Strategy & Planning

Our Part-Time Senior Strategy Manager Service can bring fresh impetus to your business

Do you find yourself not having the time to create a written down plan for your business each year?

Or do you feel that perhaps you don’t have the skills to write a compelling strategy and plan for the next financial year?

Insight

Research in recent years has shown consistently that at least 50% and as many as 75% of small and medium sized businesses don’t have a written down strategy or plan each year. Yet businesses that do invest the time to create a plan end up being on average 20% more profitable than those that don’t.

Taking the time to step back from your business each year to develop a plan for the coming 12 months (or longer) is hugely valuable. It will give your business fresh direction, inject new impetus and move your company to the next level sooner.

The 2 main reasons given by businesses for not creating an annual plan are that they don’t have the time, and/or they feel that they don’t have the skills. Our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager service is uniquely placed to address both of these reasons completely for business owners.

Our Expertise

Fresh Thinking have more than 30 years’ experience creating and successfully implementing ambitious Strategies and Plans for small and medium sized businesses.

We specialise in developing very practical Strategies and Plans that deliver significant benefits for all businesses, no matter how big or small. They are practical, actionable living documents created with input from right across your business, and focused on the top priorities that will make the biggest difference to company performance.

As ambitious as you want them to be, importantly they are also Plans that all colleagues can understand, get behind and feel real ownership of.

Our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager service

Gives you the skills of a high calibre, very experienced Senior Strategy & Planning Manager, as and when you need them. That could be for a period of time when creating your plan ahead of your new financial year. It could also be for a few days here and there throughout the year, for further strategic work around new initiatives, or evaluating progress against your annual plan.

They really get to know your business in depth, as well as your markets, competitors and customers, so they can bring fresh insight and add tremendous value.

They bring outstanding strategic skills and all the Strategy and Planning expertise you need, for less than the equivalent annual cost of a junior member of staff.

They have an outstanding track record of working with owners of small and medium sized businesses, and will:

(1) Help you see things differently

(2) Identify strong new opportunities

(3) Identify the top priorities that will deliver the most value

(4) Help you make the right choices

(5) Create a compelling direction that all colleagues understand and get behind fully

(6) Avoid you wasting time on things you shouldn’t be doing

How it works

The Practical Planning approach that our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager takes is as follows:

(1)  Understand your business – they will first of all build up an in-depth understanding of your company through an intensive fact-finding approach

(2)  Research – they then build on this by researching your market, competitors and customers to gain a deep knowledge from which new insight, direction and ideas can flow

(3)  Planning workshop – they will then lead a 1 day workshop with you and your colleagues, looking at all areas of your business, to identify new opportunities, fresh direction, compelling ideas and the top priorities that will deliver the most benefit. This is really valuable time for you – taking a step back from the business, giving you time to think, have fresh ideas and really focus on what’s most important going forward.

(4)  Create the plan – they then create the plan, which can be as ambitious as you want it to be. A practical, actionable, living document that you can use to drive your business forward over the next 12 months, and which everyone in the company can understand and get behind.

(5)  Communication – our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager will communicate the plan with you as widely as you wish, both to colleagues as well as to external audiences, such as your bank, accountants and other business partners.

(6)  Tracking and reviewing – they can review the Plan regularly with you and your team throughout the year, to make sure everything is progressing as it should, and you are on track to deliver your plan.

Strategy & Planning we particularly specialise in

Annual Plan

Working very closely with you and the whole of your team, our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager will lead the development of a forward-thinking, ambitious and practical plan for your business for the next financial year.

They will review the current year’s performance, analyse your market and what your competitors are up to, and gain insight from your customers, all with a fresh pair of eyes. They will work with you and your management team, and all colleagues across the business, to identify the challenges and the opportunities.

From this in-depth work, the plan will emerge, focused firmly on the top priorities and new opportunities that will deliver the most value for your business in the coming year.

3 Year Medium-Term Plan

It’s a common misconception that 3-year Strategic Planning is only for large companies. The reality is that every business can benefit greatly from it.

Our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager will work with you to unlock where you want your business to be in 3 years’ time, defining your more long term goals. In addition, they will determine the steps you need to take in order to get there.

This involves taking a really in-depth look at what’s working in your business, where the industry and consumer trends are moving, and what your competitors are up to, in order to identify the key opportunities and challenges in the next 3 years.

It might be strategies to achieve higher growth, potential acquisitions, actions to reduce risk factors, or the need for more capital. Our part-time Senior Strategy & Planning Manager will work with you to develop the medium-term vision for the direction of your company, that can deliver the best value.

Medium term strategic planning is an excellent opportunity for every business to involve all colleagues, contributing their ideas and taking ownership of the future. Moreover, it often rekindles the entrepreneurial drive in a business and reignites the passion for what you’re doing – all helping you to achieve your goals more quickly.