Strategic Planning Consultant Job Facts

Strategic planning consultants work in the area of business strategy and management. They provide a very large range of services across business, and help businesses develop their operations effectively. This type of work is similar to a business consultancy, but works on a much broader scale. Some strategic planning consultants are involved in setting up and designing new businesses, or may include areas of specialties. The typical roles of a strategic planning consultant are:

Business study and analysis

This may include analysis of:

  • Organizational structure
  • Business development
  • IT and information requirements
  • Staffing issues
  • Budgets and cost efficiencies
  • Business processes
  • Product and production systems
  • Organizational priorities
  • Business models

Planning

Targeted planning is the second stage of strategic consultancy. In some cases, strategic planning consultants may have to redesign and retool a business from the ground up. This work involves replacing inefficient or expensive operations with better models and better organizational structures. This may include major projects for the strategic planning consultant:

  • Products and production systems
  • Organizational restructures
  • Cost efficiency programs
  • IT systems
  • Modernization of existing businesses and business models

Implementation

Implementation is the third phase of the strategic planning consultant's job. This is "installing" the new operational methods and systems, and ensuring they're delivering for the client. A natural part of this role is ongoing support, in which the strategic planning consultant acts as a guide and sometimes fixer for the client, explaining and clarifying issues with the new methods.

The support and advisory role also provides a valuable cross check for the strategic planning consultant to make sure that all parameters of the business strategy are functioning correctly, and that there are no "missing links" in the operational plans. At this level of consultancy, the demand for quality is very high, and strategic planning consultants are expected to achieve high performance.

Salary and Hour

The salary for consultants will vary considerably, depending on experience, qualifications and in some cases contracts. The average benchmark salary is $110,000. The hours can be lengthy, particularly in the study and planning stages because there are large amounts of data involved.

The Career Environment

There are many more options for a consultant because of the very wide range of applications of skills. Business consultancy skills are very portable, and naturally create many job options. Progression in strategic planning consultant careers is based on achievement and qualifications. It's not uncommon for strategic planning consultants to have MBAs and other higher degrees, and those qualifications are crucial competitive factors in terms of job opportunities. Achievement is measured by a range of factors:

  • Contracts and budgets: The dollar value of strategic planning consultancy work is a significant factor in obtaining higher level career positions. 
  • Experience: A range of experience in a particular industry, combined with the other factors, is a primary measure of abilities and areas of expertise. It may also be a defining characteristic in your area of specialization.