Strategic Planning For Dummies

Strategic Planning For Dummies

Erica Olsen

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0470037164

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

If you’re starting a new business or planning your business’s future, there are plenty of things you should take into account. Strategic Planning For Dummies covers everything you need to know to develop a plan for building and maintaining a competitive advantage — no matter what business you’re in.

Written by Erica Olsen, founder and President of a business development firm that helps entrepreneurial-minded businesses plan for a successful future, this handy guide covers all the basics, including:

  • How a strategic plan is different than a business plan
  • Establishing a step-based planning process
  • Planning for and encouraging growth
  • Taking a long-view of your organization
  • Evaluating past performance
  • Defining and refining your mission, values, and vision
  • Sizing up your current situation
  • Examining your industry landscape
  • Setting your strategic priorities
  • Planning for unknown contingencies

If you’re in business, you have to plan for everything — especially if you intend your business to grow. Whether you’re planning for a small business, large conglomerate, nonprofit, or even a government agency, this book has the planning specifics you need for your organization. Step-by-step, you’ll learn how to lay the foundations for a plan, understand how your plan will affect your business, form planning teams, discover what your strengths are, see where you are, and, finally, plan where you’re going. And there’s much more:

  • Learn to analyze business trends that will determine your business’s future
  • Set measurable, realistic goals that you can plan for and achieve
  • Make strategic planning a habitual part of the organization
  • Prioritize multiple strategies that you can implement simultaneously
  • Set a defining vision for the organization that guides all your planning and strategy

This friendly, simple guide puts the power of strategic planning in the palm of your hand. For small businesses that can’t afford to hire strategic planning consultants, it’s even more imperative. Careful, constant planning is the only way to handle an uncertain business future. With this book, you’ll have all the step-by-step guidance you need to ensure you’re ready for anything that comes.





















achievements of your employees and the achievements of your plan, you create an atmosphere with a feeling that you’re in this together. Seek out new ideas Invite left and right-brained people into your organization to create a complete brain trust of skills and competencies. Your left-brained folks bring the analytical perspective to the table. They think of things like analyzing data for discoveries and exploring parallel industries for new methods. The rightbrained people focus a bit more on

better, talk to your key employees and get everyone’s buy-in on executing the plan before you actually put the plan together. Consider reading Chapter 14, which focuses on execution. ߜ Determine if you want a top-down or bottom-up planning process. • A top-down approach involves the board and executive team setting the vision and long-term goals and the staff developing the shortterm goals and actions. • A bottom-up approach works with the staff developing the whole plan and submitting it to the

do that today. I guess I have enough.” This story, which you’ve probably heard in a variety of versions, quickly explains the importance of having a clear mission, vision, and set of corporate values. Knowing why you’re doing what your doing (your mission), where you’re trying to go (your vision), and how you’re going to go about it (your values), are the glue that hold an organization together. You preserve these elements, while your strategies and goals change and flex with the market. You may

overhauls. Generally, if five years have gone by and you haven’t even touched your mission statement, it’s definitely time for reviewing, fine-tuning, or even rewriting your mission statement. Sit down with your senior staff or management team and evaluate your current mission by using Figure 6-1. Collect everyone’s thoughts and suggestions, but the final decision on how to change the mission is the CEOs. If you do decide to change it, leave the wordsmithing to one person. The worst thing for

Part III. You complete your full SWOT at the end of Chapter 9. Strengths Figure 7-2: Fill out the questionnaire to get a snapshot of the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s intangible assets. How good is your company at... ? Excellent Good Weaknesses Fair Hiring qualified employees Poor Critical to your growth this year Yes No Developing and training employees Retaining current employees Building employee satisfaction Managing the flow of information Communicating the vision and

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