Strategic Planning

A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all your plans and ideas locked up inside your head, preparing a strategic plan can help you clarify your company’s direction. It can ensure that your key leaders are all on the same page, and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.

A Strategic Plan is often needed when…

  • Starting a new venture, product or service
  • Expanding a current organization, product or service
  • Buying a new business, product or service
  • Turning around a declining business

The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.

The plan allows you to…

  1. Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
  2. Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
  3. Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
  4. Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
  5. Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
  6. Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company’s success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
  7. Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
  8. Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.

Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

developing a strategic plan

Seasoned Strategic Planning Consulting

Our Associates are experienced strategic planning consultants.  We can help you and your executive team develop an integrated strategic plan that builds clarity and consensus among you on a critical game-plan for the future success of your business.  Just as importantly, our team-based approach to strategic plan development orchestrates the involvement of your key stakeholders in a way that optimizes your chances for successful plan implementation.  And as any executive leader knows, a strategic plan is only as good as your ability to execute it effectively.

Our Proven Approach to Strategic Plan Development & Implementation

Over more than twenty-five years, our seasoned strategic planning consultants have helped many different client executive teams develop comprehensive, reality-based, accountable, action-oriented strategic plans across many varied industries and business situations.  Perhaps you need support for a single-day, strategy offsite to update or revisit an existing plan.  Or, you may require a more comprehensive approach, such as the one described below, in order to develop a completely new plan from scratch.   Either way, our experience and flexibility enable us to design an approach that will suit the operating requirements and constraints of your business.

In the case of a business that is developing a strategic plan for the first time or one whose existing plan requires a completely fresh take, the process described here has delivered solidly for many of our clients over many years.  (Please see what our clients say, below.)

The cornerstones of our successful Team-Based Strategic Planning Process are:

  • an open, candid, fact-based assessment of a company’s current and prospective operating environment
  • customized, structured planning Conferences, carefully designed and facilitated by Gagnon Associates consultants, against concrete outcome goals
  • a parallel, “Offline,” Feedback/Input Process, “interleaved” with planning Conferences, that enables representatives of a company’s key stakeholder groups to review and influence in-process planning material, as well as to provide fresh, “front-end” inputs to planning Conference discussions and deliberations.

This approach facilitates broader organizational involvement in the kind of high-level planning that is often the exclusive purview of only senior-most executives.

Since commitment and ownership are always a function of involvement, our Team-Based Strategic Planning Process not only provides a leadership team with the data, setting, process and support they need to achieve alignment among themselves, it also ensures the kind of stakeholder involvement that’s needed to build broader ownership for the final plan and commitment to its ultimate implementation.

Getting Started:  Strategic Plan Development

The “Strategic Planning Model,” shown here, lays out our most comprehensive Team-Based Strategic Planning Process at a glance.

It begins with:

  • Confidential Executive Interviews of the Planning Team members, conducted by the Gagnon Associates consultant who will be leading the Strategic Planning Process,
  • Preparation of the Environmental Scan, a “snap-shot” of the enterprise’s:
    • macro business environment,
    • industry,
    • major competitors,
    • financial and organizational health.

This contextual material, as well as a thorough SWOTS analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) serves to lay the factual foundation upon which all subsequent planning Conference deliberations are based.

The Strategic Planning Conferences

The Planning Conferences represent the heart of the Team-Based Strategic Planning Process.  A configuration of three, two-day sessions, taking place over as little as three months, has proven suitable for many clients, but, again, our experience enables us to customize this schedule, as required, to suit client needs.

The accompanying “Architecture” depicts the key strategic questions the Planning Team works through in the course of the Conferences and the sequence in which they confront these questions.

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why businesses choose us

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Experience counts...