Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Surviving and Thriving in Good Times and Bad

Why is it some businesses thrive in good times and bad while others can't seem to catch a break?  One good reason is something called strategic planning.  Many people don't know what it is, many others don't know what it can do for them.  I know both.
What's In It For You?
  • Would you like to figure out what your customers are going to do before they do it?
  • Would you like to see how you stack up to your competitors?
  • Would you like to understand how you can adapt to changes in the marketplace and legal environment?
Strategic Planning can help you with these problems and more.  At the heart of strategic planning are two things, learing what is happening or about to happen that affects your business (or job) and learning how you can use your strengths to take advantage of opportunities and protect yourself from threats and your weaknesses.

If you can understand what is going on with your customers, competitors, market, business, and the legal environment, you can have a pretty good handle on what is affecting your success or failure in business.  Add to that, an in depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your own business, you can then clearly see the opportunities and threats that will make or break your business.
By doing this periodically, you can make sure your business is prepared for what is coming and what is happening, assuring that you can survive and thrive in good times and bad.

For several years I provided strategic planning services for a division of a Fortune 500 company. During that time I adapted those tools to use on my own small business. In my book, I give you the tools I use.

I have taught other entrepreneurs all over the country how to successfully use these same tools in their own business and in their careers.

I recently published my first Kindle book, Strategic Planning for Very Small Businesses, on  In my book, I give you the opportunity to invest less than $10 in your business that could pay you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in return.

Although Strategic Planning for Very Small Businesses is written from the perspective of my business of investing in real estate, it is applicable to any small or one-person business.
By the way, part of my strategic planning revealed and opportunity to capitalize on some of my specialized knowledge by publishing it.  I could have opted to create a $500 training course or hold seminars for $199 a head.  Unfortunately for a one-person business $500 is a lot of money.  And paying $199 isn't so bad, but you have to spend a whole day away from the business.  So instead, I opted to put this information into a book and sell it at a price anyone can afford.

UPDATE:  I have made this book on Simplified Strategic Planning for Very Small Businesses available on both as  a Kindle book and ebay as a downloadable pdf.  Here are the direct links:


I learned that e-bay doesn't accommodate selling ebooks.  Fortunately, I have been able to get my book loaded to to an ecommerce site with A+ Results.  You can buy my book as a pdf at

PS: tinyurl provides a great service that allows anyone to convert a long and awkward url into a much shorter, usable url to help people find what they want.

The Kindle and the pdf are each priced at $9.97.

You Can Benefit If
  • You own your own small or one-person business
  • You are self-employed
  • You work for a small business
You can even use these same principles to help you manage your career, but if you can't quite make that mental leap to understand the relationship between your career and a small business, never fear.  Soon, I will be publishing another book, "Your Career ~ Your Business."

It too will be modestly priced and available via

Tom Sheppard has been successfully investing in real estate since 2001 while working part time. In 2008 he left a six-figure job as an enterprise project manager with a major national bank to manage his real estate business full-time. His goal is to help 100,000 people find peace of mind by finding quality, affordable homes. Why pay retail when you can buy a home at below market prices? He is currently looking to expand his network of funding partners who are helping him achieve this goal. If you would like to know more about how you can do well by doing good, contact Tom at