Tag Archives: Strategic Planning

12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan – Part 2

(This is the second of two articles by Ray Madaghiele highlighting this powerful 12-step strategic plan process.)

12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic PlanEnergize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process the helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.

Here are the remaining steps of the 12 steps of the strategic plan process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

Get Organized…

  1.  Do Some Soul Searching –Warren Buffet said “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” When you reflect on and understand your Strengths, Possible improvements, Opportunities and Challenges (SPOC Analysis) as an organization, you can chart the best course toward your goals and figure out the actions needed to reach your company vision.
  1.  Focus Your Energy –What you focus on expands and grows stronger, so, focus your attention on your desired intention. Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
  1.  Chart Your Course –Companies that use strategic planning to set only financial targets are missing out on some of the most rewarding benefits and possibilities. Establish goals that will be inspiring and energizing, not just financial targets to achieve. Involve your employees in the process before you get too far down the path.

Get Going…

  1. Prepare for Ignition –Jack Welch said, “When it comes to strategy, ponder less and do more.” Much of strategic planning is about building potential energy, similar to that of a roller-coaster climbing a hill, then kinetic energy takes over as the roller-coaster rushes down the hill—as you put your plans into action!
  1. Keep the Energy Flowing –Napoleon Hill said, “All natural laws and all of nature’s plans are based upon harmonious, cooperative effort.” Gain enthusiastic support and buy-in for the plan by involving ALL employees in the process. Assign everyone a piece of the puzzle to help keep the plan alive. Everyone collaborates to deliver 24k Gold ServiceTM that improves loyalty and profitability.

Get Results…

  1. Measure Your Progress –“Robert Kiyosaki said, “My measure of success is whether I’m fulfilling my mission.” Measure how well you are doing in achieving your mission, vision, and goals. Establish performance targets that let you know whether or not you are on track to achieve the results you desire. However, keep your plans like malleable clay with the flexibility to ebb and flow with conditions.

About the Author:

Ray MadaghieleRay Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

On May 26, 2016, Ray will be facilitating a powerful SCORE workshop titled “A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes your Business” where he will teach how to engage your employees in this 12-step process. Register and learn more at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ec05wk3w52f25fea

Ray is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . Ray is donating 10% of profits from book sales to the SCORE Foundation.

 

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12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan 9 May

12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan (Part 1 of 2)

Energize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process the helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan

Here are the first 6 of 12 steps of the strategic planning process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

Plan to Plan…

  1.  Set the Right Energy –It all begins with “planning to plan” (the invisible 12th step) which lays the foundation for a successful strategic planning process. Before you take the first step, it is crucial to select the right facilitator, design the right process, send the right message, and create the right atmosphere that resonates with your organization’s culture.

Get Clear…

  1.  See Where You Are –Many leaders are trying to run their organizations with “flat spots” that decrease productivity, produce inefficiencies, and impede growth. A strategic plan is vital for any start-up or seasoned business. It is like a trail map and compass for hiking in the wilderness. But to begin any journey, you first need to know where you are.
  1.  Remember Your ‘Big Why?’ –Knowing your core purpose keeps you centered on what’s most important—during good times and challenging times. The purpose of your organization is like the seed of an apple. No one knows the potential yield of your organization and how much can be produced in the lifetime of your company.
  1.  Infuse Your Culture –Values are your guide for weathering ethical dilemmas. They become the fabric for weaving good sound decisions. Values should be at the core of all the decisions employees make. They show what your company stands for.
  1.  Know Your Business –Clearly defining your mission helps you know what opportunities to say “yes” to and which to say “no” to. Once you have created your mission statement, you will have defined the limits of what you will focus on as an organization. W. Clement Stone said “When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”
  1.  Envision Your Future –When you create a clear vision, it expands the collective thinking of your organization to encompass greater possibility and influence. A lofty vision is energizing. It excites everyone involved. It generates hope for the future. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Ray Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

On May 26, 2016, Ray will be facilitating a powerful SCORE workshop titled “A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes your Business” where he will teach how to engage your employees in this 12-step process. Register and learn more here.

About the author: Ray Madaghiele

Ray MadaghieleRay Madaghiele is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . Ray is donating 10% of profits from book sales to the SCORE Foundation.

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How to avoid what happened to Sports Authority from happening to you? 2 May

How to Avoid what Happened to Sports Authority from Happening to you?

It’s sad to see businesses that you’ve known for so long die. The recent news that Sports Authority is closing all 450 of their stores hits home to every business owner no matter what size business you own. Sports Authority was a start-up once.

What did they do wrong? What did they not do that their competitors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5 and REI did or are doing? Why are they doing well and Sports Authority is liquidating.

“Their resilience is due to distinct business strategies: for Dick’s, a massive national footprint with a wide range of merchandise and niche products such as firearms; for Big 5, smaller footprint stores with a more limited assortment, but at lower prices; and for REI, a steadfast focus on customer experience.” LA Times, “When Sports Authority closes, these retailers win

What stands out?

  • wide range of merchandise
  • niche products
  • smaller footprint
  • limited assortment
  • lower prices
  • focus on customer experience

Here’s a video “Top 10 Brands that Failed” – and we know them all…. Listen carefully to the reasons why each went under.

No company is to big to fail. True, there sometimes are many factors that contribute to a company’s failure. Everything from the economy, the weather and the Internet have been blamed.

Circuit City is one that blew me away. The video states that their failures were:

  • inconvenient locations
  • bad customer service
  • not targeting gamers

That last one has to do with changing times. Not adapting to technological and generational changes are the downfall of many companies.

Are you keeping up? Have you been resisting change?

Besides keeping up with the times, you need to keep up with your competition. That’s what happened to Woolworth’s. I grew up across the street form a Woolworth’s in the Bronx. I have fond memories of mom and I going to the soda fountain. It was heartbreaking to see them close, but they couldn’t keep up with Walmart.

And lastly, it’s customer service. REI has taken it further to a “customer experience”. Cabela’s is another. I have a client, Saguaro Scuba in Mesa, who I love visiting, because when I walk into the store I’m instantly transported to the ocean – in the middle of the desert!

Even if you’re not a brick and mortar retail shop or restaurant, you still need to:

  • keep up with the times and the technology
  • keep tabs on your competition
  • make sure you keep the customers happy

You need to…

  1. Analyze monthly what’s working and what’s not working and why.
  2. Plan strategically how you want to reach your target market.
  3. Read customer reviews and address complaints quickly.

If you’re not sure in which direction your business is going, talking with a SCORE mentor will help. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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What is joint venture or Strategic alliance 4 Apr

Video: What is Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance?

In today’s world of specialization, if you specialize in one thing and another related, non-competing, business is a specialist in their field, and you have similar target markets, a joint venture or strategic alliance may be beneficial to both businesses.

What is Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance?

  1. Mutual-benefit Joint Venture (JV) – no money swaps hands
  2. Profit-share JV – one partner pays another for referrals, like a commission or affiliate marketing
  3. Other – use your imagination!

Greater Phoenix SCORE offers a class on Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances. Check our local workshop schedule for details!

 

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6 things you need to think about for successful strategic business planning. 29 Feb

6 Things to Ponder when Creating a Successful Business Strategy

Creating and sustaining a valuable business enterprise is a difficult task under the best of circumstances. Strategic planning is a key to facilitating superior performance and value creation, yet businesses tend to ignore strategic planning, often relying on seat-of-the-pants management and/or business folklore. Even businesses that begin the strategic planning process get distracted by the latest crisis and put planning on the back burner. As Benjamin Franklin said,

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.  

Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy in their book Now…Build A Great Business!, note that…

“people and organizations with clear visions, values, and plans tend to accomplish far more and do it faster than their competitors. When everyone in your organization is united by a clear strategic vision of your desired future state, you create a powerful mental synergy that will move you toward your goals and move your goals toward you”.

Thompson and Tracy cited six key questions that should be asked when creating or revising business strategy:

  1. Where are you now? What is your current situation?
  2. How did you get to where you are today?
  3. Where do you want to go from here?
  4. How do you get from where you are today to where you want to be in the future?
  5. What obstacles will you have to overcome? What problems will you have to solve?
  6. What additional knowledge, skills, or resources will you require to achieve your strategic objectives?

The answers to these questions are critical input to strategic plans that identify the vision, mission, goals and objectives of a business and how resources will be managed to achieve those objectives. Management of resources is facilitated by action plans, milestones, accountability and time sensitivity.

Management theorist Peter Drucker defines strategic planning as…

“…the continuous process of making present risk-taking decisions systematically with the greatest knowledge of their future; organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions; and measuring the results of these decisions against the expectations through organized, systematic feedback”.

Questions to ask for a success business strategyStrategic planning is the alpha and omega of business processes and performance. All business activity should flow from the strategic plan. Effective management and performance of resources, including human, financial, technological and time, are a function of the strategic plan. Profitability and value creation are facilitated by a strong, flexible and well executed strategic plans.

We have been inundated with statistics regarding business failures at every stage of growth of the business. There are those who credit factors other than planning to the success of their business. However, as with anything in life, one must avail themselves of all relevant resources to provide the best opportunity for success. A critical resource is preparation, including education, experience and planning. An effective strategic plan is not a guarantor of a viable, valuable business enterprise, but it can better facilitate the realization of that viability and value, and it is clearly superior to reliance on seat-of-the pants management or folklore!

No time like the present to put together your business strategy! Greater Phoenix SCORE holds workshops regularly to help you no matter what stage your business is in. Click here for the schedule!

About the Author:

Michael Mobley, business strategist

Michael Mobley is president of CEO Focus and Managing Partner at Impetus Solutions, LLC. 

Michael is a seasoned business executive with extensive experience in finance, planning, operations and marketing with both large corporations and small businesses. He served as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at a Maryland community college and an adjunct professor of business in the MBA program of a Maryland university. Michael received his BA in Economics and his MBA in Finance from Columbia University.

Michael Mobley will be one of the Breakout Session Speakers at this year’s SCORE Symposium! It’s free to attend – registration required. Click here for details!

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Do you Have an Exit Strategy?

What's your business exit strategy?As an entrepreneur, you had to create a business plan for your business when you started up. It included an executive summary, financials, marketing plan and some forecasting. But how far into the future did you go? 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

A question you need to ask yourself — and many business owners overlook this — is What’s Your Exit Strategy?

  • How long are YOU planning to run your business?
  • When do you see yourself exiting the business?
  • What happens when you retire or can no longer run it?
  • Does it go to your children? Would they want it?
  • Are you going to sell it?

In this video from Lynda.com, author David Crenshaw explains some of the options you have. Watch it, then look at your options below…..


This probably got you thinking and you have more questions than answers. So, attend…

The Integration of Financial Planning with Business Management for the Entrepreneur

Thursday, October 15, 2015, 1-4 pm at Greater Phoenix SCORE. $25. Click here to register and for details.

If you need a business coach, a Greater Phoenix SCORE mentor can help you for free! Click here to schedule an appointment.

Who Needs A Business Plan?

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