Tag Archives: links

A Friday Favorite Returns … Linkapalooza!

Today ends the first full week of blog posts I’ve done in a LONG time!  So, to celebrate, indulge myself and to clean out my “Read Later Fast” and Bookmarks folders … today is LINKA-PALOOZA!

Let’s start with some business information links:

  • On the State of Wisconsin site is a Business Wizard that covers licensing, permitting and regulatory requirements as well as some links to Federal sites.
  • On October 28, 2011, the President issued a challenge to government agencies to think beyond their organizational boundaries in the best interest of serving America’s business community, and start thinking and acting more like the businesses they serve. He directed the creation of BusinessUSA, a centralized, one-stop platform to make it easier than ever for businesses to access services to help them grow and hire.  It has TONS Of information on it!!

A few more related to safety – yes my theme for the week!

20 Online Project Management Tools to Boost Productivity

Five Ways to Use Your Social Profiles for SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Two that were interesting:

The world population clock – check out us compared to China and India

And these two are because it is Friday and laughing will make the day go by faster!

First, I’m a HUGE Golden Retriever fan and I love this Golden trying to train his tiny human

And, finally, I am *such* a Sci-Fi Geek Girl. I adore this!!

I hope you had a great week and have a fabulous weekend.  Don’t forget to tell your Mom or those who are like a Mom to you how much you appreciate her!

 

 

It is Sunday and I’m lazy

I have holiday shopping and then cooking/baking to do. So today, I’m going to use as my post a great column in today’s Green Bay Press Gazette by Steve Van Remortel then get to my tasks list.  Enjoy!!

A few weeks ago I posted Of  strategic plans and fear discussing the importance of strategic planning and a new way of doing that.  Planning is critical, but if you only plan and don’t marry it to action, you will not succeed.  Today Steve’s column is about Tactical Planning which is about putting that strategy into action.

You’ve taken time to put together a business plan. You’ve set your strategy. Now what? How do you make the strategy a reality in your everyday business life?

What makes the difference between a highly successful company and one that is just an average performer? I believe that tactical planning is the key. In my consulting work, I emphasize to companies the importance of taking strategy to tactics. Tactical planning takes strategy to action.

Tactical planning can also be called department planning. It is a plan developed annually by each department leader and his or her team. Three key components of a basic tactical plan include action plans, measurements and an education and training plan for department employees. Each action plan is developed to achieve an organizational goal, and must have an owner and a prioritized completion date. Because accountability is so important, all action plans should be reviewed at least monthly.

Why do I stress the importance of developing and executing tactical plans? There are several reasons:

  • Tactical or department planning drives the execution of the strategic plan through all levels of the organization.
  • Tactical plans turn strategy into actions.
  • Tactical plans increase the number of people working “on” the business versus “in” the business. If you are coming up with a new process, you are working “on” the business. If you are using that new process, you are working “in” the business. Most organizations spend about 90 percent to 95 percent of their time working “in” the business, and they could greatly improve the performance of their organization if they could find a better balance between the two.
  • Tactical plans prioritize our activities and tie our daily work to our overall strategy.
  • Tactical plans result in company-wide involvement, buy-in and accountability.As each department completes its action plans working “on” the business, the success of the organization accelerates. As that happens, we also increase the competitive advantage and differentiation over our competition. As we keep getting better and better at what we do, it drives increases in sales and profitability, despite the economic climate.Implementing the tactical planning process into an organization takes a lot of work and discipline. We have seen that the most successful and profitable companies we work with have become experts at tactical planning. Remember, those who plan — profit.
  • Some Friday quotes and a link or two…

    I’ve run across some snippets here and there that were fascinating:

    In keeping with our wind sector in Northeastern Wisconsin, this article about a new solar technology that goes well with wind “farms” from Live With Jay in Kansas City:

    At all levels of government and at most dinner tables, the high cost of energy and the options possible from the renewable sources of solar and wind are familiar conversations.  The change in recent years, however, is those conversations have become increasingly the focus of policy and action, not just topics conjecture and speculation.

    ***********************

    “Innovation is not necessarily discovering new things, but discovering how to use old things in a new way.”
    Here’s an interesting perspective on innovation from Amitabha Kumar, director of research and development at CalStar Products Inc. His firm is using green technology to make ordinary products like bricks and cement. CalStar is opening a factory to make bricks from fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal. The process uses 85% less energy than traditional brick manufacturing and reduces carbide–dioxide emissions by 85% as well. The green products building market is expected to grow from $45 billion in 2008 to between $96 billion and $140 billion by 2013, according to McGraw–Hill Construction.  From the Wall Street Journal November 4, 2009

    “The really dynamic times in our history are times when you have lots of ordinary people who think they have a chance to make a difference.”
    Sparked by a renewed interest in hands–on work, tinkering is becoming increasing popular for many individuals and students at colleges and universities, as noted by Naomi Lamoreaux, an economic historian at the University of California, Although tinkering has a long history in the U.S., several trends are propelling tinkering into the forefront. Materials that were once too expensive are now readily available to would–be inventors. Low cost computers and the Internet are catalysts as well. Colleges and universities are encouraging students to tinker and experiment by making facilities and equipment available to them. The demand for tinkering has spawned a for–profit business, TechShop in Menlo Park CA, where members pay a monthly fee to use equipment for projects as if they were members of a local gym. TechShop has also opened facilities in Durham NC and Beaverton OR.  From Wall Street Journal November 13, 2009

    “I do not see it as a flash in the pan. I think it is an opportunity for some ongoing business.”
    Richard Whiting, chief executive of Patriot Coal Corporation, believes the potential to sell coal mined in the U.S. to fuel China’s steel mills has long–term market potential. Coal producers in the Eastern U.S. are seeing increasing business because of China’s growing demand for the material. Consol Energy Inc. is shipping 400,000 tons of metallurgical coal directly to China for the first time in five years. Patriot Coal Corporation expects to ship hundreds of thousands of tons of coal to China over the next year. Two challenges, however, are the shipping rates and time needed to reach a Chinese port from a mine in the Appalachian Mountains.   Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2009

    Link-a-palooza!

    It is time to clean out my “Tags for Blog” folder!!

    Here is a special guide (http://business.twitter.com/twitter101) to Twitter for business

    The future of downtown retail from Downtown Economics (part one) (http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/downtowns/ltb/documents/DE1009.pdf) Analysis of Past Trends

    The future of downtown retail from Downtown Economics (part two) (http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/downtowns/ltb/documents/DE1109.pdf) Changes on the Horizon

    Low Cost, High Impact Building Improvements Downtown  (http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/downtowns/ltb/documents/DE0909.pdf) from Downtown Economics, written by Wisconsin Main Street’s Joe  Lawniczak.  Specific to downtown, but applicable to all commercial buildings

    An article from Bloomberg with some potential help on the horizon for small businesses. Get informed, get involved. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=auyoEPbdYRM4)

    A report on the economic impact of historic preservation (http://www.law.ufl.edu/cgr/pdf/historic_report.pdf)

    An article on how to have a killer “about” page on your website (http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/09/crafting-a-killer-about-page.html)

    3 on ARC (American Recovery act SBA) loans:  How They Work (http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/09/crafting-a-killer-about-page.html), Where to find them (http://money.cnn.com/smallbusiness/storysupplement/bankLoans/)  and an article with program update (http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/30/smallbusiness/arc_loan_update/index.htm?postversion=2009093016)

    A white paper from Grant Thorton-  Reviving retail: Strategies for growth in 2009 (

    http://www.grantthornton.com/staticfiles/GTCom/files/Industries/Consumer%20&%20industrial%20products/White%20papers/Reviving%20retail_Strategies%20for%20growth%20in%202009.pdf)

    Some ideas:

    Rules of the Road for Your Marketing Plan

    Posted by: on October 08 by Tim Hurley, BluePoint Venture Marketing, Lexington, Mass.

    When starting a marketing or PR plan for your small business, first consider these five fundamental rules of the road:

    1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—particularly if you can’t afford to hire an internal marketing resource, consultant, or agency.

    2. Don’t invest your time, or a dime—if you cannot commit the time to advise and collaborate with your marketing person or team to make it work.

    3. Don’t expect miracles overnight—because marketing and PR cannot deliver instant gratification or new customers. But, thanks to the immediacy of the social Web, you should see results in several weeks, not months.

    4. Don’t believe the myth that marketing cannot be measured—as there are many inexpensive or free tools out there. They can help you measure Web traffic, the reach and impact of your marketing and PR efforts, as well as what your customers, partners, and prospects are thinking and saying about you, your company, your brand, and your products and services.

    5. Don’t bet the farm on one approach—as the market is constantly changing. Consider both inbound and outbound marketing as well as traditional media, social media, and marketing tools.

    New Blog Site & Round-up of News Articles!

    Due to an unfortunate password issue, we had to get a new blog!  I’ll be figuring out how to add our old blog – but for now: HERE IS THE LINK FOR A GOOD NUMBER OF ENTRIES!! at our old blog site.

    Now to new information:

    SBA has a new pilot loan program, it began July 1st and is for auto, RV and other dealerships can apply for SBA guaranteed floor plan financing, which will make it easier for these small businesses to borrow against their inventory and increase their cash flow.  More information here and HERE

    An interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on how businesses are caring (“coddling”) their customers more in these more challenging times.   How are you caring for YOUR customers?

    This one, regarding the “death of the corner pharmacy” reminded me of working with my Grandparents in the inventory service, when the local corner pharmacy was THE business to have.

    Good article for buying & selling small businesses.

    Finally!  Did you know that Main Street De Pere turns 20 in 2010??  Incredible work has been done in De Pere by amazing people during the last 19 years. I got the following report from Wisconsin Main Street on the first 20 years of the program in the state of Wisconsin.  Check out this information:

    The twenty (20) Year figures as reported in the 2007-2008 annual report:

    Promotional Events:                       2,583 (10 years)

    Total Attendance:                     5,731,369 (10 years)

    Public Improvements:                       1,336

    Public Investment:                $208,647,686

    Building Rehabilitations:                 4,791

    Private investment in

    Building Rehabilitations:       $280,134,440

    New Businesses:                              3,542

    New Jobs:                                       15,930

    New Buildings:                                    248

    Private Investment

    in New Buildings:                  $277,739,154

    Buildings Sold:                                 1,411

    Private Investment

    in Buildings sold:                   $207,021,468

    New Downtown

    Housing Units:                                     511

    Total Private Investment:      $764,895,062

    Total Public & Private

    Investment:                          $973.542,748

    That is almost $1 Billion increase in value.  That pays for a lot of local, services, schools, technical colleges services, and even removes the snow.

    Until next time!!