Business & Strategic Marketing Planning Steps

With respect to the definition of your businesses’ purpose and mission, there is only one focus, one starting point; it is the customer or user of your products/services. The user defines the mission of any function or business.  The question “what is our mission or purpose”  “what business do we want to be in”? can therefore be answered by only looking at your business from the outside, from the point of view of the customer or potential customer.  What the user or customer sees,  thinks, or believes at any given time must be accepted by your business management as an objective fact to be taken seriously.

The customer wants only to know what will be done for him tomorrow and in the future.  For this reason, the attempt to state “what is our mission, must start with the user, his realities, his situation, his expectation and his values.

By definition, the customer is purchasing the satisfaction of a need or want.
For example, here is a well-known and real example of a business mission which defined the way in which the company conducted their activities.

I will work with you to develop the Positioning Statement for Competitive Advantage and develop the USP -Unique Selling Proposition. i.e. Why your business is able to provide more effective solutions and greater value than your competitors.

THE SITUATION AUDIT- Internal and External
The Situation Audit is a description and analysis of past, present and future data (information) which provides the basis for pursuing the Business Planning Process.  It is an organized method of collecting pertinent information, interpreting its effect on the business's environments (market conditions),  analyzing significant trends and projecting all pertinent factors, which could influence company activities. 

The acronym WOTSUP stands for Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats and Strengths Underlying Planning.  This step flows naturally from the fact base (Situation Audit).  The Weaknesses and Strengths constitute an internal analysis, i.e. “what are we (at the business)  good and bad at?”- Opportunities and Threats, on the other hand, form an external analysis.  From this analysis, objectives can be formulated with specific action plans designed to overcome weaknesses and threats by exploiting your business strengths and opportunities.

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Business Planning Steps Defined

Business Planning Steps Defined

A Drill Bit manufacturer defined its Mission Statement as determining "what size holes customers need?"  Their focus was directly on customer needs and not on their product specs. They were very customer-focused.

"Define Your Company's Purpose in a Sentence

Great companies have a single purpose that drives them toward success. That purpose is simple, straightforward, and no longer than a sentence. For example, Google's is "We organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and ING Direct's is "We lead Americans back to savings." This is not a tag line but a single idea that defines the company's reason for existing. Discover what your company is best at and put it into a sentence.

Don't settle with being the middle of the road, but strive to be the most responsive, most colorful, or most focused. Then, make sure that everyone in your company knows that sentence and uses it to drive success."

"Management Tip of the Day" from the Harvard Business Review -