Understanding the Competitive Value of Your Brand – Part Two

February 17th, 2017

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

This post is part of a series taken from Robert Bradford’s article Understanding the Competitive Value of your Brand published in Compass Points September 2005.  In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What makes a brand valuable?  In Part Two, we will discuss Why branding is important in the global marketplace.

Why branding is important in the global marketplace

In an increasingly global market, branding can serve two distinct functions that may be useful to you: first, a “local” brand gives you an entrenched customer base that is more difficult (and expensive) to displace, and second, a “global” brand can give you a foot in the door when seeking to enter new geographic areas. Be forewarned: building a “global” brand is expensive, and often a “local” brand can be just as costly. Even so, the brand can be a useful offensive tool and defensive tool when you are competing with non-local companies.

There is one reason why “local” brands can be more cost-effective, and a good tool for defending your home turf from foreign competition: brand success is built upon three critical factors:

  1. Understanding the key values in the mind of your customer
  2. Knowing how to put the customer’s values into your product or service
  3. Effectively associating your brand with those values

Two of these factors, understanding your customer and associating your brand with values, are very much defined by culture. Thus, someone from outside your culture – and this could even be someone who speaks the same language from a different region – will find it much more difficult to get an accurate read on what your customer’s key values are, and how to convince the customer that his product or service embodies those values. This is not saying that a foreign competitor cannot do this – just that it’s a lot more expensive and difficult.

In the next post of this series, we will discuss How to evaluate your brand.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Team Building at the Executive Level

February 10th, 2017

Strategic Planning Expert

M Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Executive team building principles: What are some basics?  While one could write reams on executive team building, and indeed, many have, much of what shakes out of a deep analysis of the subject results in the whole thing being boiled down to some basic principles.  Although a short article like this can only skim the surface of the subject, here are some key points to consider.

First Principle: Have the right people on the team or, as Jim Collins wrote, “have the right people on the bus.”  This presumes you have developed a solid course and direction on which the bus should be driven. Many different attributes can be used to determine who those people are, and every company or organization will have its own definitions of what attributes pertain best to that organization.  In general terms, all need to be expert in their primary areas of responsibility.  All need to have sufficient experience to allow them to see and understand the perspectives of their teammates as well.  All must have the ability to communicate effectively both at the executive team level as well as in other layers of the organization.

By implication, having the right people on the bus also means getting the “wrong” people off the bus.  Nothing can throw a rock into the gears of an operation like having someone who simply doesn’t fit.  This definitely does not imply that anyone should be a “yes person”, but on occasion, people simply do not fit the culture of the organization at the top levels.

Second Principle: People at the top of an organization have no more hours available in the day than others in the organization.  To be effective, they should be concentrating on those vital activities which only they can do, and be willing and able to delegate effectively the rest to others in their part of the organization or consider not doing that part of the function at all.  An inability to delegate effectively will limit the productivity of the executive and hamper the results of the whole organization.

Third Principle: Monitor output and results tirelessly.  That does not mean that one should micro-manage.  It does imply that on a regular basis, with frequency determined by the importance of the project or duty, one should keep abreast of what progress is being made, what is scheduled to be done in the next time period, what problems have arisen and what is being done about solving the problems or even, changing the duty or project action plan to meet changing conditions.

If your team is having challenges with any of the principles above, you should first be sure your organization has a sound course and direction toward which you are aiming.  To do this, a comprehensive strategic plan with a robust execution process is vital.  We can help you achieve your strategic plan.  Give me a call at 616-575-3193 or email me at baldwin@cssp.com.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Understanding the Competitive Value of your Brand – Part 1

February 3rd, 2017

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Brand IS a competitive advantage

This post is part of a series taken from Robert Bradford’s article Understanding the Competitive Value of your Brand published in Compass Points September 2005.  In this part we will introduce the series and discuss What makes a brand valuable?

One of the most commonly overlooked sources of competitive advantage is brand. Branding is not just advertising, nor is it simply a catchy name for a company or product. The most important value in a brand is the value that it holds for actual customers. This value is very difficult and expensive to build – and fragile and easy to destroy. The difficulty of building and maintaining a brand is one reason why managers the world over tend to avoid spending much time or money on branding – especially in smaller companies. This is a shame, because a well-managed brand is so powerful that it can overcome almost any other competitive advantage. This one fact is the reason why larger companies with lots of managerial horsepower tend to spend a lot of time and money on branding.

What makes a brand valuable?

Brands are valuable simply because they cause customers to be inclined to purchase your product rather than someone else’s. In a way, a brand is shorthand for the things the customer can expect from your product. In products that hold little meaning for the customer, this might be worth less, but in markets where the customer invests his or her ego in the purchase of a particular brand, that meaning can be priceless. Let’s look at some examples to see where branding may or may not be important.

First of all, let’s look at some examples of brands with tremendous pull. These brands will sell well just about anywhere they show up, because the customer associates the brand with qualities they prefer. Examples include:

Disney
Nintendo
Sony
Harley Davidson
Apple

Interestingly, none of these brands has universal appeal, in that not every possible customer will prefer the attributes of the brand over their alternatives. For example, the Disney brand is applied to many products:

Theme Parks
Movies
Licensed products such as clothing and toys
Computer games
Time shares
Cruise line
Broadway shows
Television programming

In each of these very different product areas, the Disney brand means something a little different. For example, in theme parks, Disney means clean, family-oriented, creatively designed, expensive and (to many) crowded. The negative elements of the Disney branding in their theme park business are inevitable – you always have to accept the negative with the positive. But the positive elements are so compelling that millions of people from around the world spend a significant portion of their income to travel to a Disney theme park.

The Apple brand has a similar story. Apple carries a number of meanings, including well designed, easy to use, less popular and expensive. As with any great brand, this brand has a lot of ego invested in it for some people. This aspect of branding is more visible in computers because it is significantly more difficult and time consuming to use a computer operating system that isn’t the most popular (in other words, Microsoft). Despite this difficulty, Apple has a hard core of fans who wouldn’t think of using another brand, given a choice. Clearly, this doesn’t translate into top market share for Apple, but it is a significant advantage that has clearly kept the Apple name alive when others have fallen by the wayside. Apple’s newer products – notable the iPod – have drawn upon the positive elements of the Apple brand. The negative elements of the Apple brand have been far less problematic for the iPod because it is competing in a new product area where niche status has not been seen as a drawback. This is an excellent example of using a brand to grow beyond the core product line.

In the next post of this series, we will discuss Why branding is important in the global marketplace.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Strategic Evaluation of Acquisition Targets – Part Two

January 27th, 2017

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

This post is part of a series taken from Robert Bradford’s article Strategic Evaluation of Acquisition Targets published in Compass Points September 2008.  In part one we introduced the series and discussed Market Impact.  In this part we will discuss Technology impactHuman resource impact, Distribution impact, and Supplier market impact.

Technology impact

Sometimes you may consider an acquisition because the target company owns a technology that will be strategically useful to your company. This is usually strategically valuable when a technology can differentiate your company by helping you meet a specific customer need or preference better than your competition.

Human resource impact

In some situations, the human resources of a target company will create value for the acquiring company. While just having warm bodies will only create value in a time of labor shortage (which we saw in technology companies during the dot com boom), it’s not uncommon to see specific skilled employees creating a considerable part of the perceived value of the target. For example, insurance agencies may find other agencies desirable because they have a number of skilled and experienced producers. Likewise, in technology, you may want to acquire a company to get a team that is especially skilled in a certain type of software (such as mobile device social media) because the technological competency of the team will help you meet customer needs better — or even create a wildly differentiated product.

Distribution impact

An acquisition target may give you enhanced ability to penetrate a new distribution channel — or give you the concentrated power to dictate terms to an existing channel. For example, Acco Corporation owns several well-known office product brands, which gives the company increased leverage with powerful office superstore chains.

Supplier market impact

Leverage is not restricted to customers and distribution channels — if you control most of a market, you may also have greater bargaining power with suppliers. This may allow you to dictate product features, terms or even pricing with your supplier base, because you have power over their access to your market. This kind of power gives companies like Walmart the ability to have much higher profitability than competitors, because selling to the largest customer can be the key element in maintaining dominant market share.

As you can see, there are many ways an acquired company can add real value to your bottom line beyond simply adding sales volume or cash flow.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Strategic Evaluation of Acquisition Targets – Part One

January 20th, 2017

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

This post is part of a series taken from Robert Bradford’s article Strategic Evaluation of Acquisition Targets published in Compass Points September 2008.  In this part we will introduce the series and discuss Market Impact.

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

You are considering purchasing another company to accelerate the growth of your business. The company has $10 million in sales and shows a profit of $1 million. Physical assets and cash are pretty low — only $500,000 and the recent growth rate has been a modest, but consistent 4%. The owner wants $20 million for the company. Is this a good deal for you or not? Should you buy the company?

Obviously, from a purely financial perspective, the above deal doesn’t look particularly attractive. There are plenty of resources for evaluating the value of an acquisition target from a financial perspective. In other articles, we have examined the strategic reasons for pursuing an acquisition and factors which will make some targets more strategically attractive for you. In this article, we will take a quick look at the other strategic factors that may dramatically change your assessment of the value of an acquisition target.

There are four factors you will want to consider in evaluating an acquisition:

  1. Financial value
  2. Asset value to your company
  3. Possible resale value of the company and its assets
  4. Strategic impact on your company
    • Market impact
    • Technology impact
    • Human resource impact
    • Distribution impact
    • Supplier market impact

We will not spend much time on the assessment of the first three items, because they are well-addressed elsewhere. The fourth, strategic impact can most easily be assessed by deciding to treat the strategic impact as an element of financial value, asset value or resale value — but this requires making some very specific assumptions.

  1. Market impact

Market impact is the effect that combining your company with the target will have on market behaviors. For example, reducing the number of competitors may decrease price competition, increasing margins for the remaining competitors. A combined company may also generate higher value for customers by offering a broader product line, simplifying terms or raising the overall quality and service levels in the market. These will, in turn, enable the acquiring company to strategically shift the competitive dynamic so that market success is dictated by different strategic competencies.

In the next post in this series, we will discuss Technology impact, Human resource impact, Distribution impact and Supplier market impact.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

You May Have One or More of These Problems with Strategic Opportunities

January 13th, 2017

By Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

Opportunities are one of the three core elements of value creation in strategic management.  Unfortunately, most companies struggle with opportunities, because there are few processes (outside of a good strategic planning process) that effectively shape the organization’s response to the ocean of opportunities we have available to us in business.

Here are the most common issues I see with companies who struggle with opportunities:

  1. Flavor of the month

The “flavor of the month” issue occurs when leaders become infatuated with new ideas periodically.  When opportunities can be effectively handled in that short time frame (eponymously, a month), this isn’t bad – but most strategic opportunities require a great deal of time, commitment and funding to succeed.

  1. Focus on these 20 opportunities

Most teams have a finite capacity for projects, and strategic opportunities are normally very large projects.  In the Simplified Strategic Planning seminar, we always tell people to limit themselves to no more than 10 objectives.  In practice, I often counsel leaders to pursue fewer than ten – quite often 5 or less.  Simply put, pursuing too many opportunities may feel like you are going to hit something – the “shotgun” approach – but normally, this syndrome results in inadequate resources and attention being given to the most critical opportunities.

  1. Reactive opportunities

This is very common in the B2B world.  When big customers dangle a big order in front of us, we often drop everything else and wholeheartedly pursue the big fish.  Unfortunately, such reaction is not driven by strategy, but by reaction to customers.  In many cases, savvy customers use this response to guide your strategy in a way that increases your dependence on them while decreasing your own strategic flexibility.

  1. Visionless opportunities

Many, many opportunities are good, profitable ideas that simply make you more money.  This isn’t bad, but such opportunities may take you farther and farther from a clearly defined vision of your company succeeding in the future.  Imagine the people at Apple putting all of their strategic resources into improving profits in their computer business and missing out on the fundamental changes in technology that made them the success they are today.  By ignoring vision, such opportunities don’t just muddy the water – they often take us in completely the wrong direction, or freeze us in place when we need to move forward.

  1. Long shots

Some leaders simply like risk.  This is OK – and clearly, most of us wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t have some comfort with risk – but there are precious few opportunities worth taking a high stakes long shot.  Simply put, resist the urge to gamble by betting it all on red.  Such bets aren’t the stuff long-term success is made of.

How do you handle opportunities – and do you have processes in place to avoid these common problems?  Check out our popular seminar on Simplified Strategic Planning for a no-nonsense, practical approach to strategy that effectively keeps you focused on the right opportunities for building greater profit in your business.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success Part Six

January 6th, 2017

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

This post is part of a series taken from M. Dana Baldwin’s article Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success published in Compass Points February 2002.  In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What is marketing?  In Part Two, we discussed taking the long view.  In Part Three, we discussed What is included in the marketing effort?  In Part Four we will discussed What Next?  In Part Five we discussed What about longer term goals for marketing?  In this final post for this series, we will discuss What role does advertising play in marketing?

What role does advertising play in marketing? Obviously, if people don’t know about you and what you have to sell, it will be most difficult to sell them anything. So you do need to get your name out there and keep it in front of your public. While the traditional press in some form is an appropriate vehicle for advertising, the ultimate tool for most companies can be advertising on the internet. In addition to the internet, if you can afford it, you should do typical trade advertising. You may want to advertise in local papers, local magazines, the regional trade press or even national trade magazines. These can be expensive, but depending on your market areas, may well be necessary. But there also are a large number of no or low cost things you can do which will keep your name out in front of the public. Volunteer for local charities and other activities.

Send birthday and anniversary greetings to your customers and prospects. Send personal notes to people who get recognition in local papers and trade journals. Be ingenious. Watch how other similar businesses advertise, and learn what works and what does not. Do some cold calling, but do it right. Just calling prospects out of the blue may yield some results, but calling them after doing some homework could lead to more effective outcomes. One principle that should be remembered is to smile while making the call. Sounds funny, but the smile usually comes through the phone to the prospect, even though the caller can’t be seen. Another tip is to write out a script and to practice it until you are comfortable with it. If there are words or phrases that you are not comfortable with, change them until you are comfortable. When you make the actual calls, don’t read from the script. It will usually come across as stilted and uncomfortable, and will not be as effective as your natural conversation. Your script should include a brief introduction and the purpose of your call. Don’t try to sell something on the first call, rather try to learn what your prospect’s needs are and how you might best serve them.

Obviously this series is not a complete treatise on marketing, but it is a good selection of ideas that can help you understand your customers’ needs and preferences. Included are a number of ideas which are no cost or low cost, but which will possibly help you gain insight into ways to better approach the task of marketing. The goal is to build your image so that when your customers need your products or services, you are the first one they think of. Marketing should help you learn your best approaches to your prospects and could help lead to improved results for your business.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success Part Five

December 30th, 2016

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

This post is part of a series taken from M. Dana Baldwin’s article Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success published in Compass Points February 2002.  In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What is marketing?  In Part Two, we discussed taking the long view.  In Part Three, we discussed What is included in the marketing effort?  In Part Four we will discussed What Next?  In this post we will discuss What about longer term goals for marketing?

What about longer term goals for marketing? The classic elements of marketing are very important, too. But, you must be able to afford them, or to figure ways around the obstacle of cost. Example: Knowledge of your customers is a key to knowing what they will need in the future. Market research can be expensive, but there are some ways around some of the expense. One possibility is to have a local business school do some research for your company. Sponsoring a graduate business school student will often help both parties. It will also provide you with some positive publicity, and the results should be helpful in your overall marketing approach.

Knowledge of your competition is also important. There are some inexpensive ways to gain some knowledge of your competitors. Call your competitor and ask for general information. The purpose is to see if you can determine how well inquiries are handled. Also, you will be able to see how nicely telephone contacts are managed, and how courteous or abrupt the initial contact is. Attend trade shows and conventions, and shop your competitors. Look up your competitors in the leading directories for your industry to see what they are advertising, and what they are not advertising. The internet is a good tool for research. Spend some time in your competitors’ websites. You can learn a lot from what they are telling their public. Talk to their competitors. It can be surprising how much you might learn from one competitor about another. All of these are relatively inexpensive and can be quite enlightening.

In the last part of this series we will discuss What role does advertising play in marketing?

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success Part Four

December 22nd, 2016

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

This post is part of a series taken from M. Dana Baldwin’s article Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success published in Compass Points February 2002.  In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What is marketing?  In Part Two, we discussed taking the long view.  In Part Three, we discussed What is included in the marketing effort?  In this post we will discuss What Next?

What next? What relatively inexpensive things can we do to improve our image in the market place over time? Good question, and the answers here get a little less obvious and a little more difficult. One area to start with might be our sales force. Yes, earlier we said that the focus of selling is immediate and short term, and the focus of marketing is longer term. But, any sales person worth his/her salt has to realize that an investment in a longer-term strategy of positive image will eventually pay off for their immediate goals of more orders. Example: When I was in the machinery business, during the “depression” of 1980-81, we required our sales force to continue to make sales calls on all their customers and prospects. The purpose of this was, of course, to ask for orders. The second purpose (not secondary) was to be sure that our customers and prospects knew we were interested in serving them for the long term, in good times and in bad times, and that we were willing to make the effort and investment in contacting them, even if there was no immediate business to be had. Our competitors were sitting in their offices, waiting for the telephone to ring, while we were out, face to face, with our prospects. Who do you think got the phone calls when business started to improve? We did, and we reaped the benefit from this effort for a number of years after the recovery began.

If you are not already doing so, start to do some networking with your peers and your best customers. Talk with customers to find out whom else might need your products or services. Get referrals from satisfied customers. A referral from a satisfied customer is often one of the quickest ways to get the attention of new prospects. Talk to former customers to find ways to get them back. Tell them what you are doing better, and ask questions to determine how you might be able to lure them back.

In the next part of this series we will discuss What about longer term goals for marketing?

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success Part Three

December 16th, 2016

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

This post is part of a series taken from M. Dana Baldwin’s article Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success published in Compass Points February 2002.  In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What is marketing?  In Part Two, we discussed taking the long view.  In this post, we will discuss What is included in the marketing effort?

What is included in the marketing effort? Actually a surprising number of factors should be included in the marketing endeavor. You should be starting with the simple things that leave a lasting impression on the customer. For example, we suggest you try calling your own company. Judge how friendly and helpful your initial contact is with your company. First of all, does a person answer or does a machine answer? There is no right or wrong selection, here, but you should be sure from the very start of the interaction there is an obvious and easy way for a caller to reach a human. There are many people who simply do not relate well to a machine answering their phone calls. Once your caller is able to reach a real human, does that person project the image and feeling you want projected to your customers and prospects? Does the first person who answers have the ability to direct the caller to the correct department or person to help the caller? Does she or he come across as knowing how to assist the caller? Too many times, we have seen the point of initial contact with customers and prospective customers left to the least experienced and least trained personnel in the company. The result can be that a poor impression is left in the mind of the person initiating the contact, and this can have the consequence of fewer sales and less confidence in your company’s ability to handle whatever brought the prospect to contact you in the first place. It is important for all parts of the company to realize they are a part of the process of satisfying the customer. If the initial contact goes well, the inquiry is promptly and accurately handled, the order is well taken and handled, but shipping goofs and sends the wrong materials or ships to the wrong address, the good done by the rest of the company is lost on the customer, because the outcome is not correct in the eyes of the customer. Everyone must contribute consistently to have the overall effect desired.

Another factor could be your hours of operation. Are you available when your customers want to contact you? I visited a service-oriented company recently, and noted that their hours of operation were from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. My first question of the management was to ask when their customers were at work? Do your hours of operation make it easy for them to contact you without having to take time away from their work? Their reaction: they had never thought about how convenient their hours were. They had always had those hours, and had never thought of changing.

Next, do your people follow through on their commitments to outside contacts? When your customer service department tells a customer that they will have an answer by a certain time or date, do they consistently get back to the customer on time or early with the complete answer? Or do they miss deadlines, lack understanding of the customers’ needs, and not follow through on commitments?

The interesting thing about this discussion is that, so far, we have not suggested that any significant investment will be required to bring your levels of service and communication up to a higher level. These are potentially easy fixes, the result of which will be a broad-based impression that your company cares about doing business with each contact, knows what it is talking about, and follows through with the commitments made by each area within the company. Even if these factors don’t result in immediate orders, the groundwork has been laid for the up-coming improvement in the economy. When business picks up, the fact that your company cared enough about its customers to improve communication and to follow up on commitments, on time and with complete information should lead to better sales.

In the next part of this series we will discuss What next?

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.