Strategic planning that remains true to its definition requires clients to think about a number of things: what they want to achieve, what their needs are going to be, how they are going to compete in the market, how they want to prosper in a changing economic environment, and even identifying a potential exit strategy. This is significantly more involved than creating an annual budget or forecast. We want clients to take a step back from their day-to-day operations and think about their “future perfect scenario.” What they want their business to look like in 5-10 years. Once we’ve created a vision, we can work together to draft a plan to accomplish their goals.
We often start with a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis to get clients thinking realistically about their current situation and path to success. Strengths and weaknesses are aspects inside the business – what they do well and where do they need to improve. Opportunities and threats are external in nature. The strategic focus is to identify ways to maximize the strengths of the organization and seize the opportunities while recognizing weaknesses and threats. Measurable goals with an appropriate time line must be developed once a strategic direction is determined. Each plan is unique to a particular business.
Case Study #1 – Strategic Planning for a Finite Product Life Cycle
One strategic planning client had a unique product with an overwhelming market share. They had concern as to their ability to maintain their competitive advantage in the face of competitors who eventually could be able to legally replicate their processes. For them – the solution was to identify organizations interested in acquiring their technology. Targets were identified with the help of investment bankers. The result – a successful business sale. The substantial financial rewards enabled the founders to set up a charitable foundation. Strategic planning identified the product life cycle and allowed the client to maximize the strategic opportunity.
Case Study #2- A Company with a Great Project, but No Capital
Froehling Anderson has also had cases where a company has an excellent product, but limited capital to expand their market. These businesses had the opportunity for growth, but were in need of assistance in the growing process. By using strategic planning, we were able to help the client choose an investment capital group to assist in funding the growth to include international sales. The strategic business plan was an essential tool in presenting the opportunity to potential investors and helping them to quantify the potential and validate their investment.
Froehling Anderson CPAs want to help their clients make the best decisions- the ones that lead to fruitful, lucrative results. With our strategic planning process, you can begin to look beyond the day-to-day budget, see the bigger picture and attain your “future perfect scenario.”