12A — December 24 - January 14, 2016 — Owners, Developers & Managers — Industry Leaders — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


I ndustry L eaders

new business year will soon begin and the initi- ation of planning for the By Glenn Ebersole, Hollenbach Construction, Inc A strategic approach to planning for 2016 – Ask questions internally & externally! A technological influences, and governmental/legal variables to guide your thinking with a view to the future.

10. Determine how your team can add value to your business and then articulate and rec- ognize the importance of the team's value-added efforts. In conjunction with the above list of recommended inter- nal actions, another strategic thinking business approach suggests that going outside your business and asking cli- ents some probing questions will be very beneficial in your planning efforts for the new business year. The strategy of asking these questions is to gain insight for developing the best solutions for your clients’ problems. Asking questions will help you gain needed informa- tion from your clients; build rapport with your clients; in- crease the clients’ comfort level; understand the clients’ needs; and discover the clients’ con- cerns, frustrations and fears. You can begin by asking questions that will let you know what is going right with your clients and then transition into areas where problems may have occurred. And it is always important to initially focus on your client, rather than you and your client. It is critical that you make sure the client understands that he or she has ownership in this process of questioning. What are some examples of questions you could ask your clients? Here are ten (10) sug- gested questions. 1. What are your goals for the new business year? 2. What strategies do you expect to use to capitalize on last year’s successes? 3. What do you believe is the number one challenge for your business in the New Year? 4. What is the single biggest frustration you have in your business going into the New Year? 5. What is the one major change you want to make hap- pen in your business in the New Year? 6. What is the one thing you value most about our working relationship? 7. What can we do to sustain and enhance our business re- lationship? 8. How can we improve on the services we provide to you? 9. If you could change just one thing about our business relationship, what would it be? 10. How can we be a more valuable asset and resource for your business? continued on page 34A

team need to hone their strate- gic thinking skills to begin the planning for the new business year. Here are ten (10) recom- mended ways to hone your strategic thinking skills. 1. Brainstorm a list of ques- tions concerning where the business has been, where it is and where it needs to go. 2. Perform an updated SWOT analysis of the business. Make sure to solicit employee input in this exercise. Develop a plan to address take strategic advan- tage of your findings. 3. Examine the market en- vironment, economic forces,

management and throughout the organization to create ex- ponential growth. 7. Synthesize information about challenges, issues and opportunities that can be used to develop policies and set pri- orities. 8. Conduct a “what if” exer- cise to help anticipate and plan for the unexpected. 9. Select no more than three goals from the strategic action plan that are the top priority for your business and advocate an understanding of the need for strategic focus on those priorities.

new business year is an es- pecially im- portant time for strategic t h i n k i n g . . Ho p e f u l l y your strategic thinking and planning has

4. Conduct customer satisfac- tion surveys or focus groups to gain insight from the customer viewpoint and incorporate the findings into your future plans. 5. Review the company’s vi- sion, mission and core values to determine if any revisions are warranted. 6. Develop new ways of look- ing at things, new ways of doing things, and new things to do. Encourage risk-taking and constant innovation within

Glenn Ebersole

been underway for some time. In businesses where strategic thinking, planning and actions drive the company, the busi- ness owners and management



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166 Holly Rd., P.O. Box 507, Boyertown, PA 19512 Phone: 610-367-4200 Fax: 610-367-1020 email: gebersole@hollenbach.com

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