Strategic Business Planning

Strategic Business Planning

Every business requires a defined roadmap to achieve goals and maximize potential.

Every business large and small is impacted by a number of factors within the market, lifecycle and general conditions of the entity itself. Although the strategic planning process is rarely used by small and mid-market companies it is arguably more critical to the success and viability of the entrepreneurial endeavor. Business owners tend to think in the near or short term hence creating an environment that tends to be reactionary as opposed to proactive or planned. This ultimately creates a number of issues within the business that denigrate profit, cash flow, growth, and organizational efficiencies.

  • Profit erosion over a period of years
  • Stagnant growth cycle for 12 to 18 months or more
  • Limited return to ownership or return on investment. “RTO/ROI”.
  • Complacency in the organization. The “paycheck” mentality.

Strategic Planning is critical to break the cycle and encompasses a number of factors both internal and external to every business. Regardless of the age of the business re-defining who we are, what we do, and how do we excel in simple terms. The process inspires the business owner to ask many of the tough questions surrounding the core issues above and implementing both a plan and a call to action from within the organization. The graphic to the right represents a process by which business owners can capitalize on Strengths and Opportunities, but more importantly minimize or eliminate the Weaknesses and Threats internal and external to their organization.

Profit Engineering

Profit is not a residual, it must be well defined throughout the business processes

Profit engineering is a management strategy that has been taught and deployed by businesses globally. In the simplest terms, profit is not a residual. The prospect that profitability is what is left over after all direct and indirect costs are absorbed would essentially mean that you have no control over the score at the end of the month, quarter, or year. In fact engineering for profitability is the only way you can cover all of your cash flow obligations and still have liquidity left at the end of a given period.

Case in point, most business owners do not take into consideration that servicing the debt, or managing growth or even hiring people have an impact on what a product must be priced or how much of a service must be sold. The impact of this behavior could be and usually is exceptionally detrimental to both quality of life and genuine return to ownership in the form of profit. A business is a breathing organism which within it there are a number of systems, all of which play a role in profitability.

At Cogent we take great care teaching clients the theory of break-even and then implementing a strategy that influences all aspects of their business process. Starting with the planning process profit is the ultimate goal for any business, not at the expense of ethics or people, but still must be managed at the start. Once all cash obligations are accounted for a clear path can be defined for the business in the form of a strategy to cover obligations and still maintain liquidity beyond taxable obligation. Every aspect of the business can then be defined to a clear measurement of performance.

Sales Performance Improvement

Business is a dynamic process; the future is a moving target.

Successful organizations treat their sales engine and/or sales force as an investment in growth. Over time, it is critical to measure and maximize return on sales investment (ROSI). To assess ROSI, Cogent’s aim is to help companies use a disciplined, fact-based approach to uncover the largest barriers to their growth and create a roadmap that details which elements of their sales growth plan to attack. This roadmap identifies the value available from unlocking each element and the timing and resources necessary to achieve improvements. Ultimately, maximizing return on sales investment puts our clients in the best position to sustain profitable revenue and growth.

Areas of Concentration

  • Sales Management – Management Responsibilities, Strategic Planning, Process & Organization
  • Sales Planning – Forecasting, Budgets, Market Positioning, Objectives
  • Building the Team – Planning, Recruiting, Selection & Placement
  • Training the Team – Knowledge, Process, Training & Development
  • Directing the Team – Motivation, Performance, Compensation, Productivity
  • Evaluating the Team – Evaluation of Performance vs. Analysis of Costs
  • Social Responsibility – Social, Ethical, & Legal Issues

Cogent Analytics’ sales performance improvement solutions allows our clients to focus on their strategic advantage and core competencies. It provides a framework to analyze how teams are performing and take action as needed to drive sales effectiveness and improve operational efficiency. Cogent Analytics provides a proven, end-to-end integrated sales performance improvement process to diagnose your needs and develop truly customized solutions that lead to controlled sustained profitable growth.

Exit & Succession Planning

“Exit & Succession Planning” is “Planning for Success”.

Here are some key questions you may want to consider when planning your exit strategy or creating your succession plan:

  • If you as a business owner left work today and for whatever reason (death, disability or retirement) never returned to your company, would your company not only survive your departure but also thrive after you were gone?
  • Does everyone know who would be in charge and who would control the company? Has a leader been selected and trained? Someone everyone knows and accepts?
  • Who would manage the company? Who would own the company?

What we are talking about is Business Succession & Exit Planning.
It’s a part of your Strategic Business Plan.

Business Owners are a unique breed. We go into business for a variety of reasons and at the top of that list is freedom and independence, financial security, controlling our own destiny and of course, the all-important pursuit of our dreams. We spend years creating the vision, building the foundation and charting our course to success, but what happens when it’s time to move on, whether that means your own personal retirement or the sale of your business? Many business owners approach strategic planning in various ways. Different plans are better suited to different goals and different types of business owners. Three common ones are:

  • Exit Planning – how you, the owner, will successfully retire from your business and generate enough liquidity from that exit to provide the financial security to fund your retirement goals,
  • Succession Planning – how can you remove yourself from the day-to-day operations of the business and who will take over running the business when you are no longer in charge, and
  • Legacy Planning – how you can use the wealth that you generated from your business exit to impact the lives of your children, your grandchildren, and your community.

Some professional advice and guidance is probably in order to help you gain clarity about the best way to create your exit or succession plan; and the sooner you get some help, the better plan you will be able to create. A properly created and executed exit and succession plan can help you create the peace of mind you so richly deserve after having built success in your business, while it gives you a system for tracking your progress. Whether you are looking to sell the business to your management team, sell to your children, put in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), gift the business to charity, or sell your business to an outside party, Cogent Analytics, LLC can help you achieve your goals.

Tax Minimization

If Strategic Tax Planning works for big companies why doesn’t it work for you?

The results stated above are what we have commonly achieved for business owners just like you. We are credentialed professionals with both small business and Fortune 500 experience and have a wealth of knowledge we want to pass on to you.

Ask yourself:

  • Is the lack of Strategic Tax Planning putting your business at a competitive disadvantage?
  • Would your cash flow improve if you cut your taxes by 10%, 20% or more?
  • If Strategic Tax Planning works for big companies why doesn’t it work for you?
  • How did profitable companies like GE, DuPont, Verizon, Boeing, pay NO taxes for 2010 & 2011?
  • Your company and the Fortune 500 companies use the SAME Tax Code!
  • Fortune 500 companies use Strategic Tax Planning – Do You?

Contact Us To Speak With Our Team About Strategic Planning

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