What is a strategic planning freelancer?
A strategic planning freelancer is an expert at identifying long and short-term goals for a business, as well as the strategies and tactics needed to accomplish these goals. Most times, strategic planners are at the confluence of strategy, analysis, and problem-solving. They create the roadmap for a business to reach its desired outcomes by considering the current environment - and assessing the likelihood of positive change under the influence of specific strategies and tactics.
What does a strategic planning specialist do?
A strategic planning specialist's main job is finding growth opportunities - especially for long-term goals, but only partially so. They will:
- Assess your company's current situation from an operational and strategic performance standpoint
- Develop strategic plans to help your business achieve its goals
- Drive performance management
- Keep an eye on industry changes and market movements
- Adjust strategies in light of market and industry research
How much does a strategic planning freelancer cost?
Strategic planning freelancers have much experience - and a proven track record of success. As such, the services of a strategic planning consultant won't be cheap, as their input can influence the overall business strategy, your marketing campaigns, and the direction of your entire organization. Rates vary depending on the scope and duration of the project but could range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month, depending on how much time they put into working with you.
7 mistakes to avoid when hiring a strategic planning expert
Looking to hire a strategic planning expert? Make sure you avoid these mistakes:
Not ensuring alignment with the company vision
A strategic planner should ensure that the plans they develop align with your company's mission and values and the current environment.
Not considering different perspectives
A good strategist considers different perspectives, including stakeholders, customers, and even competitors, to think through a strategy.
Not focusing on the long-term
Strategic planning isn't just about short-term gains; it requires looking at the bigger picture. So, if you're looking for someone who can deliver quick results, you might want to look for a different type of professional service (e.g., growth marketing.)
Not adjusting strategies based on data and feedback
A successful strategist can adjust their plans in light of data, feedback, and market shifts. Make sure the strategist you hire can do this. A good strategy doesn't work in a void - it changes and shifts to adapt to changing parameters.
Not providing enough resources
A good strategist needs the right resources to make their plans a reality. Ensure you provide them with the team, budget, and other resources they need to do their job right.
Not looking for a track record
Many people can market themselves as "strategic planners," especially if they have some experience in a given industry. However, that doesn't make them experts. Look at their track record of success, and hire someone with a proven history of delivering results.
Not measuring performance
Building strategies is one thing - but if you build them and don't know if they're working, they're just mere words on paper. Make sure to measure performance against the strategies and adjust accordingly.
How to Hire a strategic planning manager
Keen to hire a strategic planning manager for your company? Here's how to do it:
- Decide on your goals
The first step is to decide on your goals. Think about the long-term strategy you want your business to pursue and what you need to achieve it.
2. Write a job description
Once you have your goals, create an effective job description that outlines what you're looking for and what experience the successful candidate should have. Be sure to include information on what you can offer as well, as this will help you attract better-quality candidates.
- Ask your network
Want to skip posting jobs on freelance platforms and job boards and dealing with hundreds of applications you don't have time to sift through? Asking your network can help you reveal potential candidates you wouldn't have considered.
- Hire with Mayple
If you need a fast track to hiring a strategic planning freelancer with an actual track record of success, Mayple is your best bet. We work with experienced strategists ready to pick up your project and deliver actual results. Plus, we'll match you with someone familiar with your industry - and in a matter of days! Contact us, and let's chat about your future strategic planning consultant.
Questions to ask when hiring a freelance strategic planner
- Have you ever worked with business owners at the beginning of their journey?
- How do you align business objectives to business planning and project scope?
- How do you determine what the right target audience is for a business?
- ...And how do you communicate to that target audience?
- Have you ever created a complete business plan?
- Can you tell us more about one of your most exciting projects?
- Can you tell us of an instance where you had a very satisfied client whose business goals were met with your help?
- Have you ever developed a marketing strategy?
- Which social media platform is best for our business, in your opinion?
- Have you ever created a sales strategy?
- How do you align growth plans with financial business plans?
- What happens if you consider a client's business goals are unrealistic?
- What is your favorite business model, and why?
- What is your favorite success business story and why?
- What do you understand by "long-term business success"?
- Are there any situations where you would sacrifice long-term business success for short-term gains?
- Do you handle any other current projects in our niche?
- Are you familiar with Agile Project Management - and if yes, how would you use it to achieve strategic plans?
- What is one of the most amazing projects you've ever worked on - and what were the results your work yielded for your client?