The competitive business world we live in, coupled with the mounting pressures of successfully keeping new and established operations afloat despite the economic challenges, requires comprehensive, long-term planning that incorporates every aspect of the operation.
Seeing that window of opportunity, marketing executive Hébe Lugo made a decision a year ago to launch Strategic Minds, a firm focused on designing strategies that evaluate a client company — whether a local entrepreneur, family owned companies or an international business — to come up with sustainable business plans based on their individual operations and cultures.
“After having developed plans for strategic planning for companies in which I worked and seeing how important it is to have a well structured business plan to be able to execute, I decided to direct my professional future to establish my own firm so that it can advise other companies to achieve business success,” said Lugo, who invested $200,000 to set up the office that employs four full-time professionals and outsources at least six others.
The team encompasses experts in the disciplines of strategy and business development, brand development and management, marketing, advertising, promotion and public relations, among others.
Strategic Minds works with all departments of the company, as they all contribute to “the healthy and fair exchange of goods and services they offer, it is a strategy of seamless total integration of the company,” she said.
That said, Lugo noted that one segment on which she and her team are placing special emphasis is on family owned companies to help them navigate through generational transitions, that usually bring about top-down cultural changes.
“When you have a new, younger management team coming in, you have to make sure they adapt to the company and the company adapts to them. That is key in ensuring that the hand-off is successful,” she said.
Prior to becoming self-employed, Lugo spent six years as business development director at Scherrer Hernández & Co., which is now among her roster of clients. While Lugo refrained from sharing other company names, citing confidentiality reasons, she noted that her services are being employed by clients in a variety of industries, from financial services to agriculture.
“Every aspect of an organization involves marketing, from operations to sales, to human resources department to the president. I believe every human being is conducting a marketing function, so it’s important be aware of that when coming up with a business strategy,” she said.
And, given that the company’s focus for its clients is to “stay hip,” Lugo said the use of social media plays an important role in most strategies.
“Social media outlets such as Facebook have an incredible value and provide companies the opportunity to have direct contact with their clients and audiences,” she said. “It’s also probably the most inexpensive way to interact and execute marketing plans. We provide strategies to our customers on the best ways to use social media.”