June 27 - Business Advice

What are Business Strategy Sessions?

Most businesses foray into outsourcing their accounting by utilizing us for tax compliance, accounting support, bookkeeping and other bits and pieces that pop up throughout the year. When the business has really hit their stride, taking that support to the next level makes sense. Business advisory is one of our forte’s and often the most enjoyable part of our jobs – it leaves clients with actionable insights and measurable goals that lead to growth and ongoing success. Everyone’s a winner!

Whether the business advisory piece is ongoing (often in the form of using us as a VCFO), a once-off, or once-a-year service, is up to the owner and how much support they need and can afford to invest in.

Business strategy sessions are the perfect way to dip your toe into the advisory water. Once the session is completed and you have the forecasting, budgets, action and management plans in your hands, you can choose to implement them across the year yourself – or, you can engage us for ongoing support to keep you accountable.

What does business strategy planning actually mean?

It’s your game plan, your secret sauce, your roadmap to success. It outlines your business’s overall direction from setting your mission, vision, and values to identifying your short, medium, and long-term goals.

Why is a business strategy planning so important?

Imagine setting off on a road trip without a map. You might have a vague idea of your destination, but without a clear route, you could end up lost, delayed or, worse, at a dead end. A business strategy acts like your trusty GPS, keeping you focused, efficient and on the road to success. Decision making becomes easier (does this choice keep the strategy on track?) and informed by data rather than purely gut feel (which shouldn’t be discounted either, but a healthy balance is what we’re looking for).

What should a business strategy cover?

Developing a clear understanding of the business is crucial – and this often means taking what’s in the founder’s head and getting it down on paper. We don’t want the following list to scare you off this piece of work – small start ups will often begin with a two pager covering the key aspects of the new business. When you become more established and have some numbers and a more defined mission to work towards, you should look at expanding the strategy.

Here are the sections to consider:

1. Overview 

2. Business Summary

3. Goals and objectives

4. Current position

5. Structure & resources

6. Key staff, advisors, mentors

7. Business operations

8. Suppliers and customers

9. Assets / Resources

10. Risk management / Succession planning

11. Customer management 

12. Competitors

13. SWOT

14. Strategic Direction

15. Financial Analysis

16. Business forecast – 1-3 years 

What do we cover in our business strategy sessions?

We create a safe and collaborative space where you can let your entrepreneurial spirit fly high, explore your business’s potential, and identify the steps required to reach your destination.

We guide you through setting realistic yet ambitious short, medium, and long-term goals. You’ll define your mission (your purpose), vision (your aspiration), and values (your guiding principles). We dive deep into a SWOT analysis to uncover your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, giving you the insights to navigate potential roadblocks and leverage your unique advantages.

A strategy without numbers is like a car without fuel. That’s why we also touch on your budget and forecast. By looking at the financials, you’ll gain a clear picture of where your business stands now and where it can go.

In essence, our business strategy sessions are a compass for your business, designed to help you navigate the often hard road that ownership is synonymous with.

Here’s what you can expect to touch on in the session:

  • Defining the core purpose and aspirations of the business
  • Set long and short term business goals
  • SWOT analysis including review of SWOT conducted by each person prior to session
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Opportunities
    • Threats
  • Identify strategies to achieve goals
  • Design action plan, management plan and key people responsible with due dates
  • Preparation of an annual budget and cashflow forecast for the next financial year
  • Discussions with you in relation to budget and cashflow forecast

So how does it work?

We do this every year in our own business, so it made sense to start offering strategy sessions as a service to clients and is often the most valuable service we offer and hugely enjoyable not only for our clients but also our team, as we truly exist to help clients have a better future. 

Our ongoing advisory clients start with this workshop – or, we can do one-off engagements to set you up with the business strategy, leaving you empowered to take the next steps yourself. 

If business strategy and advisory is something you’re interested in, we’d love to hear from you.