Whether you are the owner of a family-owned business or the CEO or a key management team member for a more diverse ownership group, CoVergence Group provides services aimed at helping you achieve and exceed the operational and financial performance goals for your business, driving greater value into the business. Our team has expertise in the following areas:
- Corporate Strategy
- Strategic Planning
- Business Plans
- Business Model Evaluation
- Financial Modeling
- Performance Improvement
- Dashboard, Management & Investor Reporting
- Business Process Improvement
- Organizational Design & Development
- Goals and Objectives (both short-term and long-term)
To derive the Corporate Strategy, the overall mission and direction for the business, many management teams drive deeper by requiring outlined strategies and initiatives supporting identified goals and objectives. In other words, for some Corporate Strategy involves how the various business operations work together to achieve the goals and objectives. CoVergence refers to this as a Strategic Planning Process. We find most often goals and objectives get refined or adjusted by going through a more in-depth Strategic Planning Process.
Based on ownership’s or management team’s expectations or needs, CoVergence can facilitate the management team through a short or more extensive planning process to derive the Corporate Strategy.
— Benjamin Franklin
Over 80% of businesses that file for bankruptcy had no strategic plan. You’ve heard the old saying: “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there.” People that are successful in achieving their ambitions for their business intentionally write down and measure against their goals.
The terms, Business Plan & Strategic Plan, are often used interchangeably, but they are different.
First, a Business Plan is a document created for an external audience and typically used for the purpose of attracting financing. On the other hand, is an internal document created by management with input from employees and primarily used to guide, manage and implement the strategic direction of the company.
While both the Business Plan and the Strategic Plan employ forward thinking about the business and utilize similar financial and non-financial information in the build-up of the plans, most of the components that get included in the final deliverables are different.
The Business Plan typically covers the “who” and the “what” of the business opportunity while the Strategic Plan provides the “how” and “when” or the action plan to implement the strategies and initiatives to carry-out the vision.
Finally, the scope of a Business Plan may either include the plan for the entire company or the plan for a specific product or service. Strategic Planning always encompasses the entire enterprise plan.
Simply put … it is a process by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future.
Plan the work … work the plan
Organizations could achieve a 60% increase in their value if they were to realize their strategy’s full potential.
— Harvard Business Review
Strategic Planning does not mean that you can write the plan and then place it on the shelf and give it no future reference. The process involves both developing and implementing strategies and specific initiatives to execute the plan, and it involves continuous measurement against the goals and objectives. A company is best positioned to march toward achieving its overall mission through Continuous and intentional planning as well as continuous measurement against goals and objectives.
— Stirling Vineyard
Evergreen and Flexible
Strategic Planning does not mean to plan once, and then it is complete. No, strategic planning, is an evergreen and flexible process, whereby plans can be changed, modified or course-corrected as companies experience both peaks and valleys as they traverse across their individual ￼business life cycle journey and must adapt to changes internally and externally.
The Challenge — Organizations do not plan because strategic planning involves too much …
- Work, discipline and focus: Strategic Planning not only involves developing the plan but also requires implementing specific initiatives and continuous measurement and reporting systems to track progress against the plan. While strategic planning is not considered “rocket science,” it typically requires both discipline and effort.
- Uncertainty and Change: Planning includes a degree of uncertainty because we cannot perfectly predict a future. Additionally, because we are trying to get from one place to another through the strategic planning process, change is inferred. Most people prefer mitigating against or not dealing with uncertainty or change and do not plan.
- Defeat: What happens when performance does not meet or exceed goals? The first typical reaction suggests the organization becomes discouraged or feels defeated when goals are not attained. Just like any thing in life,once the process is put into place, confidence is built. Strategic Planning feels more like a tug-of-war, whereby the organization gains ground and gives up some, but the fear of losing the entire war quickly vanishes.
Leaders must relieve themselves of the deceptions and fears about Strategic Planning. It is not hard, but it takes focus, effort and discipline. Strategic Planning provides the framework to reach goals; without it, the organization is left to chance.
— Stirling Vineyard
CoVergence has built a best-in-class Strategic Planning Process that is fit for the Fortune 500 business to the small- to-medium enterprise or family-owned business. Our passion is to help your company think, plan and execute strategically.
- Start a new business and need to attract investors
- Recapitalize the company with debt and / or equity and need to attract investors
- Entering a new product or service within the existing enterprise and need to gain leadership’s approval through the Strategic Planning Process
- Exiting or Selling your business and need to perform a valuation analysis
Chances are you require a Business Plan, outlining the value proposition of the business opportunity. CoVergence Group will walk you through the process with a final deliverable.
Business Model Evaluation
- Validate the challenges they are experiencing can be overcome or
- Raise concern that changes must be quickly implemented to turnaround the situation
A Business Model Evaluation engagement could result from any of the following issues confronting the business:
- Financial results continuum to under perform the economics of the business model designed in the Business Plan, past results or when the business was started
- Cash flow continues to erode for consecutive months without solid reasons from management
- Concern arises whether the owner has the right management team in place
- The company is going through a transformation, and the implementation is experiencing difficulty; how does management steer the ship back on track
- Gross margins are down, but leadership cannot pinpoint the root cause operational problem
Because ownership is looking for quick answers, these engagements are very short in duration (i.e., 2 or 3 weeks). As a result, the testing of hypotheses for the root cause of the problem is typically limited to interviews with personnel. There may be some limited review of both financial and non-financial information. Again, scope is generally limited, designed to be more of a diagnosis, gut-check, or second opinion.