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Category - Strategic Planning

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1
Growing Your Business With Your Annual Business Plan
2
Growing Your Business With A Strategic Plan
3
How Strategic Planning Can Save You From Being A Gibbering Wreck!
4
The Power Of The SWOT Analysis
5
How to define your “why”?

Growing Your Business With Your Annual Business Plan

This is the third part of our series on growing your small business after establishing it from a startup. If you missed our first two articles on Growing Your Business By Measuring Everything and Growing Your Business With A Strategic Plan, you can catch up by clicking on the links.

This series of “Growing Your Business” follows our earlier series of blog posts on “Starting A Small Business“. If you want to catch up on how to start your own small business I will put the links to those articles at the end of this post.

In this post I will discuss how, having set a long-term strategic direction for your business to grow, through your Strategic Plan, you can cascade shorter-term goals and actions from the long term strategies year by year. This allows you to establish more detailed annual targets and actions, while at the same time ensuring that you stay true to course on the way to building the business of your vision.

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Growing Your Business With A Strategic Plan

This is the second part of our series on growing your small business once your startup is established.

If you missed our series on how to start your own small business, you can go here to read the first article in that series.

The first part of this series on growing your small business can be found here.

This week, we are going to look at how preparing a long-term Strategic Plan as an overview of your strategic direction (where you want to end up and how you want to get there) can help you keep on track as you grow.

In your growth phase, you will meet many challenges and just as many decisions. Where will you open a store next? Who should you hire? Your supplier is going out of business – how do you choose a replacement? Should you rent your new premises or buy? Should you take on a partner?

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How Strategic Planning Can Save You From Being A Gibbering Wreck!

When you start a new year, often you feel excitement tinged with a scent of anxiety.

We are brought up to anticipate something new and exciting every new year. It doesn’t matter if it’s the new calendar year, or a new financial year, or an anniversary, or a new school year. We remember our childhood when each new season held something new for us to look forward to, something hoped for but perhaps unpredictable. That’s why we often spend the new year making up resolutions and goals or making up new plans. The new year unfolds ahead of us and it represents a new start so anything seems possible.

Yet we also sometimes feel anxiety, a little concern about how the year will actually unfold. This is a trained response because as we grow older and more experienced, we remember things that have not gone so well before; we remember resolutions and goals that fell by the wayside: “Can I really do it this year?”

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The Power Of The SWOT Analysis

One of the most powerful tools you can use in planning is called the SWOT Analysis.

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The tool analyses what strengths and weaknesses your business has, and what opportunities and threats may arise.

But many people use it imperfectly and do not harness the full power of the SWOT Analysis. So, how should you use it during a planning exercise to ensure that its powerful advantages are fully utilised?

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How to define your “why”?

Since Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “How great leaders inspire action” and his book “Start With Why” everyone has been inspired by the need to understand and define the higher purpose of your business – not what you do but why you do it.

The premise is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

I have spoken often enough about the power of a clear vision – a strong vision statement sets the target for your business to work towards. I have also spoken, in marketing terms, about how you should not swell the features of your product but the needs that it meets.

The higher purpose – your “why” – is an extension of these two principles: “People don’t buy what you do,” how boring, “people buy why you do it,” that’s inspirational.

But if you’re confused about your higher purpose, how do you find and define it?

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