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Ten Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

Strategic planning is a significant undertaking. It requires energy, creativity, time and money. Your resources are important and limited. Get what you want! This is what we do at Woodland Strategies. Here are a few tips as you consider your upcoming planning project.

Choosing the Right Consultant

Consultants can provide valuable service and offer an objective perspective to assist organizations and team members in a variety of areas. Woodland Strategies, a business consulting firm in Minneapolis, MN, offers an assortment of consultancy services including Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Development and Fundraising Strategy, and also Leadership Coaching.

How long does a typical strategic planning process take?

This is a question we are regularly asked at Woodland Strategies. Typically, a full strategic planning process can take up to six to eight months, depending on how in-depth the organizational planning team wants to take things.Your messaging – your values, mission and vision statements – can, and should, last between eight and twelve weeks. This is really the most fundamental part of your plan. It should never be rushed.

Ten Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

Ten Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

Strategic planning is a significant undertaking. It requires energy, creativity, time and money. Your resources are important and limited. Get what you want! This is what we do at Woodland Strategies. Here are a few tips as you consider your upcoming planning project.

Choosing the Right Consultant

Choosing the Right Consultant

Consultants can provide valuable service and offer an objective perspective to assist organizations and team members in a variety of areas. Woodland Strategies, a business consulting firm in Minneapolis, MN, offers an assortment of consultancy services including Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Development and Fundraising Strategy, and also Leadership Coaching.

How long does a typical strategic planning process take?

How long does a typical strategic planning process take?

This is a question we are regularly asked at Woodland Strategies. Typically, a full strategic planning process can take up to six to eight months, depending on how in-depth the organizational planning team wants to take things.Your messaging – your values, mission and vision statements – can, and should, last between eight and twelve weeks. This is really the most fundamental part of your plan. It should never be rushed.

Succession Planning for Your Nonprofit Board

Succession Planning for Your Nonprofit Board

Leadership transitions within organizations can be anticipated or be quite sudden. Transitions may be due to a personal change for a board member or staff, or they may be the result of a thoughtful and long-term decision to make a change. If you are looking to keep your nonprofit sustainable, you will want to be sure that you have a written succession plan ready to go.

A New Year – Productive and Effective Board Retreats

A New Year – Productive and Effective Board Retreats

If you participate on a board of directors, you know that you have multiple obligations to the organization and to the community. You work hard to lend your skills and expertise in civic leadership. Perhaps you are looking to motivate your group for the New Year, which is right around the corner.

Navigating Task Conflict as You Lead the Way

Navigating Task Conflict as You Lead the Way

When you actually have a moderate amount of task conflict, then decision making and performance outcomes may improve in your teams and in your organization. Unhealthy levels of conflict can lead to a variety of dysfunctions, which no one wants. As with many things in life, it’s about achieving a healthy balance.

Evaluating Your Efforts. Is your Strategic Plan on Target?

Evaluating Your Efforts. Is your Strategic Plan on Target?

A solid strategic plan is a great tool that will help for-profit and nonprofit leaders optimize their performance and results, and ultimately the bottom line. Resources are always limited. All leaders need to be especially careful when making financial decisions. When done well this ensures maximum and most efficient impact for each dollar spent.

Fundamentals for Your Board of Directors

Fundamentals for Your Board of Directors

Are you an executive director of a non-profit, or a small business owner? Perhaps you are considering joining a local board for civic leadership. If so, you will want to have a firm grasp of roles and responsibilities for a Board of Directors.

Habit Setting in the Context of Achieving Goals

Habit Setting in the Context of Achieving Goals

Establishing habits that create behaviors necessary in achieving goals is integral to being successful in meeting those goals. It’s a point of fact that successful people set goals and then achieve them. Just the act of setting a goal doesn’t mean you are going to achieve that goal. What sets those who achieve their goals apart from those who don’t is they are intentional in developing a plan to reach their objective and then acting on it.

How to Audit Your Social Media Accounts

How to Audit Your Social Media Accounts

Social media marketing has become an essential part of online marketing strategy, especially among small businesses because of its cost-effectiveness, ability to reach targeted audiences quickly, and generate more leads/sales. Knowing where your social media accounts are making an impact is important for your business.

Learn How to Say No

Learn How to Say No

Most of us at some point in our lives have struggled with saying the word “no.” Whether it was accepting an invitation to attend an event, meeting a former colleague who was looking for a job, or taking on an additional project you didn’t have time for, saying yes seemed the easier response at the time. But, then this can result in less than optimal outcomes for all sides.

Should You Apply Stakeholder Theory to How You Run Your Business?

Should You Apply Stakeholder Theory to How You Run Your Business?

As a business owner, you want to build a profitable enterprise, satisfy your customers, and create a supportive, nurturing work environment for your team. Whose needs are the highest priority of your business? This question is at the heart of Stakeholder Theory, and to better understand what this means, our strategic planning agency in Minneapolis is sharing what this theory is and how you can apply it to running your business.

How to Organize and Plan Your Small Business Startup Costs

How to Organize and Plan Your Small Business Startup Costs

Having a comprehensive business plan with realistic financial forecasts can help you create a solid foundation and improve the likelihood of your success. We know this can be overwhelming, so to help you get started and avoid missing essential costs, we’re sharing how to organize the most common start up expenses so you can then plan on how much they will actually cost.

Why It’s Time to Adopt Purposeful Leadership in Your Organization

Why It’s Time to Adopt Purposeful Leadership in Your Organization

Whether you’re a part of the management team, a business owner, or a director of a nonprofit, your team looks to you for leadership. This means more than just telling people what to do or setting goals for the organization and making sure they’re met. Today’s leadership role isn’t about power, it’s about purpose. Our based in Minneapolis is sharing why it’s time to adopt purposeful leadership and what this means for your organization.

Small Business and Non-Profit Mission Statements: How to Make an Impact in a Sentence

Small Business and Non-Profit Mission Statements: How to Make an Impact in a Sentence

While most people think of mission statements as buzzwords for a large company, they’re extraordinarily valuable for both nonprofits and small businesses. In fact, your mission statement is the most important sentence you’ll write. After all, every bit of copy on your website, in emails, or on brochures should reflect or support that mission statement in some way. We understand it can be difficult to drill down the core of your nonprofit or business into one or two sentences, so to help you, we’re sharing tips on what makes an impactful mission statement and what to avoid.

Creating a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

Creating a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

When it comes to gaining visibility and attracting new clients for your business, traditional advertising, such as commercials, print ads, and sponsorships, has fallen out of favor, replaced by content marketing. But what makes content marketing so important to a small business, and can it really help you stand out from your competitors? Even more important, how do you get get started? Our marketing strategy firm in Minneapolis understands that this can be an overwhelming topic, so to help you get started, we’re outlining how to create a content marketing strategy for your small business.

4 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Strategic Plan

4 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Strategic Plan

When you think of strategic planning, you probably envision executives sitting around a table discussing how to increase profits or break into a new market, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Multi-billion dollar corporations certainly do rely on strategic planning to improve operations or change the direction of the organization. However, every organization can benefit from having a researched, documented statement on how to create a clear, measurable path to success, and this is especially true for small businesses. To help you get started, we are sharing four reasons your small business needs a strategic plan.

How to Plan for a Successful Brand Refresh

How to Plan for a Successful Brand Refresh

When a business or non-profit fails to stay modern and up-to-date, they run the risk of losing touch with their customer base and stakeholders and experiencing stagnant sales and buy-in. Fortunately, a brand refresh is often all it takes to regain relevancy within their market and rebuild connections with consumers. However, updating a brand is more than just changing a logo; it requires careful and strategic planning on leadership’s part to ensure any updates will support the company’s goals.

Should You Perform a SWOT Analysis on Your Organization?

Should You Perform a SWOT Analysis on Your Organization?

Since it was brought to the forefront of business planning by Albert Humphrey in the late 1960s, the SWOT analysis has been relied upon by corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and even schools to make key decisions and form strategies. This planning tool in which you measure your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can be beneficial, but often, organizations rely too heavily on this method while not performing it correctly or without recognizing its weaknesses. Our strategic planning firm in Minneapolis is providing a closer look at whether you should perform a SWOT analysis on your organization and, if so, how to avoid common pitfalls.

How to Create a Standard Operating Procedure for Your Organization

How to Create a Standard Operating Procedure for Your Organization

Most people associate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with highly specialized or regimented organizations, such as hospitals, research facilities, government agencies, or the military. However, these are not just for complex organizations, and are highly valuable for even minor areas and tasks (Biologic Technical Applications, 2012). To help you create and apply SOPs to your organization, our strategic planning agency in Minneapolis is sharing the steps on getting started.

Creating Strategies to Address and Recover from Learning Loss in Your School

Creating Strategies to Address and Recover from Learning Loss in Your School

While the past year showed how school districts could rise to the challenges of helping students access remote learning, studies are showing that it simply wasn’t as effective as learning in a classroom setting (Chen, Dorn, Sarakatsannis, and Wiesinger, 2021). We know that learning gains and knowledge retention is significantly reduced for students in remote learning settings, and while the full extent isn’t known yet, research indicates that students may return with fewer than 50 percent of the learning gain in math and 70 percent in reading compared to a typical school year (Kuhlfeld and Tarasawa, 2020).

5 Signs Your Nonprofit Needs to Update Your Strategic Vision

5 Signs Your Nonprofit Needs to Update Your Strategic Vision

The past year was exceptionally challenging for nonprofit organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn as well as a focus on racial justice and equality led to organizations struggling to maintain a relevant message in a struggling climate (Kim & Mason, 2020). However, organizations that are able to realign their strategic vision and implement it are able to weather changes and thrive. To help you prepare for the future, our strategic planning company in Minneapolis is sharing the five signs your nonprofit needs to update your strategic vision.

Eight Ways to Create an Influential Personal Brand

Eight Ways to Create an Influential Personal Brand

Why is your personal brand so important?

Simply put, this is how you present yourself to the world. The term “branding” used to be reserved for businesses and star power, but of course now personal branding has become essential to many (Castrillon, 2019). A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. This is how you come across to the public.

Nonprofits: Standing Out from the Competition and Building Connections with New Donors

Nonprofits: Standing Out from the Competition and Building Connections with New Donors

The nonprofit sector has been steadily growing in the United States for the past two decades. In 2016, over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations were registered with the IRS, a nearly five percent increase from 2006 (NCCS Project Team, 2019). This growth is in direct opposition to the amount of money being donated to nonprofits. While COVID-19 is blamed for a steep decline in donations, the truth is that small and medium-sized donations were down significantly before 2020.

The Importance of Organizational Ethics in Today’s Business

The Importance of Organizational Ethics in Today’s Business

When most people consider ethics, they think of an individual acting in a fair and virtuous manner – treating others equally and with respect, taking responsibility for one’s conduct, behaving with a set of principles. However, there is a growing focus on organizational ethics and creating a culture of propriety, fairness, and honesty that guides decision making and actions throughout the company. Our strategic planning company in Minneapolis is looking at what organizational ethics are, why they’re important, and how creating this culture isn’t as simple as sending out a memo or rewriting a mission statement.

Your Personal Values Statement

Your Personal Values Statement

Woodland Strategies specializes in helping organizations develop Values, Mission and Vision Statements. Generally, creating internal and external messaging such as this can take many months, and is often done as a team. It’s worth the time commitment. Statements such as these provide excellent operational guidelines for all stakeholders, both internal and external. This experience also provides an outstanding opportunity to establish stronger teams within any for-profit or non-profit entity.

Sales: Optimize Positive Outcomes for your Customers!

Sales: Optimize Positive Outcomes for your Customers!

Everyone has experienced significant changes in the business landscape within the past year during this pandemic. Consider sales. These changes have impacted every sales department and every customer in some way. Forecasting sales during a pandemic may not likely yield reliable and valid results (McLeod, & Lotardo, 2020).

Support Small Business!

Support Small Business!

Don’t Forget! Small Business Saturday is this weekend, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This was initially founded by American Express in 2010 and is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and their communities across the country. Small businesses play a central and vital role in the US economy.

Why Hire a Consultant?

Why Hire a Consultant?

Consultants have specialized knowledge and skills, and can help you come up with new ideas for growth, implement change from within your organization, and provide training and coaching.

Strategic planning and marketing consultants can help you in a variety of ways.

The Strategic Plan: Why Your Organization Should Have Values, Vision and Mission Statements

The Strategic Plan: Why Your Organization Should Have Values, Vision and Mission Statements

The strategic planning process provides opportunities to examine specific problems, generate a renewed commitment to marketing and communication, and to present the ideal opportunity to promote teamwork amongst members of the entire group. Strategic planning, whether it is short, mid or long-term, assists organization for the long run, as they monitor progress and measurement to achieve goals. This process provides the ability to remain flexible, and to change course, if necessary (Barry, 2012).

The Customer Journey Map – Why it can be a Smart Investment

The Customer Journey Map – Why it can be a Smart Investment

Visual tools are an excellent way to gauge what is happening within your organization. Think about your customer and their lifecycle with your brand. Your customer’s perception of your brand is a key component to your success as an organization—no matter the size of your firm or your industry. Relationships such as these start early and can go beyond any one sale. The customer journey map can be a very effective took to add to your organizational resources for leadership to make informed decisions in a variety of areas of your customer’s experience with your overall brand.

A Consultant or a Leadership Coach?

A Consultant or a Leadership Coach?

If you are looking for assistance with a specific problem or project, you are most likely in the market for a consultant. If you are seeking to build your own leadership skills, then a leadership or executive coach may be what you are looking for.

There are key differences between these two roles that you should be aware of in your search.

Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Woodland Strategies embraces and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. We are very committed to making our services accessible for organizations and their members. This includes financial accessibility. As an organization, we will continue to become more inclusive, equitable, diverse, and accessible as we collaborate for change with our community.

Coaches and Mentors:  Resources to Improve Your Outcomes

Coaches and Mentors: Resources to Improve Your Outcomes

What is the difference between a coach and a mentor in the workplace? Both play very important roles in helping organizations and their members achieve their short term and long-term goals. These roles may overlap at times, or they may even exist in a hybrid form, but they are not the same thing Whether you implement one or both, these relationships can be a great win/win for everyone involved.

Learn how Woodland Strategies can help you grow your business.

  • Woodland Strategies was a perfect fit for our organization. Martha and Mary were very easy to work with and adapted their process to our organization. Well done!


  • Very well done – good process and lots of hard work by all!


  • Woodland Strategies did a wonderful job for us. I appreciated that Martha was willing to spend extra time with us to get it right and be able to wrap it up. Martha is a gifted and thoughtful facilitator. We are fortunate to have connected with her and look forward to future projects with her.


  • Looking forward to follow-up and hope to consult with Martha for future projects.


  • Thank you. This was very helpful to organize our thoughts and planning process. We took away some great tips and ideas from your process.


  • I appreciated the additional information to help us discuss! Thank you for your calming presence and guidance.


  • When I created and started my company in 2016 one of the first people, I contacted was Martha. As the owner/president of Woodland Strategies, Inc. Martha has been instrumental with my company's success. She has assisted with the company's organization, marketing strategies, finance goals, budgeting and the company's vision. I feel fortunate to have worked with Martha in the past and look forward to continuing this relationship.


    Robert, Small Business Owner

  • We worked with Woodland Strategies to assist with developing a fundraising plan that incorporated strategies to increase philanthropic opportunities from our stakeholders. From creating effective mini-fundraising events, to crafting inspirational messaging, to connecting stakeholders to philanthropic opportunities, Martha and her team worked with us every step of the way. Woodland Strategies’ process was very collaborative and empowering. This was important to our organization, and to me.


    Carol, VP of Communications and External Relations

  • We hired Woodland Strategies for assistance with our Strategic Plan. Martha brought our entire team together and we couldn’t have done this without her help. We felt very supported by her and would hire Woodland Strategies for future projects.


    Sara, Non-Profit Executive Director

  • I've worked with Martha for over 5 years and have found her approach to be truly unique. I am impressed by her desire to learn about my business and modify her marketing approach based on my specific needs. I'm happy to have Martha on my "team".


    Pete, Small Business Owner