How Can Belwah Strategy Help?

The Belwah Strategy team, led by Genia Stevens, provides strategic planning services to nonprofits and social enterprises that need assistance developing a new 3 or 5-year strategic plan. We provide survey design, organizational analysis, strategy development, implementation, and assistance with execution. We also assist your organization with strategy monitoring and facilitation.

Genia’s latest projects include:

  • Development of a strategic plan and marketing plan for The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Development of a strategic business plan and marketing plan for the Foundation for Madison Public Schools
  • Development of a strategic business plan and marketing plan for Soaring Independent Cooperative (Madison, WI)
  • Marketing chair of strategic planning committee for Respite Care Services Rock County

Our team helps nonprofits and social enterprises develop a start-up business plan. We can also help you develop a growth business plan designed to help you scale your current business. Our goal is to help you research the feasibility of your organization, establish clear and realistic financial and non-financial goals, establish revenue objectives, develop a marketing plan, and create a business plan that helps you get your business off the ground and help secure financing.

Belwah Strategy helps start-ups, small, and midsized nonprofits, and social enterprises manage challenging group processes and dialogue. Our facilitation services help your team maneuver through difficult conversations and problem-solving processes so you can get back to serving your community.

Schedule a Call with a Belwah Strategy Consultant

Design thinking is a collaborative and creative problem-solving process that helps your team find solutions that help you refocus on your community, staff, board, and volunteers. Belwah Strategy facilitates the design thinking process so your team can remove the bottleneck that keeps your team from meeting the goals outlined in your strategic plan.

Related article: Using Design Thinking To Develop A Nonprofit Marketing Plan

The Belwah Strategy team hosts ideation workshops that help your team generate, develop and communicate new ideas that can help you find new fundraising sources, develop new services for your community, develop a new marketing plan, or even establish a new board recruitment strategy.

Belwah Strategy is a subsidary of Belwah Media, an integrated digital marketing agency located in Madison, WI.

I Was In Business for 10 Years Without a Business Plan

I’d just completed a speaking engagement for the American Advertising Federation in Madison, WI and a woman who had attended a social media training course I taught almost 10 years prior approached me and said, “Do you remember me?” I replied, “Yes, of course.” She said, “I’m surprised to see you’re still in business.”  I didn’t skip a beat and replied, “Of course I am.”

Several days later, I thought about our conversation and realized luck might be the reason I was still in business.

For over 10 years I ran my company and I didn’t have a written business plan. I didn’t have a written marketing strategy either. As a marketing strategist and business consultant that’s unheard of, especially since I often preached to my clients “you need a plan and you need to write it down!”

As I reached year 11, I realized my business was exactly where it was in year two. For years, I made changes within my company as I needed to, with no clear direction of where I wanted to go. Scaling was always difficult, I could never borrow money from a bank, and I was unable to keep up with rapid changes happening in the marketplace and on the web. 

I finally realized that I needed to take my own advice; I needed to develop a strategic business plan – one that would allow me to pivot with the growing web trends and rapidly changing technology.

Type of Business Plans

There are several types of business plans. Every business owner’s needs are different depending on where they are with their business.

#1. Feasibility business plan

A feasibility business plan is completed before the actual business plan. An established business looking to launch a new product, or a startup, can use a feasibility plan. A feasibility plan helps you and any potential investors determine if your idea is profitable and sustainable.

#2. Start-up business plan

The business plan for a startup company is the blueprint for the company’s development and operation; the plan is designed to ensure the likelihood of success. Startup business plans capitalize on a company’s strengths and reveals ways to minimize the company’s chances of failure.

#3. Strategic business plan

A strategic business plan helps companies track growth, establish organizational goals, and prepare for changes in the marketplace. A strategic business plan also helps companies establish the action items necessary to achieve organizational goals. 

#4. Growth business plan

Growth business planning is a strategic tool that enables business owners to plan and track an expansion in their company. It allows businesses to allocate specific resources toward keeping an expansion effort on target.

What Does a Business Planning Consultant Do?

There are many free templates and tools available to help entrepreneurs write various business plans; however, these are the critical items a business consultant can help with that software cannot:

  • Perform the market research you need to determine if consumers will purchase your product
  • Design surveys for the data collection you’ll need to write your business plan
  • Perform your competitor analysis – determining current and future competitors
  • Facilitate any necessary focus groups or listening sessions
  • Develop a needs assessment to determine the resources you need to complete your business plan
  • Vet additional consultants, like CPAs and lawyers, to help you complete your business plan

Eighteen years later, I can tell you honestly: it’s true. Not all businesses need a business plan. However, if you ever need to track your company’s growth, establish organizational goals, or prepare for changes in the market place, you’ll want to write one. And if you plan to ask a bank or investor for money, you’ll need one.