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Should You Hire an Outside Consultant for Strategic Planning?
August 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by AIPHORIA Consulting
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Strategic planning should serve as a top priority for any business. All too often, however, it gets neglected as owners, management, and staff concentrate on the day to day running of the enterprise.

Businesses need strategic planning, regardless of who performs it. Strategic planning can help a business anticipate and adjust to changing economic conditions, market shifts, and also incorporate other important essentials, such as sustainability benchmarking. 

Strategic planning provides a road map to guide a business, whether it seeks to grow, take a new path, or stand pat. The question lies in whether a business should only perform its own planning or if an outside perspective can add vital input.

Reasons to Keep Strategic Planning In House

Many businesses still rely only on their own resources to conduct strategic planning and have strong reasons for doing so. 

First, many businesses that do their own planning have often experienced success. The old engineer maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” probably rings loudly in their minds. What has worked in the past, they reason, will work in the future.

Cost-conscious business owners reason that they pay their leadership team to run the company and that includes taking charge of strategic planning. They know the company, have worked in the market, and understand the issues. Why then should they not also conduct strategic planning?

Why It Makes Sense to Bring In a Consultant

Other companies have found that bringing a strategic planning consultant from outside onto the team can create solid results. Many of these companies have embarked on a growth mode or wish to diversify. Companies on such trajectories may have a need for new technologies or wish to test different markets. An outside consultant can help them to map out ways to successfully navigate new waters.

Others have hit trouble and need an outside perspective. One of the most famous consultants for such businesses in the food and beverage industry is Jon Taffer, star of the television program “Bar Rescue.” Although dramatized for television, he helps businesses retool, rebrand, and refocus on the market. He also teaches owners how to think of the big picture and their company’s place in it, adapting and adjusting so they can earn success.

Different Perspectives Expand Horizons

Companies that have experienced long term success may find themselves the most unready for change when the market and technologies shift. Netflix started as an online version of Blockbuster Video, providing videos for customers on demand. Blockbuster had no plan for technology and market shifts, resulting in the death of their business as Netflix expanded and diversified into becoming one of the world’s most well known media companies. 

You never know when your company might face challenges from a changing economy, advances in technology, or even regulatory issues. Sometimes a company’s leadership team may not have all of the pertinent information needed to make the best possible plan and implement decisions based on it. 

Consultants bring in specialized outside knowledge that can help add to what the leadership team already knows, making a big picture oriented plan that puts the company on the best path to success. 

Reach out to AIPHORIA today to learn more about how our consulting services can help your company create a viable and sustainable strategic plan. Your business and its future are worth it.