News, Updates & Resources
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Strategic planning in healthcare is similar to strategic planning in for-profit businesses. Your organization gathers information related to internal and external factors, determines the right...
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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).
Tues, Oct. 27 at 7:30 am & Thurs, Oct. 29 at 4:00 pm
Woodland Strategies is so pleased to partner with organizations that strive to empower individuals.
As such, Woodland Strategies has been a longtime supporter of Cornerstone. This important organization works with individuals within the Twin Cities, and beyond, who have experienced trauma. Cornerstone provides comprehensive care for those in both immediate crises, and for the long term.
Cornerstone will be hosting their fall fundraiser in a virtual format at the end of this month as we continue in the fourth quarter of 2020, a year with so many challenges.
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.
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.
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.
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.