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Category - Business Planning

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Action Planning
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Driven From Goal To Strategy
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From Desire To Success – Bridging The Gap
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Dive Into Your Business With A Multi-Level SWOT Analysis
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Your Business SWOT

Action Planning

Planning in your business could be part of an ongoing planning cycle.

In a small business, many parts of this planning cycle overlap – just because your business is probably not as complex as large businesses.

However, in any planning cycle, eventually, the rubber has to hit the road and people have to do the detailed, tactical work to implement strategies and achieve audacious goals.

The way we translate big visions, ambitious goals and inspiring strategies to getting the work done is to cascade the plans into Action Plans.

What are Action Plans, and how do we create them?

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Driven From Goal To Strategy

When you are preparing your Business Plan, you should have articulated a clear and well-defined, measurable vision, and then sought to understand where you stand right now so that you can identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to go.

The process of business planning should take you from having a clear picture of what you want to achieve, through understanding your current capacity and capability to do this, and then finding strategies to actually achieve this.

That journey involves setting some clear goals and then setting strategies that align to reaching those goals.

How do you do this?

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From Desire To Success – Bridging The Gap

Business Planning is about setting out a pathway for your business to proceed, that will get you to the business of your dreams – the vision of your ideal business.

In order to do this effectively, the Business Planning process goes through a logical sequence to first define exactly what your desired ideal business is going to be like, then understanding where you stand in relation to his, thus revealing the gaps between where you are now and where you want to be, and then implementing strategies to bridge that gap.

It’s a logical process.

If you were going on a drive to visit your mum in the next town, you would do exactly the same thing.

You identify where your mum lives, how far it is, what time you want to get there and the time you need to be back, and how much fuel you need to get there and back. Then you check if your car will make the distance, how much time you have that day, and how much fuel you have. Finally, you make plans about when you should leave to get you there and back at the right time, and how much fuel you should buy.

In other articles, I have already written about the process to describe your vision of where you want your business to be, and how to quantify that vision so that it can be measurable.

I have also written about how you can get a clear understanding of where your business is, in relation to that ultimate vision.

The next question is how do you define those gaps and turn them into goals?

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Dive Into Your Business With A Multi-Level SWOT Analysis

I’m guessing you have heard of the SWOT analysis where you identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your business.

I wrote an article on how you can conduct a SWOT analysis and use it to improve your business, but this week I wanted to really help you to dive deep into your business and conduct a multi-level SWOT analysis on your business.

First, let me explain for the uninitiated.

A SWOT analysis is a critical tool to analyse where your business currently stands in various performance areas. It is used as a key stage during the business planning process.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal characteristics, within your control to develop or eliminate. Opportunities and threats are external influences like the economy, legislation or natural disaster which you cannot control but can to manage their effects.

An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business will help you to identify strategies to improve on strengths and take advantage of opportunities, as well as eliminate weaknesses and mitigate against threats, and thus improve your business performance.

However, did you know that you can use the SWOT analysis to dive deep into every part of your business and develop immediate tactics as well as longer-term strategies to correct weak areas and build up strong ones?

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Your Business SWOT

One of the best and most relatable planning tools is the SWOT analysis.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

A SWOT Analysis is a great start to understanding where you stand as you prepare a Business Plan. You can get our free Business Planning Checklist that explains the role of the SWOT analysis here.

Strengths and Weaknesses are internal characteristics of what you are analysing, whether it be your business or a part of the business, like a product or a system. You can control what happens to your Strengths and Weaknesses.

On the other hand, Opportunities and Threats are external influences on your business or other parts of your business. You are not in control of whether these Opportunities or Threats crystalise, but you may be able to manage their effects.

You can use SWOT to analyse your business and help you to create business-improvement strategies.

So, how do you conduct a SWOT analysis, and what does it tell you about your business? Read More

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