Strategic planning is important for small businesses to achieve their goals and compete in the market. It involves setting long-term objectives, developing strategies to achieve them, and implementing action plans to execute those strategies. Small businesses can use strategic planning to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and develop plans to address them. This helps businesses make informed decisions, allocate resources effectively, and adapt to changes in the marketplace. Ultimately, strategic planning can help businesses improve their performance and achieve sustainable growth.
How Strategic Planning Consultants Help
A strategic planning consultant assists companies in developing and executing a strategic plan. They can provide objective insights and expertise to help a company identify their strengths and weaknesses, assess the market and competition, and formulate a plan to achieve its goals.
Some ways in which a strategic business consultant can assist companies:
- Facilitating strategic plan workshops and sessions
- Conducting market and industry research
- Analyzing company data and financials
- Developing a SWOT analysis
- Creating a strategic plan document and action plan
- Providing guidance and support during plan execution and implementation
- Monitoring progress and adjusting the plan as needed
Overall, a strategic planning consultant can bring a fresh perspective and outside expertise to the company’s strategic planning process, helping the company to develop a clear, achievable, and effective plan for success.
What is a strategy map?
A strategy map is a planning tool or template used to help stakeholders visualize the complete strategy of a business as one interrelated graphic. These visualizations offer a powerful way for understanding and reviewing the cause-and-effect relationships among the elements of a business strategy.
While a map can be drawn in a number of ways, all strategy maps focus on four major business areas or categories: financial, customer, internal business processes (IBPs), and learning and growth. Goals sort into those four areas, and relationships or dependencies among those goals can be established.
For example, a strategy map might include a financial goal of reducing costs and an IBP goal to improve operational efficiency. These two goals are related and can help stakeholders understand that tasks such as improving operational workflows can reduce company costs and meet two elements of the strategic plan.
A strategy map can help translate overarching goals into an action plan and goals that can be aligned and implemented.
Strategy mapping can also help to identify strategic challenges that might not be obvious. For example, one learning and growth goal may be to increase employee expertise but that may expose unexpected challenges in employee retention and compensation, which affects cost reduction goals.
What Are Key Strategic Goals and Objectives?
“Goals” and “objectives” are two interchangeable words that mean almost the exact same thing and could be used in the same way. However, there are some important differences between the two: Goals are long-term, general, and achievable. Objectives, on the other hand, are specific and measurable.
Strategic goals are the specific financial and non-financial target and outcome a company aims to accomplish over a specific period of time, usually the next three to five years.
Strategic objectives are purpose statements that help shape an overall vision and set goals and measurable steps for a company to help achieve the desired results. A strategic objective is most effective when it is measurable either by analytics or observable data.
A business that is set to success develops strategic objectives to advance the company vision, align company goals and drive decisions that impact daily productivity from the top levels of the organization to all other employees.
The Top Strategic Planning Firms on Earth
There are many strategic planning firms around the world, and the “top” firms can vary depending on factors such as industry focus, geographic reach, and the specific services offered. Here are some of the well-known strategic planning firms based on various factors:
McKinsey & Company – One of the largest and most well-known strategic consulting firms globally, with a focus on a wide range of industries.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – Known for its expertise in strategy consulting, with a focus on topics such as growth, innovation, and digital transformation.
Bain & Company – Specializes in strategy consulting, with a focus on private equity, M&A, and corporate renewal.
Deloitte – One of the “Big Four” accounting and consulting firms, providing a wide range of strategic planning services.
PwC – Another “Big Four” accounting and consulting firm, providing strategic planning services such as growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and digital transformation.
Accenture – A global consulting firm with expertise in digital, technology, and operations consulting, providing strategic planning services across a range of industries.
BSBCON – is one of the fastest growing consultancies, specializing in business plan writing, strategy consulting, financial forecasting, pitch decks and SOPs.
Other firms that may also be considered among the top strategic planning firms include Oliver Wyman, Strategy&, EY-Parthenon, and Roland Berger.
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is important in identifying where your organization is going and how you are going to get there. It’s a process for every business, big and small.
A strategic plan describes who you are as a company and creates a clear direction to achieve your goals. When unforeseen events occur, a strategic plan helps find new opportunities while staying firm to your values and mission.
On top of that, creating a strategic plan is a company’s team-development exercise that can unite employees and improve how they communicate.
What is a strategic planning consultant?
A strategic planning consultant helps organizations to perform efficiently by leading them towards the best use of company resources, while achieving its mission, goals and objectives through a structured approach.
It is so crucial for businesses to know where they stand, realize their path of success, and be able to strategically determine the course of action to reach there. A growth-oriented business clearly identifies specific processes that are preventing it, and identifies areas that need improvement. A strategic planning expert can help explore the available options and to work with the business to work out a comprehensive, achievable, and profitable course of action at minimal risk.
The strategic planning consultant also helps to set direct progressive plans, improve employees confidence and productivity, and develops future business strategies that aim at achieving company long-term goals. For better strategic planning, design, implementation, and performance management, you need an experienced consultant to manage your strategic planning needs to establish growth and sustainability.
What are the steps in the strategic planning process?
There is no single approach to creating a strategic plan, most approaches can be summarized to five overarching steps:
1. Define your vision
Start with communicating the organization’s vision for the future then make a mission statement expressing organizational values and how you intend to reach the vision. A purpose-driven strategic goal sets forth the “why” of what the company is doing. It connects the vision statement to specific objectives.
2. Make a strategic assessment
This stage includes analyzing an organization’s strategic position and gathering data from internal and external factors. One of the most common ways to conduct a comprehensive assessment is a SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is an exercise where you define the following:
- Strengths: What are the unique strengths of the business or its product? In what ways are you ahead?
- Weaknesses: What weaknesses can you identify in your product or service offering? How does your product or service compare to others in the marketplace?
- Opportunities: Are there areas for improvement that would help differentiate your business?
- Threats: Aside from weaknesses, are there existing potential threats to your initiative that could limit or prevent its success? How can those be assumed?
3. Determine your priorities and objectives
After you have defined your vision and evaluated your current standing, you’ll be in a strong position to start organizing and ranking your priorities, and the specific objectives tied to those priorities.
4.Define methods and responsibilities
At this stage, it’s important to note that these may change over time, as you launch and gather initial data about your project. For this reasons it’s recommended that you:
- Develop a plan that has comprehensible benchmark for success
- Ensure that your plan is adaptable to shifting circumstances
- Outline clear roles and responsibilities, so it’s easy to amend a process or make small adjustments in a coordinated manner.
5. Manage, measure, and assess
Before launching your plan, prepare a method to assess success or failure, so that everyone is well-oriented on progress and can agree to evaluate your initiative at regular intervals. Determine an interval so everyone can go over the results — this can take place weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the nature of the project.
How often should you update a strategic plan?
There is no such thing as a universal strategic planning timeline. Whether you conduct a strategy facilitation every month, every quarter, or every few years, completing the document itself is less important than the purpose and process of strategic planning. Strategic planning is not a one-time or static event – it is recurring and requires ongoing strategic thinking. By understanding its purpose and process, you can ensure your company’s strategy is always updated and remains relevant in an ever-changing world.
Who does strategic planning in a business?
The company’s board of directors or management team commonly leads the strategic planning process. Strategic business consultants recommend the board of directors to get representatives from all departments within the business and work in an open and transparent way where information is documented from beginning to end.
The company’s board of directors gathers the information needed to understand the company’s current status and factors that will affect it in the future. The board of directors should solicit input and feedback to confirm or challenge its evaluation of the information.
They can choose to use one of many techniques or strategic plans that have been developed to guide leaders through this process. These techniques take the board through a series of steps that include an analysis or assessment, strategy formulation, and the articulation and communication of the actions needed to move the company toward its strategic vision.
How much should I pay for a strategic plan?
There is no absolute answer to this question as the price of preparing a strategic plan would really depend on the size and complexity of the company and the level and amount of data required. However, a rough estimate would be in the range of $8,500 – $100,000 USD.
Strategic plan creation should be considered as an investment rather than an expense. A well-executed strategy can help an organization achieve its goals and objectives, leading to increased profits and improved performance. Therefore, the benefits outweigh the price to pay for a strategic plan.
If you’re looking for help preparing a professional strategic plan, contact our strategic planning consultants today. Strategic planning is an essential process for any business, and a solid long-term investment.
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Factoring in your past, present, and future, our team of financial forecast consultants will guide you through the process of creating forward-looking projections. By understanding your business needs, we create financial projections that can aid in the identification of persistent issues that may arise in the future, find solutions and improve your company layer by layer.
A precise estimate will help determine whether (and by how much) your business will expand or contract. As a result, you can moderate your expectations and set goals which are practical.
Look no further if you want to find out how to create financial projections. Here are a few specific categories of drawing financials for a business plan that you should know of. Each of the following categories are included in our financial forecast services.
A key element of forecasting happens via income statement development, also known as the profit or loss statement. Here it illustrates how a business makes a profit or loss over time and how it forecasts future revenues, expenses and net earnings. The estimate in this statement is heavily reliant on budgets, and as such our team works directly with you to build custom financial projections.
Revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), cost of sales, operating expenses, EBITDA, depreciation, amortisation, interest, and net income are all components of our completed financial forecasts for a business plan.
Cash Flow Statements
Cash Flow projections are made to evaluate your businesses cash position as you invest, pay dividends and grow year over year. Calculating your cash flow comes after creating your income statement. This starts with your cash position and includes the inflow and outflow of funds including dividend payments and the repayment of debt.
You can identify a future cash position for your business by calculating your income over a specific period and deducting expected and scheduled expenses. Businesses can then control their liquidity and determine if they will have the necessary cash to meet their debt obligations.
You may gain a more accurate insight into your company’s financial situation by using cash flow forecasting. In addition, you will be able to forecast if your business runs the risk of negative cash flow at any time in the future, which is inherently important for all responsible businesses to identify long before it ever potentially happens.
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A company’s financial health is often determined through its balance sheet. A balance sheet should be balanced between total assets and total liabilities + shareholders equity.
Assets in a balance sheet may include cash on hand, inventory, property, plant and equipment (PPE), prepaid expenses, accounts receivable and intangible assets including patents, copyrights and goodwill.
Liabilities in a balance sheet may include long-term debt owing, short-term debt owing, accounts payable, wages owed, sales taxes payable, or corporate taxes payable.
Shareholders equity in a balance sheet includes invested equity, and the cumulative sum of all retained earnings.
Financial Projection Services
Important financial parameters, including sales, income, and future revenues are anticipated in financial forecasting. These metrics are essential for financial activities like budgeting and overall financial planning. In the end, forecasting serves as a compass for your business, so you can mitigate challenges and steer your ship closer and closer to success.
If you are looking to work with America’s leading financial forecast consultants, contact us today. Our financial projection services will help you secure financing and become aware of potential challenges in the future, so you can mitigate them. Lets build custom financial projections for your business plan and get your startup, SMB or established business on the right track.