Our strategy consulting services are designed to fit the needs of small businesses and non-profits. We work with a wide range of organizations at almost every stage of the business life-cycle. Most of our clients have annual revenue between $1 million and $10 million, but this is not an absolute requirement. We help our clients define a clear vision, develop a roadmap, and then work closely with them to help achieve their goals. Although we are based in Chicago, we can work with clients anywhere.
Is your business 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.
Avoid These Common Strategic Planning Mistakes
There is no such thing as a perfect strategy, or a perfect strategic planning process. No matter what you do or how you do it, it can probably be improved. That said, a half-baked strategy can sometimes be worse than nothing. Every organization is occasionally tempted to cut back on research and planning when times are tough. But those are exactly the times when having realistic goals and a sensible plan is most important. The best business leaders always stay on top of what’s going on in and outside their organization, and are always thinking ahead.
Common strategic planning mistakes include:
- Basing your strategy on invalid or incomplete market research
- Ignoring important stakeholders because you “don’t think they are relevant”
- Only considering a few fairly obvious strategic options
- Basing your strategy on outdated or faulty assumptions
- Setting goals that are non-specific in time and extent
- Underestimating the time, resources, and financial investment needed to execute the strategic plan
- Failing to align managers, staff and stakeholders through effective communication, management and monitoring.
- Under-funding the execution phase in order to meet short term sales, profit or revenue goals
- Failing to adjust the plan when market conditions or other factors change
To be successful at strategic planning you have to follow a process, and skipping steps almost always leads to sub-par results. You need to allow ample time for research, brainstorming, analysis and documentation. Our full-bore strategic planning process typically takes at few months.
Alternatively, we can work on a tighter budget by collapsing the process down to several one- or two-day workshops, combined with research beforehand and analysis and documentation afterwards. But keep in mind that “tight budget” and “quick” rarely translate into “high quality”.
Execution Is Key to Getting Results
Are you going to actually follow through on the plan, or will it just become an expensive paperweight? Far too many companies invest in strategic planning and then end up putting their plans on a shelf — literally. The reality is that a strategic plan is useless if you can’t execute. For that reason, we don’t like to stop at planning. Successful execution takes time, commitment, and focus. We can help you execute the strategy, provide additional resources to translate your plan into action, and generate results.
Contact Us now to set up a free initial consultation. Or call to schedule a meeting at our downtown Chicago office located at 150 N. Michigan Avenue.