Using An External Consultant For Strategic Planning


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Strategic planning plays a very important role in determining the success of a business. It is the systematic planning and guiding of the company in such a way that target goal is met within predetermined time limits. Strategic plans are ongoing plans that have to be changed according to the current needs of the business.

Businesses feel the need for an external consultant for strategic planning at times. This is because an objective third party view is always useful to ensure the success of the plan. An external consultant can create an excellent strategic plan without prejudices of any kind.

When Are External Consultants Needed For Strategic Planning: Businesses need an external consultant for strategic planning when strategic planning has never been done before, when a previous plan failed to have an impact, lack of adequately skilled personnel to draft the plan, when members lack facilitating skills and when there is mistrust about the accuracy of plan drafted by an insider etc.

The external consultant will have to serve as the main guide for the strategic planning process, has to have to ability to do research and analyze the information gathered and plan a course of actions that will guide the business to achieve its goals faster. External consultants add to the productivity and continuity of the planning process.

External consultants for strategic planning process can be hired because the business lacks a qualified person to do the planning or he can be hired to be the expert providing the business knowledge or skills that it lacks or to work in collaboration with the business providing guidance and leaving the rest to be carried out by the qualified staff.

Before hiring an external consultant for strategic planning, decide on the amount you are ready to spend, talk to different consultants, ask them to submit a proposal about the work needed to be done, time frame to do it in and the costs incurred. Be sure to have a list of deliverables, a projected date of completion, forecast of costs to be incurred and means of evaluating the planning and analyzing the results, make clear who the consultant will report to and figure out how the contract can be terminated by either part.

The external consultant should be qualified and should be able to research and analyze the information gathered as well as suggest ways to improve business and fight competitors such that your business will have an edge over them. He should have the ability to convey his plans and steer the business in such a way as to save time and money. Though expensive, the need for hiring external consultants for strategic planning can work out for the benefit of the business. There are firms that offer their products as well as service to help run a successful business.

Alexander Gordon is a writer for - The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.

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