How to Strategically Grow Your Business with Shelly Bernal

On January 28th, FORUM held its first episode of FORUM 40 webinar series for 2021! Hosted by Shelly Bernal, a business consultant with the Florida SBDC at FIU, this FORUM 40 webinar discussed how to target development and create logistical growth strategies as a small business. In her presentation for planning company growth, Shelly focused on situation analysis, strategies, and transformation.

Situation Analysis

Situational analysis can help entrepreneurs ask themselves, what the state their business is in, why, and how they can be better than their competitors. Shelly presented the topic of situational analysis as a pyramid that includes data, facts, and conclusions as key components to analyzing any business and market. Entrepreneurs must research and gather clear facts on their customers and industry in order to make any set objective. It is important to know the characteristics of the buyer and the market. Shelly recommended from there, that entrepreneurs consider how they can offer something different to their key consumers.


Strategies can best be built by breaking them down into a plan, an execution, and tracking process. To create a solid plan, entrepreneurs must ask themselves what needs to be done, who will do it, and how much will it cost. When creating a plan, one needs to organize all people and resources involved. The next step is to move forward and execute. According to Shelly, one has to prepare for the unexpected, always be ready to adjust, and keep all key players informed, during the execution phase. Once the planning and execution phases are complete, comes time to track the results. In order to properly track all outcomes, businesses should look at external factors such as government, competition, the environment, and customer response. 


Transformation requires taking all of what was learned in the outcome of the strategy, and converting it into real change. Shelly said to include the new knowledge in the company’s product or service. Shelly also recommended taking trends in the environment and incorporating them into the overall business. Embrace trends such as remote working, digital technologies, and social purpose. At the end of the day, business growth comes from the repeatable process of knowing the market’s current situation, planning a strategy, executing, and applying the change.  

Watch The Webinar!

For those that joined our last FORUM 40 webinar, we thank you, and hope you enjoyed connecting as much as we did! If you missed the event click HERE to watch as Shelly Bernal gives insightful tips on strategic business planning!

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