What is a Business Plan or Corporate Strategic Plan?
A business plan or corporate strategic plan summarizes how owners, entrepreneurs, and managers proactively organize a business venture. It details operational and financial objectives, and it contains specific plans and budgets showing how these objectives are to be realized. It allocates resources and it measures the results of strategic actions. A business plan or corporate strategic plan is a living document that is regularly reviewed and adjusted.
What is the difference between Corporate Strategic Planning and Business Planning?
Corporate strategic planning and a corporate strategic plan are primarily utilized for implementing and managing the strategy and strategic direction of an existing organization. Business planning and a business plan are typically used for startup companies, for entrepreneurs to start a business, direct business operations, and to obtain startup funding or investment.
What is the Time Frame of a Business Plan or Corporate Strategic Plan?
Both, business plan and corporate strategic plan typically cover a period of three to five years. There are people who are of the opinion that a business plan for a startup company should use a shorter time frame of just one or two years, in which we disagree. We are well aware that startup companies naturally experience rapid changes. However, in view of longer-term targets, we would rather recommend more frequent business plan reviews and adjustment than shortening the time frame of the business plan.
How long will it take?
The project duration very much depends on your business needs and time resources. Typically, a business plan for startup companies takes two to three months. Corporate strategic plans are usually in the range of two to six months, depending on the planning effort and resources required.
How much will it cost?
Our service fees for strategic planning very much depend on your needs and the time and planning resources required on our part. As a solutions provider, we offer highly customized services suitable to individual client needs and budgets.
How often should I review and adjust my Business Plan or Corporate Strategy?
The review frequency of you strategic plan very much depends on the pace of your business development and the dynamics of the market environment. For well-established companies, we recommend a review of the corporate strategic plan at least once per year. For start-up companies, we suggest to consider a three to six month frequency for review of their business plan. The businesses of some of our clients are developing so rapidly, that corporate strategic planning and re-planning have become an ongoing and frequent process.
Why do I need a Business Plan?
Would you drive a car in forward direction while only being able seeing sideward and through the rear-view mirror, without knowing the road, without having a map, and with only a vague idea where you are going?
Would you start or run a business with only a vague idea of where you are going, with decisions based on opinions and untested assumptions, and without a clear strategy, objectives, and actions?
In a rapidly changing world and business environment, how much sense does it make having a Business Plan?
Plans are nothing; planning is everything.Dwight D. Eisenhower
Circumstances can change, plans can change, too. While it is prudent to have a strategic plan, planning is even more important than the plan itself. A strategic plan is a living document that requires regular reassessment and, if necessary, adjustment. It is developed, reviewed and adjusted to take advantage of the changes of the environment. Therefore, the dynamics of rapidly changing business environments rather determine the frequency of reviews of a strategic plan than its necessity.
What are my risks of not having a Strategic Plan?
Well, it is as simple as the proverb says, “if you fail to plan … plan to fail”. Without a sound business plan or corporate strategy plan you risk being outperformed by well-managed competitors.
Why should I consider an Outside Facilitator?
Apart from bringing in planning know-how and experience, the involvement of a outside facilitator can greatly contribute to keep the planning process focused, objective, and on track. As neutral party, an outside facilitator inspires "out-of-the-box" thinking to tackle “sacred cows” and to challenge the conventional wisdom within the firm.
The outside facilitator keeps meetings moving toward a successful conclusion without getting stuck in non-strategic, operational issues. In times of management downsizing and busy schedules an outside facilitator is a valuable external resource for services and expertise that is no longer available in-house.