|Strategic Planning Information|
Top Ten Traits of Strategic Thinkers
Want to become more strategic? Add these traits to your collection of skills and watch your success soar!
1. Maintain a self-responsible attitude.
Strategic thinkers live by the saying, "if it is to be, it's up to me".
2. Capitalize on strengths and minimize weakness.
Understand your core competencies and use them to your best advantage. Partner with others who excel in the areas where you are less proficient.
3. Effectively use intuition.
Rather then a flighty notion, strategic thinkers consider intuition to be the product of past experience, observations and projections. From this vantage point they are able to develop sensitivity to probable solutions.
4. Have a clear sense of purpose.
Strategic thinkers start at the end. They know exactly what they want to accomplish before they begin and determine appropriate actions based on how well it will help them achieve the desired results.
5. Ability to identify or create better alternatives or solutions.
By thinking strategically, limitations are removed and possibilities are considered.
6. Consistent "what's right" positive perspective.
Strategic thinkers manage from a position of strength by focusing on what's working. This mindset allows new solutions or improvements to be created without jeopardizing an existing competitive advantage.
7. Lead the way, take initiative.
Strategic thinking promotes ideas that are new and often unproven. As an innovator, a strategic thinker creates greater resources and market advantage.
8. Welcome risks -- comfortable with the unknown.
To a strategic thinker, risk is nothing more then information that is not yet fully understood. Risk is managed based on intuition, a "what's right" perspective, and the ability to adapt and create improved solutions.
9. Encourage and promote innovation and change.
Strategic thinkers look for constant improvement. If something is good, they want to know how to make it even better.
10. Able to deliver results.
Equipped with the other nine traits, strategic thinkers can adapt to changing technology trends, market conditions, industry concerns, budget restrictions and basic challenges of life to persevere until they succeed!
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Insurance Requirements in Franchised Companies
Franchised companies often require what some believe to be excessive insurance requirements. This is because so often if a franchise is sued for any reason that the Lawyers go after the big money of the franchisors and name them in the lawsuit. It is amazing that a lawyer can write garbage in a lawsuit and file it in court and if you do not hire another lawyer to fight them, you could lose your entire life's work and company. But our legal system as most entrepreneurs agree is a complete joke and more closely represents the extortion tactics of the mob than any legitimate sense of fairness or truth. This is why franchisors must require huge limits of liability insurance and additional insured certificates as part of the franchise agreement.
City of Cortez and South Western Colorado Market Survey
We have been spending many hours surveying the market for a potential business location in the South Western Region (region # 9) of Colorado. Pouring through data, seeing the tourist sites, and understanding the market there. Meeting with officials, business people and visiting businesses we learned quite a bit about the region and the future prospects there for someone opening a business.
Describing Intellectual Property in Your Business Plan
Most companies that are worthy of raising venture capital have proprietary Intellectual Property (IP). In fact, the quality of the IP and the management team are often the two most important aspects of a venture capitalist's investment decision. The challenge that many ventures face, however, is that most investors will not sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and NDAs are critical to maintaining the proprietary nature of the IP. This article details the appropriate strategy for addressing proprietary IP in your business plan in order to attract investor attention while retaining the confidentiality of your inventions.
Why 9 in 10 Businesses are Overspending on Day-to-day Expenses
Experts estimate that 90 percent of Australian businesses are overspending on day-to-day expenses, by as much as 75 percent in some cost categories!
A significant advantage of some business ideas is that the venture can break even at what seems to be an easily achievable volume. A technique for quantifying that volume, called break-even analysis, examines the interaction among fixed costs, variable costs, prices, and unit volume to determine that combination of elements in which revenues and total costs are equal.
Do You Have A Customer Identity Crisis?
The trick is to determine what uniquely identifies your best customers. Fortunately, deriving this information is not difficult, and in many cases can be obtained from innocuous questions. Consider a manufacturer of baby goods and the fact that families with new babies often purchase multi-passenger vehicles. This manufacturer could build an effective mailing list by surveying recent car purchasers and noting which respondents had traded in sports cars for SUVs. Your information gathering technique of course will vary, but the identifying information always comprises the same three pieces -- demographic information, geographic location, and purchasing history. Demographic Information
6 Steps To Laying Out Your Competitive Strategy
Why do so many companies languish and watch as their business turns into a zero profit zone, while others seem to thrive?
Innovators Role at Hard Times
One Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Imaging Systems laboratory said Carly Fiorina was a marketing person put in change of engineers who cared nothing about the art and beauty of technology. She just wanted saleable stock to bring to market. He exhorts that when she walked into the HP Labs for the first time, she said that their new company slogan was "Invent." Then, she told them that the technology industry would never again be as exciting and profitable as it was in the '90s. That they'd all need to grow up now and face that fact.
Designing an Efficient Distribution System
Let us look at a few of the big distribution networks in the US that we use today. The US Post Office for instance is a huge complex chain of symbiotic relations ships with vendors to deliver by truck, work with FED EX for air, previously that airmail idea started commercial aviation. The reason it grew big and evolved so well is because of the special teams and companies and individuals from the first air mail carriers to the Wells Fargo Coaches. A much better system than Paul Revere; although he was very simple with only two possible signals 1 or 2 "if's" scenarios. Let's face it 1's and Zero's or 1 or 2 ifs are different than today.
Idaho Market for Automotive Businesses; Doing it Right
Anyone who has been watching the Idaho Market Carefully for auto services, knows that the market is ripe, ready and growing. I visited Southern Idaho after establishing franchises in Northern Idaho three years ago for our auto aftermarket franchise company. We have surveyed the competition as well and found that much of the original competition in these Southern Idaho markets is unsophisticated and not setting any speed records. Of course to their benefit it appears that they are not trying. But the area is growing and it is time for them to wake up and smell the coffee and get the show on the road. In the mobile auto detailing and car wash business there is much opportunity indeed.
If You Dont Focus, Innovate and Evolve, You Die
After 128 years of business, a household word, Montgomery Wards, Inc., closed their doors forever and filed bankruptcy.
Mining Market Data
With a heightened awareness of opportunity, ideas can often be generated by market research. The National Women's Business Center (NWBC) defines market research as "a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, competition, and/or environment with the goal being increased understanding. Through the market research process, you can take data?a variety of related or non-related facts?and create useful information to guide your business decisions.
Strategic Planning Fundamentals
Strategic planning is vital while starting a new business or expansion of an business or planning to boost the performance of an existing business. But it requires detailed strategic planning and controlled deployment activities. Strategic planning is used to delivers its value proposition and achieve its mission.
Vision Getting Dim?
A recent conversation started with a typical question, "How's business?" The reply was equally typical and prefaced by a sigh, "You know (another sigh), same old / same old."
Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan
The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.
Clearing the Path: 4 Ways Fear Wreaks Havoc on Your Dream and What to Do About It
Please take a moment before you read any further and answer these three simple questions:
Secrets Of Effective Brainstorming
Have you been in a "brainstorming" session where each person just defended their own ideas? Worse is when people don't suggest ideas at all, for fear they'll be attacked. That's no way to brainstorm. Brainstorming is using the power of many minds, and ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. How do you make that happen?
The Importance of Value Mix
( * - the word 'product' can be substituted to mean 'service' too; and vice versa )
Microsoft Great Plains in Advertising & Publishing ? implementation highlights
Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Dynamics is excellent fit for service oriented business and in this small article we'll give you magazine publisher and advertiser implementation and reporting scenarios. The system we describe is not real, we are putting together industry specifics, based on our consulting practice. In the case if you do not see some unique features of your publishing business ? this just means that publishing industry is diversified and say, regional newspaper publishing is quite different from magazine with narrow specialization.
SWOT Analysis Is No Magic 8 Ball
Q: A key investor in my business has suggested that I hire a consultant to do a SWOT Analysis to help plan for the future. I try not to argue with my investors, but I'm not so sure I need to have this done. What do you think? -- Laurie B.
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