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Strategic Planning For Dummies

Erica Olsen

ISBN: 978-1-118-05056-9

Mar 2011

384 pages

Select type: E-Book



If you’re starting a new business or planning your business’s future, there are plenty of things you should take into account. Strategic Planning For Dummies covers everything you need to know to develop a plan for building and maintaining a competitive advantage — no matter what business you’re in.

Written by Erica Olsen, founder and President of a business development firm that helps entrepreneurial-minded businesses plan for a successful future, this handy guide covers all the basics, including:

  • How a strategic plan is different than a business plan
  • Establishing a step-based planning process
  • Planning for and encouraging growth
  • Taking a long-view of your organization
  • Evaluating past performance
  • Defining and refining your mission, values, and vision
  • Sizing up your current situation
  • Examining your industry landscape
  • Setting your strategic priorities
  • Planning for unknown contingencies

If you’re in business, you have to plan for everything — especially if you intend your business to grow. Whether you’re planning for a small business, large conglomerate, nonprofit, or even a government agency, this book has the planning specifics you need for your organization. Step-by-step, you’ll learn how to lay the foundations for a plan, understand how your plan will affect your business, form planning teams, discover what your strengths are, see where you are, and, finally, plan where you’re going. And there’s much more:

  • Learn to analyze business trends that will determine your business’s future
  • Set measurable, realistic goals that you can plan for and achieve
  • Make strategic planning a habitual part of the organization
  • Prioritize multiple strategies that you can implement simultaneously
  • Set a defining vision for the organization that guides all your planning and strategy

This friendly, simple guide puts the power of strategic planning in the palm of your hand. For small businesses that can’t afford to hire strategic planning consultants, it’s even more imperative. Careful, constant planning is the only way to handle an uncertain business future. With this book, you’ll have all the step-by-step guidance you need to ensure you’re ready for anything that comes.


Part I: Laying the Foundation for Your Strategic Plan.

Chapter 1: What Is Strategic Planning Anyhow?

Chapter 2: Why Strategic Planning Impacts Your Growth.

Chapter 3: Getting Set Up for Successful Planning.

Part II: Looking Backward to Move Forward.

Chapter 4: Taking Lessons from the Past.

Chapter 5: Focusing on What You Do Best.

Chapter 6: Refining Your Mission, Vision, and Values.

Part III: Sizing Up Your Current Situation.

Chapter 7: Assessing Your Business and Its Capabilities.

Chapter 8: Seeing Your Business Through Your Customers’ Eyes.

Chapter 9: Assessing Your Strategic Position in a Dynamic Environment.

Part IV: Moving Your Organization into the Future.

Chapter 10: Growth: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore.

Chapter 11: Finding New Customers.

Chapter 12: Establishing Your Strategic Priorities.

Part V: Creating and Making the Most of Your Plan.

Chapter 13: Putting Your Plan Together.

Chapter 14: Putting Your Plan to Work.

Chapter 15: Contingency Planning: Your Plan B.

Chapter 16: Planning Considerations for Entrepreneurs and Department Managers.

Chapter 17: Planning for the Social Sectors.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Keep Your Strategic Plan from Hitting the Shelf.

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Ruin Your Strategic Planning Meeting.

Chapter 20: Ten Shortcuts to Getting Your Plan Done.


Companion Podcast

Companion Podcast

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If you're not into the podcasting scene, you can listen to the latest podcast episode by clicking on the following episode links, or by right-clicking and using the Save Target As option to save the file to your hard drive.

Episode 1: What is Strategic Planning and What Can it Do for Me (.mp3 download)