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Category - Strategic Planning

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1
Make Your Vision Come Alive
2
The SWOT Analysis
3
What’s In A Marketing Plan?
4
Creating Meaningful Goals And Objectives
5
Strategise About High-Impact Issues

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

What’s In A Marketing Plan?

I quote this old adage all the time: “Businesses don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.”

So I hope that as you read this, you have been influenced by me yammering on about how you really need to have some planning in your business and have – at least – prepared and are implementing a business plan! Some people have even written to me to tell me that they have even prepared a long-term strategic plan to help them grow.

And yet, most of the time, the small business owners I speak to have not prepared a marketing plan. They don’t really know what a marketing plan will do for them, and what it might contain. Read More

Creating Meaningful Goals And Objectives

Writing down your goals and objectives is all part of business planning.

But how do you choose your goals and objectives, and do your flow from one to the other?

Many people sit in a business planning workshop, and when getting to the “Goals” part of the discussion, start plucking their wish list out of the air. Then, when asked for their objectives, they usually repeat the goals, but in more detail.

Goals should not come from a wish list or a to-do list. Goals should come as a direct result of examining where you are now, where you want to go, and how to get there from here. While some of your wish list may have come from some consideration of a vision, you need a more process-driven approach.

You can download your free worksheet on how to create meaningful goals and strategies to follow the process.

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Strategise About High-Impact Issues

One of the frequently asked questions I am asked about planning is how many strategies they should have in their strategic or business plan.

My first response is that they should have as many strategies or objectives and actions as are required to take them closer to their goals and their vision. However when I dig deeper, I find that their question comes from overwhelm. I find that as they progress through a planning process and do SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, identify gaps to bridge, realise the work behind the goals, they end up with a whole series of issues, good ideas and to-do items.

When faced with a myriad of these issues, how do they focus on the right strategies?

Planning is all about simplifying, and to simplify all the inputs I use the principle of “KSI’s”

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