We work as a partner with small companies to develop a strategic road map to launch or grow their businesses. Many times, a client has a potential game-changing concept and needs to answer the question, “Why has this idea not been done before?” Many others have operated their businesses without a plan and need to work through a rigorous process to crystallize their vision, strengthen their weaknesses, and/or rally their team around a clear course of action.
In strategic business planning engagements of this type:
- We take the role of facilitator in asking the right questions, prompting our clients to think about their businesses in ways previously unexamined. Questions may be as simple as, “Where do we want our company to be in 3 years and in 5 years?”, “Who would the likely buyer of our business be and what would be attractive to them?”, and “What is really important to our customers and why do/will they buy from us (or prevent them from buying).” These questions typically prompt discussions that lead to profound, actionable insights.
- The goal of the plan is not to have a document that will be filed away to collect dust. Rather, the goal of the plan is to develop a concrete action plan with specific short, medium, and long term milestones, responsibilities assigned to appropriate management team members, dates for completion established, and expected results (operational and financial) clearly forecasted.
- In this process, we attempt to “reverse engineer success.” This is done by understanding where a client wants to be, and then methodically working backwards to the present day, thoroughly exploring future challenges or barriers, and documenting what will need to happen to achieve the stated goals.
The strategic road map takes into account all areas of the business: product / service development, R&D technology development, sales and marketing, team and staffing needs, accounting and financial controls, and operations. Within each engagement, based on individual client needs, specific areas are given greater attention than others, though all engagements explore each area described above.