Strategic Business Planning

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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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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