Time To Focus On Strategy! An effective business strategy is critical to short, and long-term success. It articulates more than your goals, but also provides the reasons for those goals, how you will achieve them. It provides your firm and your team with direction.

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According to a survey conducted by Barclays recently a staggering 47% of professional services business owners and leaders have no formal strategy in place to support their business growth and goals.

Of that total, 25% have an informal, verbal business plan, whilst 23% have no plan whatsoever. In our experience, the executive search industry likely performs even worse! And not just the smaller boutique firms, but across firms large and small.

This is not to say that the founders or owners and perhaps even the senior partners don’t understand what they are trying to achieve in the market, what the vision is, but it is often unstated and undocumented, almost a sub-conscious understanding — or what we call an “accidental strategy”. This can drive success and growth in the early stages of a firm’s development. The high energy, excitement, commitment, and hard work propels the business despite lacking an articulated and formal strategy in place.

However, as the firm grows, expands, recruits new team members, and attracts new clients, we see that time is at a premium, and founders, owners, and leaders simply don’t have the time to dedicate to thinking about long-term or even medium-term strategy and business planning. The business strategy — and many other critical business functions — are put on the back burner, “temporarily” as they tell themselves.

This is especially true in the executive search industry as owners are also often the top billers and client developers. When growth exceeds bandwidth or technology critical to support the business is outdated, or market disruption impacts sales and revenue, and costs increase these firms are ill-prepared to meet these challenges. As these challenges mount, firm leaders often find themselves suddenly struggling with the day-to-day needs of the business!

These challenges and many others become the fulcrum that requires firm leaders to take a breath, step back and find the time or the resources to carefully consider who they are, where they are going, and how they will get there.

Whether the goal is scale and growth, a merger or acquisition or exit planning defining a clear strategy and plans for implementation is often the difference between the long-term viability of the firm or simply getting by or worse, failure from the sheer weight of lack of planning.

ALC Enable partners with firms to guide them through the strategy journey, an exercise of discovery, definition, and deployment. While also assisting with the implementation of key workstreams — from team recruitment and development to organizational design, to financial modeling, to brand and marketing strategy and implementation.