Strategic Planning Matters!

Mar 29, 2023

By Steven D. Handler, CPA, CMC, GGMA – Partner

Everyone knows that the executive leaders of successful small and medium-sized enterprises devote many hours on the day-to-day business operations. The pressure on Chief Executive Officers is without end. It is important that they dedicate time for periodic strategic planning because it matters to businesses’ overall success.

Having regularly scheduled strategic planning meetings is a great way to address this need. To do so effectively, the following strategic planning meeting guidelines can help.

Meeting Logistics and Basics

  • Meet quarterly
  • Meet at an offsite location
  • Include adequate breaks and a light lunch

Meeting Attendees

  • Select the most appropriate participants for the group of six or fewer individuals, considering:
    –  Yourself
    –  A management consultant familiar with the company and industry
    –  An outside industry leader who does not currently compete with your company
    –  Someone who knows you well (someone who you trust and is not afraid to voice their opinion)
  • Replace non-productive group members as necessary
  • Compensate the group members adequately for their time

Decide Who Will Lead the Meeting

  • The CEO
  • The consultant
  • A rotating leader

Prepare and Distribute Meeting Documentation in Advance

  • A manageable agenda (see Meeting Agenda Items and Other Considerations below)
  • Previous meeting minutes
  • A high-level financial and operational summary of the quarter and current year (balance sheet, profit and loss, cash flows, and key operating statistics)

Meeting Agenda Items and Other Considerations

  • Previous minutes requiring follow-up
  • High-level financial and operational summary questions and comments
  • Overview of current strategic initiatives
    –  Changes to product or service lines
    –  Pricing matters
    –  Personnel matters
    –  Investment in facilities, equipment, and systems
    –  Marketing programs
    –  Merger and acquisition opportunities
    –  Research and development
    –  Succession planning
  • Allow adequate time for each topic
  • Keep the meeting moving forward
  • Remain at a high-level

Meeting Follow Up

  • Consult with various members of the team in between meetings as needed for the implementation of strategic initiatives

The consulting team at MichaelSilver can help you right now with all of your strategic business planning efforts. To arrange an exploratory meeting, please contact Steven D. Handler, CPA, CMC, CGMA – Partner, at [email protected] or 847-213-2107.

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