Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Services

The word strategy can be defined as a plan rooted in action steps that is designed to accomplish a specific objective. Every business needs a clear understanding of why they are in business, what they hope to achieve and how to do it. This is especially true of community banks, as they play a unique role in the lives of the people and businesses in their communities.

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The highly skilled partners at Artisan Advisors have many years of experience developing and implementing strategic plans for community based banks. Having been past bank presidents and board members ourselves, we have a unique perspective on what it takes to define, create and fully implement successful strategic plans.

Powerful Concepts

Artisan Advisors believes that great strategic plans start with simple but powerful concepts. Breaking the process down to fundamental principles has been a very effective way to get to the heart of what makes strategic planning so crucial.


In essence, the mission of a community bank can be summarized as its reason to exist. Why does the bank open its doors every day? What is the purpose of the organization? A community bank’s mission concept does not involve goals or tactics, but rather a clear understanding of what the institution was created to do for its community.


After the mission of a community bank is defined and crystal clear, the vision is what the organization hopes to be or the position it would like to achieve in the industry. Knowing what a community bank was created to do (mission) is the first step and the vision builds from there by defining the role it wishes to play in the marketplace.

Goals & Tactics

Once a community bank determines why it exists and the position it wants to hold in the industry, the goals and tactics are the practical action steps it must take to achieve their mission and vision. Setting a target, dollar threshold for new sales and consequently adding a specified number of staff to accomplish that objective are good examples of goals and tactics. This is the part of the strategic plan as the old saying goes “where the rubber hits the road”.

Executing A Community Bank’s Strategic Plan

The partners at Artisan Advisors have worked with many banks in the marketplace to productively assess their readiness to execute a strategic plan. We have helped our clients view their organization from an objective, unbiased standpoint, which provides them great insight into the following areas.

Areas Of Excellence

What areas of the bank’s operation are very successful and effective as defined by their objectives and purpose? Building on strengths is a very important element of the strategic planning process.

Improvement Assessment

In this area, we help our clients determine what parts of the bank need improvement or change in order to achieve the organization’s mission, vision and goals. Every financial institution has areas that could be bettered and we have been successful in showing our clients how to implement such changes.

Seizing The Day – Opportunities

Accurately recognizing what opportunities exist for a bank in its local community is critical. Through our many years of navigating and leading smaller banks through various economic conditions and marketplace challenges, we can effectively help our clients identify business opportunities which have the greatest potential for success.

Avoiding Vulnerabilities - A Strategic Financial Plan

Just as it is crucial to recognize opportunities for growth, it’s equally important to avoid strategic missteps along the way as well. The partners at Artisan Advisors have the experience and knowledge to help community banks realistically assess the return on investment of certain efforts based on marketplace conditions, competitive landscape and other important factors.

The experienced professionals at Artisan Advisors can help your bank develop and execute a highly successful strategic plan. We will provide you with a comprehensive road map of action items designed to achieve your goals and continue to offer consultative support throughout the months and years.

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