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Category - Strategic Planning

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1
How Strategic Planning Can Save You From Being A Gibbering Wreck!
2
The Power Of The SWOT Analysis
3
How to define your “why”?
4
Make Your Vision Come Alive
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The SWOT Analysis

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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Make Your Vision Come Alive

I’ll bet that when you started your business you didn’t just decide to start it because you “wanted to make money”. Even if you didn’t formally work on it or you may not even have been conscious of it, I’ll bet that when you started your business you had an idea of what you wanted to achieve at the end of the day.

You might have called it your dream or your goal, or perhaps your vision, but I’m sure that deep down inside you had a very clear picture of what you and your business would be like at the end of the day. You “saw” yourself serving your customers, helping them and giving them solutions, you “felt” the pride and the achievement you would put into the business, and I think you would have smiled when you thought of how you would feel and the lifestyle it would give you.

Am I right?

That feeling and that idea are what I call your business vision. How can you harness those deep down desires into making your business successful?

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The SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is an extremely useful management tool.

The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

The tool is explained as one of 55 useful management tools in my book “55 Really Useful Management Tools” available from Amazon.

You can use the SWOT Analysis during planning exercises in order to understand where your business or one part of your business is at the current time. You can use the SWOT Analysis to review a process or procedure to see whether it can be improved. You can even use the tool to review the performance of a team member or team itself. It has multiple uses as an analytical tool.

But what is it? And how do you use it? Read More

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