Our strategic planning team has developed a business planning guide specifically designed for small business startups. Our team worked together to put together this guide to illustrate and assist you in the development of a cohesive and effective branding strategy.
Specifically this article identifies the critical steps in the strategic planning process. While many small business owners think that strategic planning is just for blue-chip companies, they couldn’t be more wrong.
When starting a business, entrepreneurs often get so wrapped up in the functional details of their business that they fail to develop a strategic plan for their enterprise.
With that in mind, we developed the article, “5 Strategic Planning Questions for Entrepreneurs.”
5 Strategic Planning Questions for Entrepreneurs
When thinking about strategic planning we advise small business professionals to take a page from the big players. It’s important to consider foundational factors and the application for your new business. You should be able to answer the following five questions:
- StartUp Planning Question #1 – What makes my organization great and what factors influence the competitive dynamic of my marketplace?
- StartUp Planning Question #2 – Why is it that having great high-quality products and competitive prices no longer guarantees competitive advantage? What does my firm need to do to gain and maintain a sustainable advantage?
- StartUp Planning Question #3 – How did once dominant firms fall from their lofty positions of industry dominance? How can my start-up avoid this path?
- StartUp Planning Question #4 – What are the characteristics of high-performance organizations — irrespective of industry — that enable them to consistently outperform others in their market? How can I apply these principles to my start-up?
- StartUp Planning Question #5 – What are the warning signals of strategic decline and performance, and can these declines be predicted and avoided?
Sustainable Competitive Advantage for Your New Business
For a start-up to launch, growth and thrive it is essential that you identify the external environmental shifts that necessitate internal organization modification. Think about what is happening in your business environment so that you can plan for success within this environment.
Key elements to success include environmental scanning and gaining a full understanding of the impact these external forces will have on your small business. With this in mind, then consider the implications for your core firm competencies.
Competitive advantage for your start-up (the value created by your firm that exceeds your cost of creating it relative to competitors) is not sufficient for long term success.
Our strategic planning consultants suggest you work to build a sustainable competitive advantage. The key elements of long-term sustainable advantage for your start-up are rooted in capabilities that are:
- Rare – Only the firm possesses, unique
- Unique – Skill based and people intensive, honed tightly to your customer needs
- Socially Complex – Dependent on coordinated action, difficult to replicate
The more rare, unique and socially complex your start-up capabilities — the more sustainable your competitive advantage.
If you would like a step-by-step business plan action plan for developing a business plan for your new venture, check-out this recent article. Strategic Planning for Small Business.
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