Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is Strategic Planning Necessary?

"My business is small to medium in terms of revenue and staffing but has the opportunity to be much larger. Do I really need to develop a full strategic business plan?"

The best response to this question is, "Only if you want to stay in business and prosper." Consider the following reasons for strategic planning.

Competition is becoming tougher. In most cases, businesses your size find themselves competing with much larger companies, ones that know the benefits of strategic planning and practice it. From a defensive standpoint, it is important that you apply the same concepts to your operation.

Good financial control alone is not enough to ensure your business's success. In addition to a budget, you need long-term goals and plans to determine the future direction of your company.

Technology and the fast pace of change are making business management more complex. Strategic planning will help you foresee and react quickly to market changes and opportunities and identify areas in which your business is lagging behind.

You can use strategic planning to involve employees in all areas of your business, so they share your goals.

You can use your plan to communicate with bankers, who often do not understand the nature of your business. Bankers must be convinced that your company is in control of its future before they will lay their money on the line. A comprehensive plan, aimed at sustained growth in sales and earnings, can be very convincing.

As we work with our clients we have found that sound strategic planning provides the following benefits:

• Provides strategic direction to the entire company.

• Translates corporate objectives into actionable plans.

• Causes alignment, prioritization and focus.

• Allows clear simple communication throughout the organization.

• Provides resource optimization.

• Assigns responsibilities and timelines.

• Enables forecasting of revenues and expenses.

And most importantly, it DRIVES RESULTS.

Contact us if we can help.



John MaverPresidentMaver Management Group(925) 648-7561Maver Management
View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Turnaround or Business Acceleration?

Has the economy turned? The news continues to be full of stories that support both the need for continued turnaround work in companies as well as for business acceleration strategies in others. It’s true with the giant companies. GM pays back all the loans to the government and appears to be moving in the right direction. HP announces that it is cutting 9000 jobs and is still reorganizing and “getting right sized”. It’s true with the medium and smaller companies as well. We expect that you are either directly affected or someone close to you is.

How should businesses handle these economic times? Some businesses have pulled back and are still cost cutting and operating in a very defensive mode. Unfortunately, their life expectancy is going to be relatively short lived. Others are taking a more assertive stance. Assertive, not necessarily aggressive. They have created a solid business strategy and plan, built the right management team and are investing wisely in their future. They can have a bright future.

What is your company doing? Do you need turnaround or business acceleration work? How are you helping lead your company in these times?

We are finding that many companies are once again capitalizing on the skills and experience of strong consultants. They, once again, are viewing them as a wise investment rather than a cost choice. As a result, the companies are developing the right plans and doing so much faster than they would if they had to do it on their own. They are finding that the extra bandwidth for that short period of time is well worth the small expense and the ROI is significant.

The caution is to make certain that if you are hiring a turnaround consultant that they have the capability to go well beyond cost cutting and help build plans that will grow revenue. Without the right plan for the revenue growth, the company will stagnate and business will continue to be difficult.

On the business acceleration side, the plans need to be focused and as they look to the future, provide the right resources to handle the higher levels of business.

Is your company capitalizing on the experience of successful consultants? It doesn’t have to be the big name and big fee consultants. In fact, unless you are responsible for a VERY large company with extremely complex operations, you are probably better off with a company that can have its senior people work directly with you and your executive team throughout, rather than assigning junior people to do the analysis and assessment work.

Contact us if we can help. If your business needs help beyond our capabilities, we will tell you and probably have some recommendations for other companies that are exactly what you need.



John MaverPresidentMaver Management Group(925) 648-7561Maver Management
View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn