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Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Strategies for Change: Be Alert, Be Aware, Be Strategic

The world as we know it is coming to an end!  Sounds an awful lot like the childhood story, Chicken Little, doesn’t it?  Remember that story about Henny-Penny running around the barn yard telling everyone the sky is falling after some innocent thing fell on her head?  Definitely not a good strategy for dealing with change.  Unlike every other day, something new and different happened - something changed.  Strategies for change should be top of mind for every small business owner who is passionate about the success of their firm. Notice the key words in that first sentence are "...as we know it..."  The statement can sound scary, some may react with fear and frustration, but in reality, “…as we know it…” really only means [...]

By | June 20th, 2017|Strategic Management, Strategy, Trends|0 Comments

Your Unique Definition of Success – The Foundation of Your Small Business

'Designing Strategies' e-Newsletter Volume 14               Issue 77   Success – what does it mean?  From a quick Google search, Success is defined as either:  the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of popularity or profit.  Ask any small business owner or entrepreneur what they want to get from their start-up enterprise and odds are, they will respond with:  "Success.” or "I want to be successful."  Sounds about right, doesn't it? In reality, those answers are simply not enough.  What does success mean to you, as an individual, small business owner?  This isn’t a trick question.  There is no right or wrong answer to this.  It's time to think about your unique definition of success.  What [...]

By | June 2nd, 2017|Strategy, Strategy|0 Comments

Your Company Needs a Blog. Blogging is a Great Marketing Tool

Of course, your company needs a blog.  In our opinion, the answer would be a definite Yes!  Any company needs a blog for a number of reasons.  There are so many benefits to having a company blog.  "What benefits?" you might ask. Glad you asked - here are just a few. Blogs let companies of all types and sizes  connect with potential clients and build relationships. That is what is known as lead generation.  Blogs provide a platform that allows small businesses to 'show their stuff'.  Customers look online for a company to solve their problems.  They can find valuable information about your firm's capabilities and knowledge base through blog content.  You can build and support your company brand too. That said, we'd like to [...]

By | April 17th, 2017|Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments

Grow Your Small Business By Adding and Empowering Employees

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter Volume 14                     Issue 75   If a typical day at your small business involves staff waiting for you to come into the office so they can get your approval of progress on a project, it's not a good thing. If employees are standing in line to get access to you to answer questions, that's not good either. Odds are your firm is in Stagnant Stalemate mode. Your firm is not growing. It is not expanding. Staff can't accomplish anything because you have a death grip on control over every little minute detail of operations. Give it up! You have become the bottleneck blocking our firm’s progress. It's time to give up some [...]

By | January 28th, 2017|Employees, Growth, Newsletter, Strategy|0 Comments

Trend Hunter’s Megatrends for 2017

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter November – December 2016                      Volume 13 – Issue 74   2016 is coming to its end and 2017 is emerging on the horizon just behind. Out with the old, in with whatever will be new. Baby New Year is trying on his sash for final alterations as Father Time shuffles to his finish line. I started off the day with an exclamation of “Egads, it’s almost December!” Thanksgiving is already behind us and a plethora of year end events and holidays are ahead. On the business side, we rush to get year-end expense reports turned in, collect – or delay – outstanding accounts receivables, put on holiday and year-end sales and get our financial books in order. In what [...]

By | November 28th, 2016|Newsletter, Strategy, Trends|0 Comments

Create a Small Business Bucket List to Get What You Want

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September - October 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 73 Have any of you written a personal bucket list? A bucket list is pretty simple, it is just a list of things you want to do and places you want to see during your lifetime. It’s a matter of putting down in written form those hopes and dreams you don’t want to miss out on. Writing them down improves the likelihood they will actually become a part of your reality. Wait! How about creating a Small Business Bucket List for your firm? Interesting concept, no? Back in 2007, 'The Bucket List' movie came out. Jack Nicholson's character, Edward Cole, was filthy rich, a [...]

Strategic Planning According to Dilbert – Dilbert Asks: “Why Bother?”

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter May - June, 2016                      Volume 13 - Issue 71 One of my favorite comic strips is 'Dilbert' by Scott Adams. Day to day, Dilbert represents corporate America in a way that has never been done before in a syndicated comic strip. My take on the strip is Dilbert represents Generation X, dealing with management in a corporate world run by Baby Boomers.  He has all kinds of opinions, most of which are ignored by his supervisors.  Of course he would have an opinion on strategic planning and how effective it is - or isn't. He is frustrated on a daily basis by his superior, Pointy-haired Boss, and coworkers. Dilbert is often drawn [...]

About Strategy and Strategic Planning

Most successful small businesses owe their growth and success in large part to use of strategy and strategic planning.  This is accomplished through a combination of strategic thinking, planning and management.  Adopting a strategic approach to business operations clearly defines the direction a firm needs to take to achieve leadership's vision of success. So, exactly what is this concept called Strategic Planning?  It is an organized system that begins with envisioning the firm as it will be when it is all grown up. That Vision of your company in its long-term ideal state is further defined in terms of its Mission.  In a few sentences, a mission statement clearly addresses every facet of your business:  the products and services you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth [...]

By | January 28th, 2016|Strategic Management, Strategic Planning, Strategy|0 Comments

Sustainable Small Business Growth in 2016 – 7 ‘Must-Haves’

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter January - February, 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 69 In order for your small business to be wildly… or mildly… successful, it is important to grow the company. A company that grows at a steady pace increases its chance of success. For some small businesses, growth will be successful. For other small businesses, their growth plan may be a complete failure. You might ask: “Why shouldn’t all companies on a growth path be successful?” That does seem logical, doesn’t it? However, without well developed planning and attention to details, you cannot assume that your, or any other company, can achieve sustainable small business growth. It seems that if a company is growing [...]

By | January 19th, 2016|Growth, Newsletter, Strategy|0 Comments

Marketing: Most People Don’t Know You or Like You – Yet

Is there ever a tipping point when you’ve saturated the market and you no longer need marketing or advertising for your company, its products and services? According to Christopher Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, the answer is no. “The more you’re seen where you’re not expected to be seen, the more you indelibly imprint your brand on your best prospects’ minds.”   Think about some of the big corporate names that have made millions - even billions - selling their products:  Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford.  They certainly have not stopped marketing to put their names in front of consumers. At the most basic level, prospects must know you exist before they would even consider purchasing something from you.  Too many small business owners seem to think [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Branding, Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments