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.