Hi, I’m Sarah with
Top Shelf Business Consulting

I have a deep understanding of the nuances of the small business struggles and how to manage them based on in depth, real, down and dirty experiences. But, more importantly, I care about helping those who are struggling and want to succeed in business.

I’ve worn all the hats of a sole proprietor consultant, and personally performed various implementation functions for my clients as part of consulting packages:

  • contract negotiations
  • management
  • strategy retreats
  • marketing
  • sales
  • PNL analysis
  • coddling of unruly employees
  • manual labor

I’ve even done some mechanical work under semi-trucks so I could write tiered pricing manuals! No, I knew nothing about auto mechanics when I started. But I’m not above getting dirty. As a matter of fact, the hands on, down to earth approach I use has gained me respect in unlikely places.

Why I do
Strategic and Business Planning

MANY BUSINESSES ARE STRUGGLING

Time and again, I’ve sat down with a business owner as the newly hired consultant to talk about how to implement the latest greatest idea, only to find that the company is teetering on the brink of extinction with no concept of how they do business, let alone a way to make their new idea work. Did I mention they’re often struggling financially, too? This comes from a lack of structured business planning. I could throw in all the clichés (like if you fail to plan you plan to fail), but it’s not surprising that most small businesses don’t really have a plan.

BUSINESS OWNERS ARE BUSY

Business planning is challenging and time consuming, and much of the information out there is convoluted and daunting. Sole proprietors and small business owners are often driven by passion rather than simply an interest in business. They start a business they care for and learn hard business lessons as they go, all while wearing most of the hats in the process. They don’t have time for another involved project, and they don’t have a lot of room for failure. So, when they hear they need a business plan or strategic plan, they may get a business planning book and try to write one. Or several. Only to get lost in the details and stuck on the semantics and then to discard the thing in a drawer because it does not make sense to the business. I totally get it.

MY STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKBOOK

I’ve written a strategic planning workbook (see below for the difference between a strategic plan & business plan) modeled on the successful methods I’ve used with clients to “turn the ship around” and get them on a path they can be not just functional, but happy with.  It’s made to take the mystery, and the fear frustration and confusion, out of planning for a business, and instead bring it to a level of accessible. It’s structured as an activity book designed to take a business owner through a series of steps to make their own strategic plan in a concise amount of time.

The difference between a
business plan and a strategic plan

STRATEGIC PLAN

A strategic plan is a DYNAMIC document that you, the business owner, use as a tool to run your business. It is an internal document meant for you to work out issues and make mistakes on, not something you show to others like banks or investors.

BUSINESS PLAN

A business plan is a STATIC document that is used to secure funding from a bank or sell your business on paper. It is something that is prepared for others, after being very well edited, and should not be a place where you hammer out mistakes or new ideas. This is a final product that would be seen by banks, investors, a board, or sent for professional review.

I’VE HELPED OVER 50 COMPANIES WITH THEIR BUSINESS AND STRATEGIC PLANNING

Strategic Planning Workbook
for Small Businesses
and Sole Proprietors

A THREE-PART NO-NONSENSE GUIDE TO CREATING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS — FROM OPERATIONS TO MARKETING TO A BUSINESS PLAN THAT GETS YOU FUNDING

Are you sick of reading boring, lengthy, jumbled business planning books that do little to actually help owners succeed in business? So am I! Which is the reason I wrote this book.

My strategic planning book cuts to the chase and just helps You write the plan. It’s not hype, it’s not a lot of flowery reading, it’s just the work itself. And it’s designed to serve the business owner’s NEED.

It’s a writable workbook featuring a cool, manageable, hands-on activity after each short, to the point, chapter. If you’re reading this you need something that won’t waste your time, but instead return it to you in spades.

My offer is to get You through a planning session in as little as a weekend if You are hell bent on finishing, and within a short month as a side project if simply focused, with the potential for immediate implementation upon completion. Because, I want to help you succeed! Thank you for considering my book.