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Corporate planning is basically the act of formulating a long-term strategy meant to improve your existing business. A corporate plan has some similarities to the business plan you’ll have used to establish your business in the first place, but a corporate plan is meant to help your business grow and keep current operations on track. A corporate plan will detail your business objectives and your future business activities including what you offer and who you sell to. Effective planning makes it easier to accurately forecast profits and ensure that all employees are working efficiently to meet goals.

Corporate planning is fluid, meaning that multiple parts of the plan may be carried out at the same time. There aren’t necessarily any hard and fast rules that you have to follow during your planning process, but here are some great things you can focus on to help your business as much as possible.

1. Obtaining a Legal Team

It won’t matter how well you carry out the rest of your corporate planning if your business isn’t properly protected. Naturally, you’ll want to have property and business liability insurance to protect against damages or a lawsuit following an injury on your property. Insurance companies may not always be enough, however, and you’ll need the help of people like Global Legal’s attorneys. They can help you deal with other organizations and ensure your business receives the electronic payments it deserves.

Whether you need civil litigation at the local level or you’re up against industry giants, Global Legal’s network of attorneys has years of experience in the relevant areas of practice to help with your individual case. They’re also great to consult for legal advice or general information purposes and provide full transparency during the litigation process. You can read more about their philosophies and practice online at globallegallawfirm.com.

2. Performing a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is performed by business leaders, and it seeks to assess the business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Your company’s strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that you have the direct power to change, whereas opportunities and external threats are outside factors that you’ll need to understand in order to thrive.

The purpose of this analysis is to look at your business from multiple angles to gain a better understanding of it. Include team members from each department as part of the analysis to gain a balanced view of your company. Later, you can perform a competitive analysis as well to see how you’re faring against your competitors and what you can learn from them.

3. Identifying Objectives

The framework within which you set your goals can have a huge impact on how your business performs, and OKRs (objectives and key results) is widely regarded as a great framework to use. This system was first introduced at Intel and gained greater fame when it was brought to Google and helped turn it from a relatively small business into the tech behemoth everyone knows today. The framework can be broken down into two main components.

Objectives are your overall company goals, and establishing these helps ensure both transparency across your company and that each department is working towards common goals. Objectives should be easily understandable, and it’s best to focus on a few important goals at a time. Key results are the metrics by which you measure progress toward objectives. They help keep you on track and determine if your goals are too ambitious or too easy so that you can set more appropriate ones in the future.

4. Performing Market Research

It’s impossible to grow your business if you don’t sell more products or reach more customers, so once you have a better understanding of your business and your objectives, it’s time to learn more about your market. Market research can be conducted using a variety of common methods including focus groups, surveys, customer observations, and interviews. All of these can provide valuable insights into your target market and help with new product development, but it may be difficult to find participants.

You have no greater resource than your existing customers, so you might consider making them special offers in exchange for completing surveys or questionnaires. Offering bonuses for customer loyalty is great for retention and can even spread positive buzz about your business.