Strategic Business Planning

Ensure competitive intelligence efforts are helpful, not harmful

With so many employees working remotely these days, engaging in competitive intelligence has never been easier. The Internet as a whole, and social media specifically, create a data-rich environment in which you can uncover a wide variety of information on what your competitors are up to. All you or an employee need to do is …

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The many uses of a SWOT analysis

Using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis to frame an important business decision is a long-standing recommended practice. But don’t overlook other, broader uses that could serve your company well. Performance factors. A SWOT analysis starts by spotlighting internal strengths and weaknesses that affect business performance. Strengths are competitive advantages or core competencies …

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Getting more for your marketing dollars in 2021

A new year has arrived and, with it, a fresh 12 months of opportunities to communicate with customers and prospects. Like every year, 2021 brings distinctive marketing trends to the table. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic challenges continue to drive the conversation in most industries. To get more for your marketing dollars, you’ll need …

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The Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic planning

In the early 1990s, the Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic planning was developed to enable business owners to better organize and visualize their objectives. With 2021 shaping up to be a year of both daunting challenges and potentially remarkable recovery, your company should have a strategic plan that’s both comprehensive and flexible. Giving this methodology …

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The importance of S corporation basis and distribution elections

S corporations can provide tax advantages over C corporations in the right circumstances. This is true if you expect that the business will incur losses in its early years because shareholders in a C corporation generally get no tax benefit from such losses. Conversely, as an S corporation shareholder, you can deduct your percentage share …

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Take a fresh look at your company’s brand

A strong, discernible brand is important for every business. Even a company that never undertakes a formal branding effort will, over time, establish a brand through its communications with customers and interactions with the public. For this reason, it’s a good idea to regularly take a fresh look at your brand and determine whether tweaks …

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Reopening concepts: What business owners should consider

A widely circulated article about the COVID-19 pandemic, written by author Tomas Pueyo in March, described efforts to cope with the crisis as “the hammer and the dance.” The hammer was the abrupt shutdown of most businesses and institutions; the dance is the slow reopening of them — figuratively tiptoeing out to see whether day-to-day …

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Re-evaluate your company’s competitiveness in a changed economy

Just about every business owner’s strategic plans for 2020 look far different now than they did heading into the year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economy in profound ways, forcing many companies to recalibrate suddenly and severely. As your business moves forward in this uncertain environment, it’s important to re-evaluate competitiveness. You may have …

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How’s your buy-sell agreement doing these days?

Most companies wouldn’t go into business without some basic types of insurance in place, such as property coverage and liability policy. For a company with more than one owner, there’s an additional type of risk-management arrangement that needs to be established: a buy-sell agreement. If your business has yet to create one, you should start …

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5 ways to strengthen your business for the new year

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a great opportunity for reflection and planning. You have 12 months to look back on and another 12 ahead to look forward to. Here are five ways to strengthen your business for the new year by doing a little of both: 1. Compare …

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