Our strategy consulting services are designed to fit the needs of established small businesses and non-profits. We work with organizations at almost every stage of the business life-cycle.
We help our clients define a clear vision, develop a roadmap, and achieve their goals.
(Looking for help planning to exit your business? — check out our exit planning services)
Many business strategy consultants engage in a series of one or two day workshops with senior management teams. They put on a great show, and everybody feels happy and energized when it’s all done. But after the excitement wears off, nothing really changes. All the great ideas go nowhere because there wasn’t any real buy-in and there is no follow-through.
Other strategy consulting firms bring in a team of subject matter experts, who conduct endless interviews, spend months contemplating their navels, and then write up a beautiful 200 page strategic plan document which promptly ends up on a shelf gathering dust. Once again, nothing really changes. Several years later, the company hires another firm and repeats the cycle.
Workshops are useful, but unless they are backed up with solid research and in-depth interviews, they don’t go far enough.
Interviews, research and analysis are absolutely necessary, but if the end result is a massive document with endless recommendations, unclear priorities and no follow-through, nothing changes.
After years of experimentation, we finally hit on a better way: a heavy emphasis on research, one-on-one interviews and analysis, workshops (as needed), and clear, concise documentation with a limited number of high priority recommendations, all combined with ongoing support and monitoring.
We also ask a lot of questions. For example:
Are you moving in the right direction?
Sometimes it’s hard for business owners to tell. They see the trees, but not the forest. We’ll help you see the big picture while keeping an eye on the details, then guide you toward a better place.
Are you taking advantage of important trends within your industry?
Every industry has to deal with change. And the pace of change accelerates every year as new technologies, competitors, and products appear. We’ll help you sort through the noise, identify the most important trends, and help you gain and hold competitive advantage.
What’s holding you back?
Every small business owner faces obstacles to growth. Some are external (market trends, competitors, regulations, etc.), and others are internal (people, policies, processes). We’ll help you determine what factors are holding you back, devise effective solutions, and implement them.
Before you commit to a strategic planning engagement, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you going to actually follow through on the strategic plan, or will it just become an expensive paperweight?
Without competent execution, the plan is a waste of time and money. Far too many companies invest heavily in strategic planning and then end up putting their plans on a shelf — literally. The reality is that any plan is useless if you don’t execute.
Is the business owner on board?
If the business owner is not committed and thoroughly involved in the strategic planning process, it probably won’t go anywhere. Delegating the planning to lower level staff will almost guarantee failure. Most small business owners underestimate the level of commitment and amount of time the planning process requires, and end up handing off too many important decisions to lower level staff, thus undermining the effort.
Do you have sufficient capital, resources and personnel to execute the strategic plan?
Strategic planning engagements often cost tens of thousands of dollars, even for small organizations. But planning is just the beginning: the execution costs usually far exceed the planning costs. Furthermore, executing the strategic plan usually requires additional resources and personnel time.
Large organizations have the resources to coordinate, track, execute and adjust as needed. Small businesses rarely do. That’s where we come in. We can help you execute the strategy, provide additional resources to translate your plan into action, and deliver value. For that reason, we don’t like to stop at planning. Successful execution takes time, resources, commitment, and focus.
Contact Us now to unlock the potential in your business