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  • 1. STRATEGY
  • 2. A manual for inspired entrepreneurs MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 3. We know running a business is hard and exciting and stressful. We know you have a vision a dream a calling a hope. We know strategy is confusing but necessary for success. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 4. We’ve put together the elements of an effective strategic plan to… INSPIRE YOU TO MAKE STRATEGY A REALITY… …GROWING YOUR COMPANY TO ACHIEVE YOUR VISION MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 5. READ ON. Strategy starts here MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 6. Competitive Advantage BE THE BEST. Aspire to be the best. Successful companies deliberately make choices to be unique and different in everything they do. Dominate your market product category service offering customer service. Don’t settle for second best. Create a sustainable competitive advantage. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 7. Mission Statement STATE YOUR PURPOSE. Be purpose-driven. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 8. Vision Statement HELP PEOPLE SEE THE END STATE. Visualize the future of your company in 10 years. Describe it. Touch it. Feel it. Live it. Experience it. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 9. Values Statement YOUR ORGANIZATION IS A COLLECTION OF BELIEFS. A solid foundation is key to building an organization that will grow, succeed, excel, and prosper. Beliefs are the core values and principles we live by. When they are shared with others, a bond is created. A culture is formed, becoming a solid foundation. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 10. Broad Objectives PRODUCE HOLISTIC VISION DELIVERABLES. That’s exactly what objectives are. Statements about how you will deliver your vision. In a complete, holistic, integrated, clear, achievable method. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 11. Internal and External Assessment FUTURECAST. Companies spend time predicting what sales will be like in the future. But we spend little time actually thinking in any serious way about that future – it is the underlying dynamics, the sweeping trajectory of new competition, the way customers will evolve, the collision course one industry may be on with another. Take this time to “futurecast” – to examine the world your company will do business in 2030 to get a different view of your challenge. Dream. Build. Expand. When you journey back to this planning session, you’ll have a new perspective on how to handle the challenges at hand. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 12. Targeting Customers VISUALIZE SHAKING YOUR CUSTOMER’S HAND. Know your customers likes, dislikes, needs, wants, birthdays, anniversaries, style, titles, beliefs, behaviors, perspectives, politics, dreams, loyalty, lifestyle, personality, social status, motivations, aspirations, expectations, irritations, opportunities…and the list goes on… You can’t see what you don’t know. Visualize your customers so you can see them with 100 percent clarity. They are the reason you are in business. Know your customers. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 13. Develop a Strategy CREATE A 360- DEGREE STRATEGY. Think of “strategy” as a guide to how you deliver value to your customers. Value is added or subtracted every time your customer interacts with your company. Or every time you “touch” the customer – receptionist’s tone of voice, response time, product quality, warranties, value-adds, website, and follow-thru – just to name a few. Map all the possible touch points customers have with your company. Now, go build a total strategy around those points – at every step, show how your actions will live up to your mission. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 14. Specific Goals MAKE THAT DECISION. A decision today is twice as worthy as a decision tomorrow. There are five reasons people put off making decisions. 1. Not enough data. 2. Too much data. 3. Don’t know a decision is required. 4. Afraid of losing their job. The one thing most executives and managers forget is that the lack of a decision results in more derailments of mission than any other cause. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 15. Immediate Action Items FOCUS ON THE CONTROL POINTS. LET EVERYTHING ELSE GO. The temptation is to try to change everything at once. To leap from being the company you are today to the company you want to be—overnight. The fact is you can execute 90 percent of the necessary change by simply pressing on a few carefully chosen control points in your organization. Identify those points and initially put everything else on hold. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 16. Financial Assessment LET THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. The financials will tell you what goals to keep and what to cut. Keep the goals with a positive story. Revised the ones with a negative ending. After all, we all like a story with a happy ending. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 17. Scorecard SINGLE OUT THE KEY FACTORS THAT DRIVE YOUR SUCCESS. You can’t monitor everything in your organization. But you can focus on a few key indicators. Single out the two or three factors that will make or break your company. Watch them daily. Track them weekly. Evaluate them monthly. Take corrective action promptly. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 18. Implementation MAKE EVERYONE A HOLDER OF THE CODE. Everyone must know the game plan and Be clear on the direction. Everyone must understand how they fit in and How to contribute. To achieve your vision. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 19. FEELING INSPIRED? Let’s get strategic and put your plan on paper. Keep reading for the specifics… MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 20. YOUR TEN STEP, ONE DAY STRATEGIC PLAN You don’t have to kill a tree or shut down the office for a week to create a successful strategic plan. In fact, you can create a successful plan for your business in just one day. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or a monumental task. It doesn’t have to be perfect or fancy. Just grab a few key people in your organization, turn off the phones and let’s get started. Step One – Competitive Advantage The result of a well-developed and executed strategic plan is to develop a competitive advantage. Just what is a competitive advantage? Business lingo aside, it is simply the answer to: What can your company potentially do better than any other company? Understanding your competitive advantage is critical. It is the reason you are in business. It is what you do best that draws customers to buy your product/service instead of your competitor’s. Extremely successful companies deliberately make choices to be unique and different in activities that they are really, really good at and they focus all of their energy in these areas. You may decide to incorporate your competitive advantage into your mission and/or vision statements. Step Two – Mission Statement A mission statement is a statement of the company’s purpose. It is useful for putting the spotlight on what business a company is presently in and the customer needs it is presently endeavoring to serve. It also serves as a guide for day-to-day operations and as the foundation for future decision-making. To write a mission statement, answer the questions: What is our business? What are we trying to accomplish for our customers? What is our company’s reason for existing? Step Three – Vision Statement A strategic vision is the image of a company’s future – the direction it is headed, the customer focus it should have, the market position it should try to occupy, the business activities to be pursued, and the capabilities it plans to develop. Forming a strategic vision should delineate what kind of enterprise the company is trying to become and infuse the organization with a sense of purposeful action. Think big! To write a vision statement, answer this question: What will our business look like in 5 to ten years from now? MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 21. Step Four – Internal and External Assessment The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis helps you look critically at your organization. It is a tool to help produce a good fit between a company’s strengths and its opportunities. Assess your strengths and weaknesses by answering these questions: What do we do best? What do we not do best? What are our company resources – assets, intellectual property, and people? What are our company capabilities (functions)? Assess your opportunities and threats by answering these questions: What is happening externally that will affect our company? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor? What are the driving forces behind sales trends? What are important and potentially important markets? What is happening in the world that might affect our company? Step Five – Target your customers If you want to move your company from being successful to wildly profitable, you need to meet your customers’ needs and wants better than your competitors do. Develop a customer profile by answering: What are our customers needs, motivations, and characteristics? How do we uniquely provide value to our customers? What should we improve to grow our customer base? Step Six – Goals and objectives development Goals and objectives are like stair steps to your mission and vision. Realistic goals and objectives are developed from the SWOT analysis and customer profile. Objectives set the agenda, are broad, and global in nature. Write two to five objectives that give action to your mission/vision and will take a few years to achieve. Then, develop goals to achieve each objective. Goals should be measurable, quantifiable, and support your objectives. Think about achieving them in a one-year timeframe. Effective goals must state how much of what kind of performance by when is to be accomplished and by whom. Make sure both your goals and objectives build on your strengths; shore up your weaknesses; capitalize on your opportunities; and recognize your threats. Step Seven – Resource assessment Now that you have completed your goals and objectives, it is time to do a resource assessment. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to all well laid strategic plans is time and money. As with every business, budgets are never big enough to do everything you want to do. Prioritize key goals by asking: Do implementing the goals make financial sense? Do you have the human resources to achieve your plan? MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 22. Step Eight – Tactic/Action Items Tactics set specific actions/action plans that lead to implementing your goals and objectives. Basically write a to-do list for each goal. A quick way to develop your tactics is to answer this question: What roadblocks exist to achieving my goal? Use the answer to develop action items for each goal. Assign responsibilities and deadlines to ensure implementation. A great method to get buy-in from your staff is to assign a goal to each employee. Ask him/her to write the action plan and be responsible for making sure each task is accomplished. Step Nine – Strategic Scorecard In step six, you wrote goals that were measurable. Put these measurements and targets on a scorecard (in Excel), which acts as an instrument panel guiding your company towards achieving your vision. With the scorecard, you can actively track your progress on a monthly basis. Step Ten – Implementation Make strategy a habit. A leader devoted to the successful implementation of the strategy and plan is key. The plan needs to be supported with people, money, time, systems, and above all communication. Communicate the plan to everyone in your organization. Hold a monthly or quarterly strategy meeting to report on the progress toward achieving the goal. Don’t forget to take corrective actions when needed and adapt as the environment changes. Conclusion My last word of advice is a plan is a living document. It does not have to be perfect or 100 percent complete to start using your strategic plan. A business without a plan is like a car without a steering wheel. A rough draft is better than no plan at all. Put your plan on paper so you can look back and celebrate your well-earned success. Happy Planning! MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 23. ABOUT M3 PLANNING OUR MISSION Our purpose is to make strategy a reality for entrepreneurial-spirited organizations. BACKGROUND Founded in 2000, M3 Planning, Inc. is a business development firm that works with entrepreneurial organizations to help them connect with their customers thru strategic planning and market research. We are a business built and run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Our work is guided by the following principles: 1. Everything we produce is small to medium-size business specific. 2. Tools and materials are practical and realistic. 3. Our strategic planning system is structured for implementation. 4. All outcomes are directed to drive strategic growth. 5. Our process focuses on developing purpose-driven organizations. We created our company to help business owners realize their vision by organizing their strategy with the end goal of responsible growth. We accomplish this in four ways: • Strategic Planning Software: MyStrategicPlan, MyNonProfitPlan and MyChurchPlan are developed for owners and executive directors who want to self-direct their planning process. • Books: We have published three strategic planning books that are designed to stand alone or support the software. • On-Site Facilitation: We offer on-site strategic planning sessions for those looking for outside facilitators. • Workshops/Conferences: We speak at a variety of conference and workshops nationwide. MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!
  • 24. ABOUT OUR SOFTWARE MyStrategicPlan MyStrategicPlan is strategic planning software for entrepreneurs. Specifically designed for companies with less than 150 employees, MyStrategicPlan is a cost-effective, do-it-yourself solution for owners and executives who want to create and organize their business strategy. URL: www.mystrategicplan.com MyNonProfitPlan MyNonProfitPlan is specifically for executive directors of nonprofits who are looking for a self-guided strategic planning process. This software is customized to the nonprofit strategic planning processes, complete with examples and guidelines relevant to developing a strategy for an organization that is mission-driven. URL: www.mynonprofitplan.org MyChurchPlan MyChurchPlan is designed for churches that want to strategically focus their activities based on God’s unique purpose for their church. Through a self-guided, cost-effective process, MyChurchPlan will help you effectively build a plan to fulfill your church’s mission and vision. URL: www.mychurchplan.com M3 Planning, Inc. P.O. Box 8021 Reno, NV 89507 erica@m3planning.com 775-747-7407 MyStrategicPlan: Making strategy a reality Online tools, software, books, articles!