Strategic Business Planning

Manageable growth should be a strategic planning focus

When a company’s leadership engages in strategic planning, growing the business is typically at the top of the agenda. This is as it should be — ambition is part and parcel of being a successful business owner. What’s more, in many industries, failing to grow could leave the company at the mercy of competitors. However, …

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Simple ways to make strategic planning a reality

Every business wants to engage in strategic planning that will better position the company to sell more to current customers — and perhaps expand into new markets. Yet the term “strategic planning” is so broad. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the possible directions you could go in and have a hard time choosing …

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Review your strategic plan … and look ahead

Business owners, year-end is officially here. It may even be over by the time you read this. (If so, Happy New Year!) In any case, the end of one year and the beginning of another is always an optimal time to look back on the preceding 12 calendar months and ask a deceptively simple question: …

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4 red flags of an unreliable budget

Every business should prepare an annual budget. Creating a comprehensive, realistic spending plan allows you to identify potential shortages of cash, possible constraints on your capacity to fulfill strategic objectives, and other threats. Whether you’ve already put together a 2022 budget or still need to get on that before year-end, here are four red flags …

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Engaging in customer-focused strategic planning

When creating or updating your strategic plan, you might be tempted to focus on innovative products or services, new geographic locations, or technological upgrades. But, what about your customers? Particularly if you’re a small to midsize business, focusing your strategic planning efforts on them may be the most direct route to a better bottom line. …

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Expanding succession planning beyond ownership

Business owners are regularly urged to create and update their succession plans. And rightfully so — in the event of an ownership change, a solid succession plan can help prevent conflicts and preserve the legacy you’ve spent years or decades building. But if you want to take your succession plan to the next level, consider …

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DEI programs are good for business

Many businesses are spending more time and resources on supporting the well-being of their employees. This includes recognizing and addressing issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). A thoughtfully designed DEI program can do more than just head off potential conflicts and disruptions among coworkers; it can help you attract good job candidates, retain …

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Get serious about your strategic planning meetings

Most business owners would likely agree that strategic planning is important. Yet many companies rarely engage in active measures to gather and discuss strategy. Sometimes strategic planning is tacked on to a meeting about something else; other times it occurs only at the annual company retreat when employees may feel out of their element and …

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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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