with creating the values statement. Developing [more…]

Strategic Planning: Act on Your Organizational Values

Developing a set of values for a strategic plan is one thing; living by them is something else entirely. Having a values statement that’s all talk and no commitment undermines your leadership and the management [more…]

Strategic Planning: What Is Your Vision?

Forming a strategic vision should provide long-term direction, delineate what kind of enterprise the company is trying to become, and infuse the organization with a sense of purposeful action. Vision serves [more…]

Elements of an Effective Vision Statement

The vision statement, a key element of your strategic plan, needs to incorporate many elements. The following list contains elements that you can include in an effective vision statement [more…]

Strategic Planning: Imagine Your Future — Vividly

The vivid description in your strategic vision needs to be just that — vivid. Include a list of ideas, phrases, adjectives, and so forth that thoroughly explain what achieving the vision statement is like [more…]

Strategic Planning: Create or Update Your Vision Statement and Vivid Description

Updating or creating a new vision statement can be one of the most exciting parts of strategic planning. Because your vision sets the direction for your entire planning effort, you want to ensure it paints [more…]

An Exercise in Strategic Thinking

It’s time to apply strategic thinking to your business. What will your company look like and how will it compete in the year 2030 or 2035? What trends do you need to consider in your planning? [more…]

What is Futurecasting in Strategic Planning?

Consider starting your annual strategic planning retreat by futurecasting — the practice of trying to envision your company’s future. Companies spend a lot of time predicting what sales will be like in [more…]

Strategic Planning: Assess Your Business and Its Capabilities

Understanding how your company’s resources, capabilities, and processes are used to grow the organization is critical to successfully executing your strategy, growing your company, and ultimately making [more…]

Study Your Business’s Strengths and Weaknesses

To move from where you are today in your strategic plan to where you want to go, you have to determine your strategic position, or where you stand today. This process is like taking your SUV into a mechanic [more…]

Evaluate Your Company’s Capabilities and Your People

In strategic planning, the first phase of identifying your strengths and weaknesses is looking at your capabilities or intangible assets (intangible means incapable of being realized or defined — not having [more…]

Strategic Planning: What Is Organizational Capital?

In the strategic planning process, the second phase in the assessment of your company’s capabilities is reviewing its organizational capital. Now that you have people on board and in the right jobs, answer [more…]

Strategic Planning: What Is Knowledge Capital?

The third phase in the assessment of your company capabilities during strategic planning is reviewing its knowledge capital. The institutional knowledge [more…]

Strategic Planning: Examine Your Resources

From a strategic planning perspective, you need to look at what tangible assets you have versus what you need to achieve your strategic plan. Resources [more…]

Strategic Planning: Analyze Your Processes

One step in a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is looking at the processes. Are you cruising down the road smoothly, or is your SUV coughing and sputtering along, barely making [more…]

Strategic Planning: Understand Your Operational Processes

Because strategic planning is about improving the status quo, looking at how to improve operations is the key. Operations produce and deliver the goods and services to customers. These processes encompass [more…]

Strategic Planning: Understand Your Innovation Processes

Another step in reviewing your processes involves taking a look at your creativity. If you’re not innovating, you’re dead. (At least that seems to be the general consensus of the business community!) [more…]

Strategic Planning: How to Detect and Delete Cash Drains

Most organizations intrinsically know where the drains are. Plugging the drains is more about breaking down institutional barriers than it is about implementing the change itself. Brace yourself for the [more…]

Use Your Strategic Plan to Foster Your Competitive Advantages

Developing competitive advantages and strategic plans isn’t always easy or straightforward. For many, a competitive advantage is developed by nurturing a strength over time. This process turns the activity [more…]

Examples of “Big, Hairy, Audacious” Vision Statements

During your strategic planning process, you should develop a vision statement that’s far reaching but attainable. If you attain it in a shorter amount of time, congratulations! But if you don’t push your [more…]

Strategic Planning: Create or Update Your Organizational Values

Because your values are a key foundational element to your company and strategic plan, you want to be doubly sure they’re the right ones. You don’t set or establish core values; you discover them. The [more…]

Strategic Planning: Talk to Your Customers

During the strategic planning process, gathering feedback from a variety of sources results in an objective, comprehensive picture of who your customers are, what they want, and what they value. However [more…]

Strategic Planning: What’s the Lifetime Value of Your Customers?

Just how valuable are your customers? A strategic planning calculation called the lifetime value of a customertranslates value into hard dollars. The outcome of this calculation represents a relatively [more…]

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