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Optimize Your Business Goals and Objectives

By John E. Anderson and Jordan Robertson

There’s a history of divided views on business planning and strategy.

Views range widely. Some entrepreneurs say “Who’s got time to plan?” and “Plans are a waste of time, since things always work out differently than the plan.”

Others refer to “Failing to plan is planning to fail” by Benjamin Franklin and “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable” by Eisenhower.

Obviously, some businesses remain small, other grow, build a successful team, grow and can be sold. Prioritize what’s important and what needs to be done and when. Eisenhower’s Matrix is a good resource.

We’d like to hear your views.

What’s Your Plan?

Making a business plan is useful when starting a new venture or, if events disrupt the market, require a new strategy. Like now!

When developing a business plan, answer the question “why would someone pay for this?”

Parallel questions include:

  • What problem does this solve?
  • What is unique and novel about my product or service versus competitors’?
  • Is this a venture even worth pursuing for me? Can it satisfy clients and be profitable?
  • What is the unique value this product or service provides?
  • Under what circumstances might this become irrelevant?

The last question has a good deal of utility when assessing the business environment, especially during a crisis like the rise of COVID-19. 


Develop a strategy how you will satisfy customers’ needs in a way that delights them and is profitable. A good strategy must stipulate the exact, efficient steps to repeat customer satisfaction. While goals, values and ambition are important, good strategy is more like good project management. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt offers a good guide.

Start with a good idea of a problem you’ll solve or need you’ll fulfill. Build a profitable product, then create secondary product/services. Entrepreneurs need to be nimble adjusting to unexpected playing field shifts. If your primary business does not stay relevant during a crisis such as what we are facing now. What is your backup plan to weather storms?


Making money and keeping some of it are crucial business partners. Risk management is an integral part of leading an organization. Economies rise and fall! Preparing for contingencies is a leadership requirement, and during a crisis, knowing how to pivot gracefully to your backup plan is just as important as knowing how to close sales.

Most personal financial guru’s such as Dave Ramsey and J.L. Collins, authors of Total Money Makeover and The Simple Path to Wealth, respectively, advocate that the first thing that needs to be done when you are managing money is to have a fund set aside in case of an emergency. This money is your safety margin when things happen unexpectedly so you do not have to abandon the plan. This advice is just as important for business.

It may not be possible or easy for a new business to stash away funds to stay afloat for long, but here are some questions worth asking:

  • Are there other services I can offer to add value when my primary income/main product or service is disrupted? Restaurants are offering take-out and delivery when required to close the dining room.
  • How long can I survive if all work stopped unexpectedly? Be able to scale up and down.

Rumelt’s Kernel

Make your business plan strategic with: history, current circumstance, opportunity, problem or challenge to solve to achieve the opportunity and tactics. Include Rumelt’s “kernel:”

1) a diagnosis defining the challenge

2) a guiding-policy to deal with the challenge

3) coherent actions designed to carry out the guiding-policy.

Plan, implement, test, refine. Start with the baby steps.

Learn about the Institute of Management Consultants and participate in our Oregon & SW Washington chapter LinkedIn community.

Charge Forward

Social Media Strategy

By John E. Anderson, MS Management

Social media strategy is a hot topic!

There’s lots of input because it’s considered:

· Necessary for buzz, brand-building and demonstrating currency;

· Time-consuming, since there are a wide variety of platforms from LinkedIn to pInterest. Oh, did I forget Facebook. What’s your rating as a Yelp reviewer and/or as a Google Maps Local Guide. What’s your community?

· Possibly controversial – posting strong opinions online can cost you so be careful!

With the number of professionals, businesses and the general global population online, and with Coronavirus lock downs during a hotly contested presidential election year – WOW, watch out!

Some professionals ignore social media. It’s a strategy for some narrow-niche, subject-matter experts who write books, blogs and do paid speaking engagements to build their consulting clientele. If you’re in high demand and paid well, who needs the risk?

But, it’s wise to be informed, and stay informed to make wise decisions. The times, they are a changin’… Here’s a quick review.

What is a social media strategy?

The blog offers “How to Create a Social Media Strategy in 8 Easy Steps.”

A social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing. The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. May 27, 2020.

What should be in a social media strategy? suggests in “How to Build Your Social Media Marketing Strategy,”

· Set meaningful social marketing goals.

· Research your target audience.

· Establish your most important metrics.

· Analyze your competition.

· Create and curate engaging content.

· Make timeliness a top priority.

· Assess your results and optimize. Posted May 4, 2020

Why is social media marketing strategy important?

Quoting in “Why an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy is Important”

It’s an essential way for companies to reach consumers, and when done correctly, tells those consumers that their brand is active and focused on communication. The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. When done effectively, social media marketing can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more engagement. August 16, 2019

These resources, your own browsing, searching and talking with colleagues will prepare you to attend a talk and participate actively in a discussion group with practicing professionals. It’s next Wednesday, July 15th from 9:00 to 10:30 PDT on Zoom.

Washington State University Vancouver offers Alliance talks. The Institute of Management Consultants Oregon & SW Washington chapter offers discussion groups after the talks.

“Digital Marketing: Social Media Strategy” will be the topic of the WSU Alliance July 15 from 9 to 10 am. Registration is required for this Free Zoom WSU event.

After Alliance, participate in an online discussion group with other event guests, marketing pros and consultants to consider how you might apply and integrate what you’re learning. Share your experiences and learn from others. The Discussion Group is sponsored by the Institute of Management Consultants Oregon & SW Washington chapter. Registration is required for this Free Zoom IMC event.

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Everyone Has a Social Media Strategy.

By John E. Anderson, MS Management

Everyone Has a Social Media Strategy. What is yours?

Oh, you have one, just like we all have a career strategy. We have strategies for everything.

Our strategy for most topics is to ignore them. For hundreds or thousands of subjects, we know little or nothing, therefore we exert little or no effort towards them.

They may or may not affect our lives, yet we choose to ignore them.

If you are reading this, I must assume you are in business, probably an owner or a leader of a business or organization. Your career and your venture are affected by social media, and its importance has grown exponentially since the corona virus pandemic.

How are you known? What are you known for being and doing? What is your professional and personal reputation? These things influence your business and career success. It used to be who you knew, your family, schools attended, diplomas and your appearance that shaped who you were known to be. Those things are still important. But increasingly, what is more crucial than ever before are your ideas and what you do with them. How do you express yourself and what are the results you create? 

All this leads up to the importance of social media. Understanding and being informed about the changing nature of social media has increased in value. Join the ongoing conversation, participate. COVID-19, science, technology, economics have forced their way into public discourse. Social media is the new town square. What is your social media strategy? Everybody has one, what is yours?

Curious about this image? Check out “public domain social media images.” The one above is from Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan. He has released this “Social Media” image under Public Domain license.

What to know more? Search Google for “social media images” then select “business” from the oval bubble links below “Images for social media.” One that attracted my attention was a case study linked to an interesting image. It is one of the hundreds of images linked to articles in that search result. Rebekah Radice offers “How to Improve Social Media Engagement for Small Business [Case Study].” I’ve reached out to connect with Rebekah on LinkedIn. That is one of the ways that I engage.

Don’t miss next week’s “Digital Marketing: Social Media Strategy” free talk by Kate Holland at Washington State University’s MAP Alliance. After Kate’s talk, join me and colleagues to discuss her insights and ways to apply them to enhance your business and career. You’ve got to register for the Wednesday, July 15, 2020 events going from 9 to 10:30 a.m. PDT. Read my “Social Media Strategy” LinkedIn article or visit my site and select “Communities” to get the registration links.

Let us engage! What are your experiences with social media? Have you guessed my strategy? Tell me about yours? Comment here or contact me at:

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