Chapter 5. Charting Your Strategic Direction

In This Chapter

  • Analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

  • Figuring out how to make money

  • Deciding what you want your business plan to accomplish

If you've worked your way through the last few chapters, you may feel like a juggler. On the one hand, you're evaluating the industry that you're in. On the other hand, you're getting to know your customers better. All the while, you're keeping both eyes on the competition. (Chapter 4 helps you on all three fronts.)

But wait; you still have more to track. You need to watch what's happening inside your business. Whether your business is up and running or in the planning stages, how do you assess its strengths — and its weaknesses? What opportunities — and what threats — are on the horizon? Amidst all the marketplace change and challenge, how do you plan to compete and win? How will you make money? What's your long-term strategy? How will you expand and develop your business? And when the time comes to retire or move on to other ventures, what exit strategy will you follow?

The answers to these questions are essential to your business planning, and they're what this chapter is all about.

Assessing Your Capabilities Against the Opportunities and Threats You Face

Especially in the turmoil of today's business world, the companies with their heads in the sand are headed toward extinction. While they cling to the past or hunker down in the moment, companies with visionary leaders are ...

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