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Strategic business planning for 2009

Christmas countdown #2-strategic business planning for 2009…have you done any?

(music) “…Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go….” (music)

Grandma and grandson
Grandma and grandson

To visit this Christmas my grandson will go near a woods, Bidwell Park; and he’ll go over  the Sacramento River – maybe even twice, before he gets here.  However, no snow, no horses and no sleigh.  Maybe fog, rain and riding in a warm car seat.  I love spending the Christmas holidays with my children and now, with a grandson, I love Christmas even more…if that is at all possible.

Which brings me right back to business.  Why? My grandson is one of the biggest reasons I have a home-based direct selling business.  We live in uncertain economic times and I want to help with:
  • taking care of my “old age” needs
  • helping my family
  • leaving a legacy for my grandchildren
  • helping my community
  • helping causes around the globe as they are put on my heart
  • maybe helping to leave this world a better place than when I arrived in it

2009 has such a futuristic ring to it.  I remember as a child thinking that anything with 2000 in it will be like the old Jetsons cartoon…personal spacecraft and all that.  The future is nearly here.  Are you ready?

Here are some questions for you to consider as you contemplate taking your business into 2009:

  1. Why do you have a business?  What do you hope to achieve?  Can you in one sentence declare the purpose of your business?
  2. Do you have a road map of strategies to get you where you want to go?  Do you know where you want to be this time next year when 2010 looms large?
  3. What makes your business special?  What differentiates your business from another ? What is your uniqueness?
  4. Do you know who your customers are?  Do you know where they are?  Can they find you?
  5. Do you have a purpose at the core of your business that is larger than the details?
  6. Can you state exactly how big you want your business to be?  Is it big in annual profit margin?  Is it big in philanthropic outreach?  Is it big in the numbers of people it touches?  Is growth part of your plan?
  7. Do you have mapped out how you’re going to achieve your stated goals?  Do you have recognized milestones in place that will let you know where you are on the path to your goals?

Can you describe your business using an old newspaper reporter’s tool of the W’s and H?

  • Who  – who are you relative to your business and marketplace?
  • What – what is your business?  What is your product(s) or service(s)?
  • When– do you have short-term and long-range goals to strive towards?  How will you know when you’ve arrived?
  • Where – where will your business be in 2009?  Where are your customers and how will they find you?
  • Why – why are you in business?  Why this particular business?  Why will your customers keep coming back and why will they refer others?
  • How – how much time will you commit to your business in 2009? 

Are you an entrepreneur?  A small business owner?  A business leader?  An innovator

Strategic business planning involves both big picture overview and vision as well as detailed action plans.  Where are you in that process?  Are you ready for 2009?

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4 Responses

  1. I think you went over everything that we need to know 😀

    Thanks for the informative post ^^ i will definitely follow those guidelines (im printing those questions right now)

  2. Excellent tips. Keeping all of these fundamental points in check will greatly increase small business owners’ chances of success.

    The following questions are very general, but are at the very heart of how a person will fare in their business. I strongly advise everybody to answer each one honestly and I am positive more success stories arise.

    1) Why do you want to be in business for yourself?
    2) What will you need to do to be successful?
    3) How much time and energy can you consecrate to building your company?
    4) How much sacrifice are you prepared to make (personally, financially)?
    5) How much risk can you afford to take (personally, financially)?

    Any business should be approached realistically. If more dreamers were willing to do everything it takes, even if results don’t come quickly (which is almost always the case) we would have many more success stories. Avoid ”get rich quick” scams and hype at all cost! They never work. Keep your eye on the prize, work hard, work consistently, and work smart. You can be successful. Just brace yourself and know how deep the water is before jumping in. Victory to all levelheaded leaders!

  3. Gopal – thanks for the comment and questions – your five questions are great pre-planning questions every business person should answer for themselves. I like your final comment about “bracing yourself” and knowing how deep is the water…deep water is the richest. – Linda

  4. Technorino – thanks for the comment…I have to confess this was quite an exercise for me to answer all these points for myself and my business. – Linda

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