Posts Tagged ‘Strategic Planning’

3 Plans to Drive Small Business Success

Friday, May 18th, 2018

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

Every small business owner knows that the path to success is fraught with many challenges. From managing staff, to financing, to marketing efforts, small business owners often feel overwhelmed with the ancillary yet critical activities they need to succeed at in order to pursue their love of event planning, or flower arrangement, or owning their own medical practice, etc. In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Pamela Slim discussed “How to Overcome Common Challenges and Help Your Small Business Grow,” and one of the topics Slim focused on was the concept of “reacting versus looking ahead.” (more…)

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Identifying Product/Service Substitutes That Could Compete For Your Market

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Michael Porter revolutionized the world of business strategy when he developed his Five Forces framework, which evaluates the competitiveness — and resulting attractiveness — of an industry based on five competitive forces. We’ve discussed the framework previously, but now we’re taking a more in-depth look at each individual force. Today, we’re looking at the threat of substitutes. (more…)

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Planning is Overrated: Execution is Where It’s At

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

executing your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationWhat’s more important: a great idea or great execution? There’s certainly an argument to be made for the importance of ideas for entrepreneurs, and it’s easy to point to famous examples of huge fortunes and successful businesses that sprung from a great idea — Facebook, the automobile, the PC, etc.; but the idea is just the beginning. (more…)

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Looking Ahead to a Successful New Year!

Monday, December 28th, 2015

With the new year approaching, the thoughts of many turn to New Year’s resolutions. It’s an annual tradition of setting goals for the coming year that dates back millennia, according to Oklahoma State University’s “Newsline.” However, while a 2013 article from Forbes estimates that roughly forty percent of American’s make a New Year’s resolution, only eight percent end up keeping that resolution! We think we can beat that number. (more…)

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The “Big Rocks” of Effective Strategic Plan Implementation

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Strategic planning is one of those activities that is often looked upon with either fear or disdain. Why? Because all too often business professionals who have been engaged in what can be a very long and arduous process are disheartened when the plan never really seems to reach fruition. It becomes a document based on an exercise that can take an inordinate amount of time (but doesn’t have to…).
In our experience working with a number of different organizations on strategic planning efforts, and conducting research on strategic planning when writing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning,” there are a number of reasons that even the most carefully created plans fail to be implemented as planned, let alone serve to achieve the desired results.

(more…)

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What’s in a SWOT? Exploring an Important Input to the Strategic Planning Process

Monday, February 9th, 2015

A SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – is a critical element of a strategic plan, if done correctly. Far from being a “silly exercise” (and I’ll admit in the early days of my career I sometimes felt that it was…) the SWOT is an important input that leads to the development of strategies. It can be a determinant of whether or not you will be able to successfully achieve your goals and objectives. But, it has to be done correctly to deliver that value. (more…)

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5 Competitive Forces That Should Be Shaping Your Strategy

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Every MBA student or undergraduate in an introductory business strategy course has encountered Porter’s Five Forces. The concept, outlined by Harvard economist and professor Michael E. Porter in 1979, has been a foundation of business strategy in both academia and the business world for decades.

Professor Porter revisited the topic in a recent article in Harvard Business Review, appropriately titled “The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy.”

For those unfamiliar with the five forces, they are: (more…)

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Why Your Strategy May Not Be Working: It May Be Just a Plan

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’m a strong proponent of the value of strategic planning but I’m also glad to acknowledge that the vast majority of strategic plans rarely drive real action or measurable results. The reasons why are numerous, but a recent article I read in Harvard Business Review made a great point about strategy.

In The Big Lie of Strategic Planning, Roger L. Martin, makes the point that, inevitably, whenever the word “strategy” is used, it’s often in conjunction with the word “plan” — those two words then become, somehow, inevitably–and inaccurately–intertwined.  (more…)

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Breaking Through the B.S. (Brainstorming) – Some Tips for Better Results

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Brainstorming is one of those activities that, on the surface, seems pretty simple. In reality, though, effectively using this technique can be challenging, Why? Because we all have a tendency to want to discuss/debate and comment on the brainstorming comments of others — and even our own!The key for an effective brainstorming session is to ensure that a wide range of “top of mind” inputs can be gathered — not to dissect and discuss each point that comes up.

We work with organizations on strategic planning activities regularly. One of the keys to a successful planning effort is ensuring that all inputs are gathered and that good ideas/inputs are not “shot down” or dismissed as part of the brainstorming process.

A couple of things that we have done to help ensure that the brainstorming process works as it should: (more…)

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Mission Statements: Who Needs Them?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

I will admit, that in years past I was a mission statement basher. I considered mission statements to be exercises in futility and a waste of time. I’ve come to believe differently, with one big caveat: (more…)

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