Friday, November 30, 2007

9 really GREAT reasons to do Strategic Planning for your business

It's December and while most retailers are focused solely on the day to day operations of their business, there are some others who are already focused on planning for next year. These exceptional retailers aren't panicked this month because they have been planning for it all year long. They understand the value that comes from proactive planning instead of reactive decision making for their businesses. These retailers are executing a strategic plan that is playing out in their stores today and every day of the year. And you can too! It just takes a commitment to planning for your store. Why not make 2008 that year? Need more reasons?

Ok, here are my top 9 reasons to do Strategic Planning

1) Strategic planning allows you to sharply focus your efforts on what is most important to the success of your company
2) You can improve tomorrow’s results thru effective and efficient strategic management every day with every employee playing a role in the success of the plan.
3) Your store can achieve it's highest potential-- and you can actually plan what that is!
4) Strategic planning allows you to take control of your company’s destiny by establishing a lean, effective process that fits your business needs and goals
5) Thru the Strategic planning process, you can learn ways to stretch yourself and your company to achieve higher levels of success
6) Deal with rapidly changing developments that will confront your business for years to come
7) Walk away with a comprehensive plan for translating that new strategic direction into personal alignment and involvement for your employees
8) Generate motivation, enthusiasm and commitment for the plan
9) Accomplish all of this without interfering with the conduct of your business

  • If you plan for your success , some key results of a successful Strategic Plan will be
  • Creating a strategic team
  • Find your unique Strategic competencies
  • How to select and exploit the best opportunities
  • Dominate your market
  • Protect your company from potential threats
  • Allocate resources to meet objectives
  • Ability to measure key success factors
  • Learn how to make good assumptions
  • Get from where you are to where you want to be- road map to success and timeline

Start planning today for your businesses success next year -- and beyond!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strategic Planning- Necessity or Nicety for Your Retail Business?

No matter what type of retail business you own, it is important to do a little business soul searching (we call this strategic planning) to make your business as successful as it can be.
Every business – no matter what- should do some sort of planning for the future. Besides making your day to day job easier—it’s just good business!

If you don’t create a plan, how can you tell your business is on track? How will you tell others where you business is headed if you don’t even know? Or better yet, how will you measure success if you don’t know what the plan is?
Let’s start with some definitions. What is Strategic Planning? Strategic planning is a process whereby you dissect your business to determine its strengths and weaknesses. During this process you set your company's goals, objectives and mission statement. In other words, it's a soul-searching exercise for your business. Strategic planning will help you answer the following questions that are key to your businesses’ success.

1) Why does my company exist?
Why are you in business? Are you in business because there is a need and you're filling the void? Are you in business because your hobby has grown to a whole new level and its time to make it a legitimate business? Look honestly at this question and answer it truthfully. It will save you much heartache- and profit- in the long term.

2) What does my business do?
Key here: Outline your core business. Writing down your core business will keep you and your employees from getting sidetracked. If your business strays from the core and starts to falter always go back to your strategic planning to see how far you've veered from 'what your business does'.
If it’s deemed that changing direction is what you do, then you need to re address our strategic plan to redefine and realign your business goals.

3) How does my business do what it does?
This is your small business philosophy. This is an important question to answer. Once you've come up with your company's philosophy or mission statement, make it well known to all who works for you. If you're true to your mission statement, your clients will see the fruits of your effort in all that you do. In the product that you bring in, with the employees you hire as well as how you merchandise your store.

4) How do I measure my business' success?
How do you know if you're on target? You must establish a quantification of your success. Define goals that are easily measured; increase customers by 15% each year, grow sales by 6% annually, improve profits by 10% annually. These are all goals you can measure. Once you've come up with your unit of measure, review your progress regularly.

5) Why come up with a strategic plan?
Your business' strategic plan will become your company's blueprint. Think of it as your road map and instruction manual. As your business grows and you are faced with difficult decisions, take a look at what you developed and written down during your strategic planning stage. It will serve to remind you and your employees of the company's core values and mission. It will help to redirect your energy and the energy of your employees when faced with tough decisions.

6) When should you to create a strategic plan?
It's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of your business. Once you're up and running and meeting your customer’s demands, it gets more and more difficult to take the time to go through the business soul searching. You MUST find time even during the busy Holiday season to sit back, review your company mission and to create a plan that will guide you thru the upcoming seasons and year.

With time at a premium, it is better to work smarter than harder. A well thought out strategic plan will help you to work more efficiently rather than harder. Additionally, a strategic plan is a philosophy to share with your employees. Making sure that everyone on the team is marching to the same drummer will help you find success all year long.

Need help with a strategic plan for your retail business? Contact CBCG today.