We are experienced strategy consultants and planning facilitators who guide small and mid-size B2B firms through the strategic planning process. The goal is to develop smart business strategies and actionable strategic plans to pursue new opportunities for growth.
Business Strategy Consulting for B2B Firms
Effective strategic planning involves smart decision-making about your company’s future. It results in formulating your business strategy, clearly documented in a strategic plan. The strategic plan is the playbook for what your business will be focusing on for the next several years.
We support you on every stage of the development and execution of a smart business strategy for your B2B firm. This strategy spells out clearly how the company is going to beat the competition and pursue the right growth opportunities.
Benefits of a Sound Business Strategy
- Agreed upon long-term goals
- Clarity about business priorities
- Focus on the right markets
- Action plan for growth
- Better use of company resources
- More effective Sales & Marketing
- Clear direction
- Purposeful innovation
- No more ‘idea of the month’
- Less crisis management
- Confidence in the future
- In charge of your destiny
Small Companies Should Not Ignore Strategy
If you own or manage a small to mid-size B2B firm you need a carefully thought-out business strategy. You don’t have resources to waste.
If you’re not the biggest player in your market, you have to be smarter. Sharply focused on what you do best and which opportunities to pursue. And, more importantly, very clear about what you should not be doing and which markets to avoid.
Often we hear that the market place is too dynamic and that the business environment changes too quickly for a small company to commit to a longer-term strategy.
However, without a strategy, the company lacks direction and it’s difficult to decide what to focus on.
If you want to work smarter rather than harder and grow with purpose, strategic planning is a necessity.
Think “guerilla warfare”. If you’re fighting many bigger competitors, you need to be very smart and deliberate about what to strike, where to strike, how and why.
Going helter-skelter after every shiny object that pops up only gets you into trouble. You can’t survive, let alone grow, without direction and a sound plan.
When you find yourself in growth mode, you need to make sure you’re not wasting resources pursuing opportunities that are not in alignment with your long-term objectives. A strategic plan provides the roadmap for staying on track to achieve your goals in a rapidly changing marketplace.
Strategic planning for a small business doesn’t need to be time-consuming or as detailed as planning for a large company. But, your strategic plan does need to identify clearly what the current state of the business is, where you want to go, and how you plan to get there.
That said, you want to remain lean and agile, and adjust the business strategy as conditions change. However, being flexible and opportunistic does not mean operating without a game plan. Otherwise, it quickly turns in to chaos and “idea of the month” thinking.
At the very least, you need to be clear about which opportunities to pursue and which ones to ignore because they’re not a good fit for your company.
Whatever the size of your company or industry, a strategic plan provides direction to guide your decisions as you grow. It keeps you on course to achieve your long-term objectives and ensures that your business always operates in a way consistent with the company’s mission, vision, and values.
In our role of strategy consultants, we work closely with you on developing a business strategy for your B2B firm that defines a clear path to sustainable, profitable growth.
It’s a Journey, not an Event
That two-day retreat at the country club is a great kick-off for a company’s strategic planning effort. But it’s only a start.
Comprehensive strategy planning takes time and effort to do it right. Otherwise, why bother.
Rushing through the business strategy development process and failing to carefully consider the current state of the business and your options puts the firm in jeopardy. Poor planning can actually be worse than no planning at all.
Developing a robust business strategy depends on the quality of thinking, the ability to look from the ‘outside – in’, gather market intelligence and conduct thorough analysis, and the depth of the discussions.
Our experience as strategy consultants has enabled us to fine-tune our strategic planning process for fact-based, data-driven decision-making. Always focused on keeping the process moving forward and producing results. No wasting time on academic discussions or overly detailed analyses that do not lead to better insight.
But, to do it right, developing a smart strategic plan does take more time than that off-site meeting at the country club. Rushing through the process and jumping to conclusions makes the process counterproductive.
Making strategic decisions and keeping the strategic plan up-to-date to reflect changes in the marketplace will then require far less time and effort than the development of the initial strategic plan.
Planning Process Tailored to Your Needs
Based on our experience as business strategy consultants, we have developed a strategic planning process that is tailored to small to mid-market business-to-business firms. Often, these firms lack the in-house resources for creating a comprehensive business strategy themselves.
Every company is unique. With that in mind, we customize the strategic planning process to make sure that your firm’s specific key issues get addressed.
Our strategic planning process covers topics such as:
- Goals and objectives
- Mission and vision
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Competitive advantage
- Target markets
- Industry and markets
- Market opportunities
- Key trends
- Opportunity analysis
- Scenario planning
- Risk mitigation
- Action plan development
Strategic Planning Facilitation
Strategic planning sessions led by a company executive usually fail to produce breakthrough results. Old topics get rehashed, the status quo does not get challenged. Tough questions are avoided and ‘group think’ is prevalent.
As a result, you’re likely to end up with more or less the same ‘strategy’ as the year before. And, little, if anything, changes to the strategic direction of the business.
Planning sessions are best led by an experienced strategic planning facilitator who guides the process, asks the right questions, and engages the entire team.
With our experience as B2B strategy consultants and strategic planning facilitators, we know how to keep the process on track to produce the result you’re looking for: a smart, aggressive strategic plan that’s the roadmap to your business success.
Keeping Planning Sessions Productive
To make sure the strategic planning process moves forward and produces results, we pay attention to:
- Managing the planning process
- Making sure everyone is focused and engaged
- Preventing anyone from dominating the discussion
- Avoiding ‘short-cuts’ to the process
- Asking challenging questions
- Challenging the status quo
- Keeping the discussions on topic
- Testing assumptions
- Providing insight and perspective
- Acting as a sounding board
- Assisting with the strategic plan development
- Supporting the action plan execution
In the end, implementation is where strategy comes alive. Without skillful and committed execution of the strategic plan you’re not going to see the expected results.
We can help with the implementation of the strategic plan to ensure that the firm sticks to the roadmap to achieve the goals and doesn’t stray off course.
We can work with your in-house team and, if needed, other consultants, to make the implementation of the strategic plan a success.
Don’t Need Complete Strategic Planning Support?
Perhaps you don’t need a fully fleshed-out business strategy and strategic plan, but you do want advice on certain elements of business strategy to support your in-house strategic planning activities.
We can support your strategic planning by conducting specific studies such as:
- SWOT analysis
- Strategic competencies
- Industry analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Market segment analysis
- Opportunity analysis
- Feasibility studies
- Segmentation and targeting
- Differentiation and positioning
- Technology assessments
- Supplier market assessments
- M&A evaluation
- Key industry trends analysis
- Customer surveys
To learn more about strategic planning for your B2B firm, or for a free, no-obligation conversation about your business challenges, please contact us.