Collector - June 2017 - 40

BUSINESSOPERATIONS

Blueprint for
Success
ACA Convention speaker
Tina Hanson digs into the
importance of strategic planning
and explores how even small
businesses can get started.

S

trategic plans have a reputation of
being complicated, time consuming
and difficult to execute, but without
one your employees may not be working
toward the same goals.
Tina Hanson, IFCCE, CEO of Protocol
Financial Services, recently spoke with
Collector magazine about common
obstacles company leaders face when it
comes to strategic planning and how to get
employees involved in the process.

Q
A

Why is strategic planning
so important?
It's critical in this marketplace
that you find a way to differentiate
yourself. Every collection agency operates
a little differently and every agency has
a skill or service they are better at than
anyone else. One of the first steps in
strategic planning is to identify and clearly
understand what your strengths are as a
company. That is your differentiator.

Q
A

What are some common reactions
people have when they think about
strategic planning?
People have several reactions when
the subject of strategic planning comes
up. They may think, "We're too small to do
anything like that. That's only for the larger
companies." But how do you think those
larger companies got to be where they are
today? They all started out smaller at some
point, but they set a plan and had a vision
and stuck to the dates and drove that process
throughout the organization.
Another reaction I often hear is, "I have no
idea where to start." Strategic planning may
initially seem complicated, but the truth is
that you can start in a very simple manner.

40

First, ask yourself: "What do we do well
today?" Then make a list of your strengths.
Next, think about what your company doesn't
do so well today, and write that down.
From there, you should also ask yourself:
"What are we missing that could help us be a
better company? What opportunities do we
have in front of us today? What can we do
to overcome our areas of opportunity? How
can we leverage our strengths to overcome
any deficiencies? What do our clients want?
What do our employees want?"
Beginning to answer these questions is the
beginning of building your strategic plan.

Q
A

What's one of the biggest challenges
companies face when creating an
effective strategic plan?
Biting off more than you can chew is
pretty common. When you do that,
the plan becomes unattainable. I often see
people with expectations that aren't quite in
line with the company's ability or capacity to
handle change. For instance, the dates they
set may not be realistic or are too lax.

Q
A

How many people should
be included in the strategic
planning process?
The goal of strategic planning is to
get buy-in, so include your middle
management team as they can be much
closer to the processes. Have them help
develop the beginnings of the plan. You can
bring in outside facilitators that specialize in

strategic planning if you are not comfortable
with the process. Keep the entire company
informed of your goals.

Q
A

What role does non-management
staff play?
These are your informal leaders who
can make or break any plan or policy
change a company makes. Bring them into the
process and clearly explain the why of the plan
to gain buy-in. Brand your plan and celebrate
with banners, T-shirts and office trinkets to
keep the plan on everyone's minds.

Q
A

What's the key takeaway you hope
ACA Convention attendees get from
your session?
I'm hoping they become inspired
to take action, and if they are not
operating under a strategic plan today, that
they take steps to begin one. Anyone can
create a plan, whether your company is large
or small. It helps the company drive toward
specific goals and measure your success.

Tina Hanson, IFCCE,
is CEO of Protocol
Financial Services.
She will dive deeper
into strategic planning
during her session at the
2017 ACA International
Convention and Expo,
July 16-18 in Seattle. To register, visit www.
acainternational.org/events/convention2017.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/events/convention http://www.acainternational.org/events/convention http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - June 2017

President's Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
In Case of Emergency
Pulling Back the Curtain
ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Calendar
Honor Roll
Seeing Eye to Eye
The Business Battle
Blueprint for Success
Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover1
Collector - June 2017 - Cover2
Collector - June 2017 - 1
Collector - June 2017 - 2
Collector - June 2017 - President's Page
Collector - June 2017 - Industry News
Collector - June 2017 - 5
Collector - June 2017 - 6
Collector - June 2017 - 7
Collector - June 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - June 2017 - 9
Collector - June 2017 - FYI
Collector - June 2017 - 11
Collector - June 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - June 2017 - 13
Collector - June 2017 - In Case of Emergency
Collector - June 2017 - 15
Collector - June 2017 - 16
Collector - June 2017 - 17
Collector - June 2017 - 18
Collector - June 2017 - 19
Collector - June 2017 - Pulling Back the Curtain
Collector - June 2017 - 21
Collector - June 2017 - 22
Collector - June 2017 - 23
Collector - June 2017 - 24
Collector - June 2017 - 25
Collector - June 2017 - ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Collector - June 2017 - 27
Collector - June 2017 - 28
Collector - June 2017 - 29
Collector - June 2017 - 30
Collector - June 2017 - 31
Collector - June 2017 - Calendar
Collector - June 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - June 2017 - Seeing Eye to Eye
Collector - June 2017 - 35
Collector - June 2017 - The Business Battle
Collector - June 2017 - 37
Collector - June 2017 - 38
Collector - June 2017 - 39
Collector - June 2017 - Blueprint for Success
Collector - June 2017 - 41
Collector - June 2017 - Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Collector - June 2017 - 43
Collector - June 2017 - Compliance
Collector - June 2017 - 45
Collector - June 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - June 2017 - 47
Collector - June 2017 - Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover3
Collector - June 2017 - Cover4
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