Strategic Planning for Your Small Business

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Strategic Planning for Growth and Sustainability

At the end of the day, what is strategic planning all about? Growth. Businesses strive to grow more customers, more sales, positive cash flow, larger deal sizes, higher volume, more billable hours, justification [more…]

Strategic Planning: Strategy vs. Tactics

Quite often, people confuse strategy and tactics and think the two terms are interchangeable in strategic planning, but they’re not. According to strategy guru Michael Porter, “Competitive strategy is [more…]

Business Unit Level Strategies: Choosing Your Leading Strategic Focus

One purpose of strategic planning is to increase your value to your customers or stakeholders. You need to create something better or different than your competitors. You do this by leveraging your existing [more…]

Business Unit Level Strategic Planning: Leading with Lowest Total Cost

Creating value through lowest total cost focuses on appealing to a broad spectrum of customers based on being the overall low-cost provider of a product or service because of the company’s focus on efficiency [more…]

Strategic Planning: Product/Service Leadership

A product and/or service leadership value proposition sounds something like this: “We offer products and services that expand existing boundaries past what was thought possible.” This strategy concentrates [more…]

Strategic Planning: Leading with Customer Intimacy

Strategically creating value by really knowing your customers concentrates on a narrow market segment by a deep understanding of your customers and their perceptions of the value of the product or service [more…]

Use a Scorecard to Measure Implementation Progress

The scorecards you build in the implementation planning process are the link from your plan to progress against your plan. You then track the progress against each goal in your scorecard and use it during [more…]

Communicate Your Plan to Key Audiences

Good communication unlocks many organizational mysteries, so the fact that communicating your business strategy is critical to your success isn’t surprising. When the owner [more…]

How to Roll Out Your Strategic Plan

Rolling out your plan can range anywhere from a big, high-profile campaign to a low-key announcement. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to inform everyone in your organization. You may choose to give [more…]

Implementing Your Strategic Plan: Continued Communication is Crucial

Launching goals with a major rollout isn’t enough. Goals must be visible and repeated to keep the commitment alive. Why not have some fun with your ongoing communication. You can find plenty of creative [more…]

How to Keep Your Strategic Plan Working for You

A strategic plan needs to adapt to survive changing or unanticipated conditions. A business that develops and executes a strategic plan gains significantly from the experience, and starting with a working [more…]

Strategic Planning: Accepting Change

People are often resistant to change, and leading your company through change is a challenge for which you must prepare before implementing a new strategic plan. Lessons in leading change are timeless, [more…]

Adapt Your Strategic Plan as Necessary

Never lose sight of the fact that strategic plans are guidelines, not rules. Deviating from your plan is okay, but you need to understand why you make a course correction. The following figure gives a [more…]

Strategic Planning: Executing Your Growth Strategy

After you lay out different growth strategies, you need to evaluate which path you want to take. But in order to choose a path, you must decide how to execute the strategy. By matching your growth strategies [more…]

How to Evaluate Your Strategic Plan

Now that your strategic plan is all together in one place, you should take a step back and evaluate. Did you create the strategy you intended to create? More than likely, you and your team have put a lot [more…]

Strategic Planning: Objectives, Goals, and Actions

Strategic planning answers where you are now, where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. Visualize a famous bridge, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, or Tower Bridge. All bridges [more…]

Develop Your Strategic Alternatives from SWOT

After you’ve developed an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), you can identify the alternatives or choices to build your strategic plan around. Remember that by itself [more…]

Prioritize Your List of Strategic Alternatives

Strategic planning is all about making choices. And strategic choice is about making subjective decisions based on goal information. To do so, you first generate a list of all feasible alternatives. You’ve [more…]

How to Evolve Strategic Alternatives into Planning Priorities

If you worked through creating a SWOT analysis and developing a list of possible strategic alternatives, you have some lists of choices. But because you can’t do everything, now you have to eliminate some [more…]

Strategic Planning: Create a Short List of External and Internal Priorities

Creating a short list is the last part of synthesizing all your options to the select few for your strategic plan. Ideally, you want to have between three and five external priorities. If you have too [more…]

Prioritizing Your Strategic Alternatives: Case Study

In strategic planning, making equitable trade-offs requires comparing apples to apples. Internal priorities are competing with other internal priorities, and external priorities are competing against other [more…]

How to Evaluate Your Strategic Priorities

Eventually in the strategic planning process, you will have funneled everything you’ve gathered to date into a short list of internal and external priorities. Before you move on from there, do one last [more…]

Use the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) for Your Strategic Priorities

Often, business owners and executives fall prey to the allure of setting too many financial or strategic planning goals. Or their goals are exclusively financial. Thinking too much about the financial [more…]

Strategic Planning Balanced Scorecard (BSC) in Detail

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is an excellent management tool that ensures you have a holistic and balanced strategic plan as well as a way to track performance over time to assess whether goals are being [more…]

Turn Strategic Priorities into a Road Map for Your Vision

This area is probably the most widely debated part of strategic planning. Having goals, objectives, and strategies are great, but knowing how they all work together [more…]

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