Entries by Lori Moen

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Strategic Planning for the Upcoming New Year

Though it’s only October, there’s no denying that the new year is coming swiftly upon us. Soon enough, business owners will be wrapped up in the whirlwind of the holidays. While spending time with loved ones is important, so is strategic planning for next year.

Getting a head start on evaluating your business will let you enjoy quality time with family and get a great start in 2019. Check these 5 items off your to-do list:

1. Perform a SWOT Analysis

Take time at the end of the year to complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and use the data to drive your strategic planning. Compare the results to the strategic plan you set at the beginning of 2018, then decide what parts worked and what parts didn’t. Take an honest look at where you are, where you want to be, and how you plan to get there. The safest way to take a journey is with a great roadmap, and a SWOT analysis can help you create one.

2. Make a Plan to Renew Your Knowledge

If you’ve already had training in strategic planning, or you’d like to start from scratch, the new year is a great time to seek out resources, trainings, and conventions to help you get started. Working with a business coach can give you incredible access to expertise, as well as a sounding board dedicated to helping you achieve the goals you’ve set for your business.

3. Keep an Eye Open for New Talent

Around the holidays, other business owners can start to get distracted. Stay sharp and keep an eye out for talent that would be swooped up quickly any other time of year. Make a real hiring push during the holidays, and you’re sure to see talented recruits that are looking for work.

4. Create Your Budget

This one’s pretty obvious. At the end of the year, create your budget for the following year. Spend time looking at where your money went the year before, and if those expenses were worth the investment. If not, the new year is the perfect time to start weeding out unnecessary expenditure.

5. Make a Resolution to Roundtable

Though it seems cliche, the magic of the holidays just might be what it takes to follow through on your 2019 resolution. One of the best resolutions you can make for yourself and your business is participate in a business owner roundtable. The goal of the business owner roundtable is to bring together a small peer group. Once everyone is laser-focused on the goals, the focus shifts to the hot topics on every business owner’s plate, including demystifying financials, developing key performance indicators, and strategic planning.

Want to make a professional resolution that will change your life? Work with a business coach. Catalyst Group ECR can help you get off on the right foot in 2019, with advice and coaching for every strategic planning decision that you make. Get in touch and learn more about how a business coach can improve the life of your business.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

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Want to Move Up? Start By Developing Strategic Planning Skills

As you move up in your career, the cognitive abilities that you need to possess increase. Everything from your ability to handle conflict to your creativity will have to evolve along with the responsibilities you’re asked to take on. Strategic planning is one of the most invaluable skills that you can develop. It allows you to think about what the future might hold, then create strategies to tackle those challenges and opportunities with finesse and foresight.

You can start to develop these skills yourself by focusing on these three growth techniques:

1. Set Aside Time to Think and Create

Companies like Google and 3M set aside time every week, about 20% of working hours, to allow employees to work on any project that they would like to. It does not have to be work related, just productive and passion-driven. From that time, products like GMail and sticky notes were developed.

What does that mean for someone developing strategic planning skills? It’s a great way to flex your “muscle” a little, without the pressure of performing a particular task set to a particular deadline. Give leaders in your business the time to work creatively and watch them bloom. Give yourself the same privilege. Once everyone is comfortable with their projects and passions, invite people to share and collaborate. This encourages creative thinking and can lead to even more productivity.

2. Observe and Empathize

If you really want to develop strategic planning skills, it pays dividends to spend time observing your employees and “walking in their shoes.” Too often, business leaders spend their time delegating tasks and dealing with paperwork. While those are important functions of a business, take the time to see the ins-and-outs of everyday life at your company.

While doing so, ask yourself and others questions like, “What’s not working around here?” and “Could this process be made easier?” Even if nothing changes today, it’s can change in your 2-, 5-, or 10-year plans. Being aware of issues before they really become issues and dedicating yourself to improving upon them is a critical piece of strategic planning.

3. Create a Culture of Learning

Encourage yourself and others to constantly seek new information. It doesn’t even have to be specific to your field! Read travel journals, explore forums or websites about topics you’re interested in, or spend some time on YouTube learning a new skill. While this may seem like it’s not work-related, a huge portion of learning something new, like a hobby or skill, requires problem solving and perseverance.

Those soft skills can translate to hard results once you implement them into work-related projects. Think about grade school and learning reading comprehension skills. While it may have seemed that those were isolated skills at the time, we use inferencing, foreshadowing, and our understanding of figurative language everyday to understand the world around us. The same can be said for learning other skills, like creative thinking. While your ability to whittle or paint might never come in handy in a boardroom, your ability to remain patient in the face of frustration will.

The best way to develop strategic planning skills is to work with a coach who has the expertise and experience to help you grow. Catalyst Group ECR works with individuals to help them realize their potential and experience growth in their focus areas. Through one-on-one meetings, we work with the business owner to build a sense of community and rapport that provides a foundation for growth. We would love to hear from you, and help you start your journey towards developing strategic planning skills.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

What Is A Business Appraisal and Do I Need One?

There’s something to be said about knowing your worth. Your business is no different. Understanding when a business appraisal is necessary and what it can do for your company can help you take on transitions with confidence. What is a business appraisal? Sometimes called a business valuation, a business appraisal looks at your income, your […]

What’s The Difference Between a Strategy and A Tactic?

Jereon Flanders is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy execution and a highly regarded keynote speaker. One of his favorite motivational quotes is by Sun Tzu, a revered Chinese military strategist, philosopher, and writer. He once wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before […]

5 Tips to Improve the B2B Buyout Process

Selling your business is hard. Even if you’re selling out of necessity or tragedy, it can be incredibly difficult to give up on a dream. This rings especially true if you’re selling to a competitor. The business to business selling process isn’t an easy one, but these 5 tips can help ease the process: 1. […]

3 Essential Qualities of the Best Business Coaches

Passion. Commitment. Expertise. There’s so much that goes into becoming one of the best business coaches on the market. If you’re looking for someone to guide you through the ebbs and flows of your career, you want the cream of the crop. You want someone passionate about making your relationship their top priority. It’s not […]

How to Maximize Business Growth With a Small Marketing Budget

Online marketing has become one of the most valuable tools that small business owners have access to. Even with a small budget, you can maximize marketing for business growth. Working with a business advisor can help you identify the best markets to target, as well as gain insights into networking events where you can learn […]

Small Business Leadership Training: The Key to Success

Leading a small business requires much more than having your name on the paperwork as the owner. It’s an active role that requires furthering yourself through research, networking, and small business leadership training. Having a successful business means being a leader who is capable of delegating, negotiating, and making the tough decisions when necessary. Working […]

5 Reasons to Join a CEO Networking Group

It’s lonely at the top. Taking on the role as the leader of an organization can be an isolating task. People look at you to make the tough decisions, some of which may affect their future. That’s why it’s important to work with peers who can help you weather the storms. Spending time with CEO […]

Why Your Business Development Strategy Needs a Coach

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” -7 Habits of Highly Effective People Are you aiming to make your business better? The simple answer is, “Who isn’t?” No matter where you are in the process, your business development […]