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Strategic planning tips that work for nonprofits and businesses


Success in business is much like competing in chess. It requires strategic planning. In fact, there are five reasons to create strategic plan, which has at least six components.

Cash flow for companies is a common problem. Some businesses have grown too fast. Others have fallen short in due diligence. Many failed to plan for a roller coaster ride.

No matter the reason, as a result, many are cutting muscle in human resources and marketing.

History shows the organizations that keep pressing forward do better in the short term and dramatically increase market share as the economy improves.

In a weak economy, successful companies know employees are a key asset and they stay on the attack in marketing.

In this way, they’ll maintain market share and develop opportunities for growth at the expense of their competitors.

Instead of waiting for a transforming event to rescue them, successful companies don’t miss opportunities to grow.

They recognize opportunities and seize them by launching and periodically fine-tuning their strategic plans.

Do you know when should you create a new strategic plan?

Here are the five reasons to create a new one:

  1. When your company is new.
  2. If you’re looking for breakthrough results.
  3. If your firm is failing in cash flow or customer satisfaction.
  4. If you have a limited budget in choosing options.
  5. If you need to set short and long-term goals.

Miscellaneous tips

Schedule blue sky sessions to make a plan. Ask lots of questions, such as: What are your financial goals? What are your biggest challenges? What is the desired footwork? What will be the required investments?

Develop a vision of what you want to achieve and then draw your road map of how you can make that vision a reality.

Make choices based on your return on investment. Some opportunities are positive, but some aren’t. Record and analyze how you spend your time and money. Determine your ROI on each before moving ahead. Not every idea is a good opportunity.

Acknowledge that perfection is not attainable. Procrastination results if you’re looking for perfection. Don’t be afraid to act.

Brace yourself to stretch your comfort zone. Remember the definition of insanity: “If you keep doing the same thing time after time, but you’re expecting new results, then…”

Be assertive – make a commitment. Once you make a decision, don’t engage in self-doubt.

‘Get it done’

Here’s an example provided by one of the world’s great entertainers:

As a youngster growing up in Palm Springs, one of my neighbors was Bob Hope, who passed away in 2003. So I was especially motivated to interview his grandson, Zachary, regarding the comedian’s business philosophy. At the time of his passing, the entertainer was the largest landowner in massive southern California.

He confirmed his multi-millionaire comedian grandfather wasn’t joking when he used to say to his family and associates: “Get it done.” He said it was the comedian’s most-used phrase.

Depending on your situation, consider the basic components of a strategic plan:

  1. Mission. This is where you reason why your firm exists and where you list the contribution of your principal players along with your core values and priorities.
  2. Strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your resources, including your employees’ skills and facilities.
  3. Opportunities and threats. List factors, such as changes in technology, employees’ abilities, available resources to help you achieve your mission.
  4. Forecast your capabilities. Anticipate any upcoming budget, resources and personnel changes before you forecast opportunities.
  5. Goals and objectives. Remember that goals need to be specific, measurable and developed by consensus of all principals. Then, outline your tactics to achieve your goals.
  6. Implementation. As you carry out your tasks, continue to evaluate the results and fine-tune your plan as necessary.

From the Coach’s Corner, for more on planning, see this portal’s Planning pages. Meantime, don’t give up and as Mr. Hope used to say, “Get it done!”

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

-Yogi Bera


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional.Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.