Strategic planning services assist clients in developing a detailed strategic direction for the enterprise over a three to five year period. A strategic plan typically begins with an assessment of the client’s external situation. This assessment includes a market assessment analysis, a competitive evaluation, a technology assessment, a supplier market assessment, and a look at any significant government regulations that may affect the enterprise.
Next, the client’s internal situation is analyzed. This analysis includes the balance sheet, several years of operating statements, a sales analysis and several other key measures of performance. Then there is an assessment of the client’s capabilities in the key areas that have a major bearing on overall success. These typically include management, human resources, capital resources, competitive advantages, customer satisfaction, marketing/sales performance, costs/pricing and innovation.
The final step in the process is to project assumptions for market segments, including competitive assumptions. This will lead to identifying perceived opportunities and a methodology for screening each opportunity. As part of this process, we will also list all perceived threats and develop a winner’s profile for the client’s industry.
Strategic position depends upon both market attractiveness and competitive position. Savvy managers seek attractive markets where their particular resources and capabilities give them a competitive advantage. The critical step in the planning process is to list the strategic issues and develop appropriate strategies. Strategic decisions are creative and intuitive processes and do not lend themselves to mechanistic thinking. Often this critical phase of the process can be greatly enhanced by an outside facilitator.