Should Small Businesses Scrap Strategic Planning?

Kaihan Krippendorff is a strategist, speaker, consultant, best-selling author of several books, a  recognized expert on innovation, strategy, and creativity, appearing in key business media outlets including Fox Business, National Public Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Radio. Got them all?

Undoubtedly, these badges entitle him to train top level executives and work with the leadership teams of leading corporations including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Citibank, L’Oreal, United Technologies, Kraft, and Experian.

We look up to those companies, admire – if not envy – their magnificent power and study their practices in order to learn  winning strategies and tactics. Hence, it came with a shocking surprise when Kaihan published an article on Fast Company Blog in which he argued that small businesses should look at strategic planning from a totally different perspective:

“What fast-growing companies need is strategic thinking–not strategic planning. Here are three things smaller companies can do to develop an adaptive, opportunistic approach to strategy.”

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The Franchisee Manual from Down Under

Over the past three years, businesses operated as franchises have suffered from some of the underlying factors that have been a drag on the economy. The International Franchise Association (IFA), however, sees indications of some acceleration in the number of franchise businesses in the US for 2012: Continue reading

MTools helping to become a more effective manager

Manager Tools produces two free weekly podcasts designed to give managers and individual contributors actionable recommendations to further their careers: Manager Tools and Career Tools.

The podcast is focused on helping people become a more effective manager and leader. Each week Mark and Mike are talking about new tools and easy techniques you can use to help achieve your management objectives. The Manager Tools podcast is downloaded over 80,000 times weekly.
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Another Bubble?

Spa in Hilton Shanghai

The expansion in China of hotel chains including Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H) may be undermined by low demand as four in 10 rooms sit empty.

China’s Low Hotel Occupancy Rates Threaten Expansion by Hilton, Starwood

By Bloomberg News – Nov 16, 2011

China’s occupancy rate was 61 percent in the first nine months of this year, the same as the year-earlier period and the lowest in Asia afterIndia among 15 countries tracked by STR Global, a consulting and research group. In Shanghai, only about half of hotel rooms were filled, compared with more than 80 percent for Singapore and Hong Kong, it said.

The world’s biggest chains have been rushing into China, which overtook Spain last year to become the world’s third-most- visited travel destination after France and the United States, based on United Nations World Tourism Organization data. The number of internationally branded hotel rooms is expected to surge 52 percent by 2013 after rising 62 percent in the past five years, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which tracks data in 30 Chinese cities.

“Hotels in some markets of China are clearly oversupplied in the next three to five years, and they won’t be generating good returns,” said Nigel Summers, Hong Kong-based director at Horwath Asia Pacific, which tracks the hospitality industry. “China has had a very strong demand. The question is whether the increase in demand is going to be big enough to handle all the new hotels.”

‘Short-Term Bubbles’

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Smaller Franchisers Expand Their Horizons

A Smashburger in Kuwait? Here’s why it makes sense.
By ANGUS LOTEN

Magnolia Bakery NY

Over the past month, a Smashburger outlet in Denver has had some unusual help in the kitchen: a group of Kuwaiti entrepreneurs.

The burger flippers were prospective franchisees looking to open Smashburger outlets back home—and the fast-food chain hoped the hands-on experience would help them better serve customers.

Kuwait might seem a remote target for a franchise that’s not anywhere near the size of, say, McDonald’s. But Smashburger Chief Executive Dave Prokupek has big plans for international expansion—not only across the Middle East but also Asia and Central and South America. Continue reading

Can you see the future clearly?

Well, if your answer to the question in the title is yes, you better skip this article and contact us immediately for a gigantic bonus. For the rest of us here is something interesting about the not so clear future.

Running a small business requires a focus on the present daily operations. With time restraints looking ahead becomes difficult. However, in order to succeed you need to know what’s ahead to better plan and avert danger. The 21st century presents plenty of changes that will impact small businesses in the future.

A staggering number of documents are available about the future that this century will bring to the world of small businesses, ranging from scientific researches to earth shaking prophecies.

How can you decide who to listen to?     Continue reading

Brand Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

After meeting many entrepreneurs, I’ve come to realize that they all share similar characteristics. Some people are born with an entrepreneurial spirit, while others acquire it through life experience after discovering their passions and goals. The following attributes will help you understand what qualities can help you win the entrepreneurship game. Continue reading