We craft our strategy consulting services to fit the needs of small businesses and non-profits.

We help clients define a clear vision, develop a roadmap, and achieve their goals. Whether you simply need a one day strategic planning workshop, a full-blown three to six month strategic planning engagement, or something in between, we can help.

(Planning to exit your business? — check out our exit planning services)

Chart for a strategic plan report

Their Approach

Most small business strategy consultants run a series of one- or two-day workshops with senior management teams. They put on a great show, and everybody leaves happy and energized.  But once the initial excitement wears off, nothing changes. Even great ideas go nowhere because there wasn’t real buy-in and there is no follow-through.

Other business consultants bring in subject matter experts who conduct endless interviews, spend months tweaking their findings, and write up a complex 200-page strategic plan 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 process.

Workshops can help, but unless they are backed up with solid research and in-depth interviews, they don’t go far enough. Research and analysis are absolutely necessary, but if the end result is a long document with endless recommendations, unclear priorities and no follow-through, nothing changes.

Our Approach

After a lot of trial and error, we’ve hit on a better way: a heavy emphasis on research, one-on-one interviews and analysis, workshops as needed, and a clear, concise strategic plan with an actionable schedule of recommendations, priorities and staff assignments, all supported by ongoing monitoring, measurement, communication and execution support.

We also ask a lot of questions. For example:

Are you moving in the right direction?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Business owners often 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 industry trends?

Every industry has to deal with change. And the pace of change accelerates every year as new products,  technologies, and competitors appear. We’ll help you filter out the noise, spot the most promising 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.

Are your teams and departments aligned?

Every business experiences growing pains. Has your business outgrown your previous organizational structure? Is everybody rowing in the same direction? 

How are your products and services perceived by your customers?

Has quality declined recently? What about customer service? Is there a perception problem or is there a fundamental production and delivery problem?

 

A strategic plan is useless if it isn't executed

Before You Start

Before you commit to a strategic planning engagement, ask yourself:

Are you going to follow through on the plan, or will it just be an expensive paperweight?

Without competent execution, a strategic plan is a waste of time, money and resources better spent elsewhere. Far too many companies invest heavily in strategic planning and then put their plans on a shelf — literally.  The reality is:  a plan that’s not executed is useless.

Is the business owner on board?

If the business owner is not involved in the strategic planning process and committed to its success, it won’t go anywhere.  Delegating the planning to lower-level staff almost always leads to failure. Many small business owners underestimate the level of commitment, time and focus that strategic planning requires, and end up handing off critical decisions to lower level staff, thus undermining the effort.

Do you have the capital, resources and personnel you need?

Strategic planning engagements can cost tens of thousands of dollars, even for small organizations. But planning is just the start: execution usually costs much more in time, money and resources. Determining what resources, how much time, and how much capital you will need to successfully implement the plan should be part of the plan!

 

Execute Your Plan

While large organizations have the resources to coordinate, track, execute and adjust as needed, small businesses rarely do. That’s where we come in. While we always start with planning, we also support clients with execution. We can do this in various ways, through regularly scheduled meetings, help with internal communications, staff support, etc.

Contact Us now – Let’s unlock your potential!