Strategic Planning

Written by Linda Alexander
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Strategic planning every few years saves money and struggles. Instead of refusing to take an honest look at what is and isn't working at your business, take the time to analyze. Instead of spending your time putting out fires, plan for the future. You'll find your business re-energized and perhaps changed for the better, in just a short period of time.

If you are the owner of a small to mid-sized business, you probably have lots of control over the marketing aspect of your company. If you run a large company, you might not have a lot of decision-making power, but you certainly have influence. Either way, strategic planning is where you must begin.

The First Step in Strategic Planning

What do you expect to get out of your business this year or over the next three years? Setting realistic goals is the important first step. Your goals are related to every aspect of your business and marketing plans. You need to constantly evaluate your goals to stay on track and make sure you are heading in the right direction. Goals can be financial or non-financial. They must also be realistic and measurable.

Many companies hire outside management consulting firms to facilitate their strategic planning efforts. Whether you decide to do a board retreat or have a consultant work with you one-on-one, if you don't know where to begin, rest assured that there is help. There are plenty of experts who can help you set goals and reach them through an effective strategic plan.

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