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With Good Strategic Plans, Small Businesses May Be U.S. Bailout, According to Author Richard B. Sanford

(November 08, 2011)

SAGINAW, MI -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/11 -- In past recessions, small businesses helped fuel economic recoveries by creating new jobs, says Richard B. Sanford, a founder of the 42-year-old Small Business Association of Michigan and author of "Success by Design" (

Though they face new challenges in this economy, with tightened credit and lack of federal support for community banks, small businesses can be extremely successful -- if they have a formal strategic plan, he says.

"The plan is the framework and foundation that outlines how to think, how to plan and how to take action to succeed," he says. "Success by Design" walks business owners through the steps of creating that plan.

American small businesses create more than 70 percent of all new jobs annually, according to the Small Business Administration.

Sanford, who has launched 11 successful small businesses, details the steps to drafting and executing a strong plan in "Success by Design."

His strategy tips for entrepreneurs include:

  • Craft a company mission. If your business is a for-profit, part of its stated mission must be to have "ever increasing income, profit and wealth." Some companies, big and small, opt for politically correct warm-and-fuzzy mission statements that make no mention of growing profit. What can be more politically correct than becoming so profitable, your company needs to hire more workers?
  • Craft a company purpose. This is a statement of what the company will do to achieve its mission, and how and why the company makes a difference. It should be governed by your values and standards of excellence. An abbreviated sample, "We support the communities our customers and employees live and work in, returning good things to the well source of our business success."
  • Customer service. There are many situations out of the control of the owner, but customer service isn't one of them. Businesses that can't get a handle on it will fail.

About Richard B. Sanford

Richard B. Sanford has built careers in adult education, investment management and the insurance industry while leading the cause of small business in his home state of Michigan. Sanford organized the founding of the Small Business Association of Michigan, the state's largest membership trade association. He has served as a National Advisory Board member and vice chair of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Ginny Grimsley

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