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Core Service Offerings

Highland Strategy Group provides bespoke consulting and research solutions to private equity investment teams and operators in support of M&A and strategic initiatives

We work hard to understand our clients’ thinking early in the scoping process, focusing on key concerns and hypotheses. We value collaboration and work closely with clients during project kickoff, often holding multiple in-depth sessions to discuss project objectives, cadence, and checkpoints. We provide frequent updates, including detailed discussions of engagement status and preliminary findings on a weekly basis.

The core of our approach is the development of proprietary datasets to generate clear and quantitative answers to our clients’ specific questions.

We use a variety of methods to collect data and develop our findings, typically relying on in-depth phone-based interviews and online surveys to collect feedback from key industry stakeholders. On any given engagement, we may capture intelligence from current customers, lost customers or prospects, non-customers, competitors, and other market experts.

We pair this proprietary research with relevant secondary data sources and internal company data to contextualize and complement our findings. Engagements are typically scoped, kicked-off, and finished in three to six weeks. We excel at operating under tight timeframes, often conducting limited scope engagements for our clients in under two weeks.

Commercial
Due Diligence
Go-to-Market & Sales
Strategy Refinement
Voice of the
Customer Analysis
Services: Services
Brainstorming

Growth Strategy Development

We work closely with management teams and investors to develop and execute critical growth initiatives. Whether asked to originate recommendations from an impartial perspective, or to help validate and back-fill existing strategies, our engagements are conducted through the lens of the company’s current capabilities to maximize actionable results.

 

We help clients work through fundamental questions, such as:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?

  • What opportunities exist and how large are they?

  • Which opportunities are most synergistic with current offerings?

  • How will we compete in these markets – what is our angle?

  • How should we prioritize growth avenues?

  • Should we focus on organic growth or look to pursue an acquisition?

Commercial Due Diligence

We understand the critical questions that arise during a transaction and know what it takes to deliver within aggressive timelines. Our flexible approach drives our quantitative conclusions within even the most niche markets. We build unique, proprietary fact sets for each engagement, sourcing data from end-users (customer and non-customer), competitors, industry experts, and market analysts. We marry our fact sets with publicly-available sources to inform key analysis and form a holistic view of the market and business in question. Our evaluations serve to confirm the underlying thesis or to drive adjustments to the terms or abandonment of the deal. Common areas of analysis include:

 

  • Pre & Post LOI Support

  • Market Framing, Sizing & Segmentation

  • Growth and Underlying Driver Analysis

  • Utilization Dynamics & Selection Process

  • Customer Analysis & Company Performance Evaluation

  • Competitive Landscape Assessments & Acquisition Mapping

  • Post-Acquisition Strategy Validation

Data on a Touch Pad

Go-to-Market & Sales Strategy Refinement

When working with management teams, we are often asked to develop or validate go-to-market strategies. We apply our proprietary frameworks and data-driven approach to help management teams develop a tactical strategy. These studies often help our clients identify an “ideal customer” profile, improve conversion rates, refine processes in new markets, examine channel dynamics for inefficiencies, or explore broad mandates driven by management intuition. Our process is highly collaborative and often involves breaking engagements into tangible phases, allowing us to adjust course based on ongoing findings and interim discussions around such questions as:

  • What does our ideal customer look like?

  • How can we best identify target profiles?

  • How do we engage key stakeholders?

  • How can we improve our sales conversion rates?

  • How can we better position our offerings?

  • Can we cross-sell our offerings to customers more effectively?

  • What are the drivers of customer churn, and how can we best mitigate pain points?

Business Meeting
Business Meeting

Acquisition Target Identification & Prioritization

We are frequently called on to help with the development and execution of add-on or consolidation strategies. We quickly examine markets with varying levels of fragmentation, identifying relevant operators and acquisition targets. Using a combination of primary and secondary research methodologies, we profile each potential target on a variety of key metrics, which are analyzed to create a prioritized list of attractive targets.

Along with our summarized findings, we provide our clients with a user-friendly database of businesses that often serves as a buy and build roadmap. Common areas of analysis include:

  • Identification of market players

  • In-depth profiling of potential acquisition candidates

  • Prioritization of targets based on client strategy

  • Preliminary indications of receptivity to a sale process

Documents and Blurred Business Men

Additional Operator & Investor Services

We help our clients throughout business phases or investment holding periods by supporting proactive new market exploration and by developing materials in support of a sale process.

 

Exit Support & Sell-Side Market Studies – We help private equity firms, investment banks, and private companies prepare for a sale process. Our independent and unbiased work focuses on profiling and quantifying the company’s key market dynamics, competitive positioning, customer relationship strength, and future growth avenues for potential buyers.
 

Proactive Market Studies – We provide investors and operators with market evaluations in support of potential strategic entry. These studies compile many of the factors of a traditional market study (market opportunity, growth, competitive landscape, etc.), but are structured to provide recommendations related to the most attractive sectors and the availability of platform opportunities, as well as offer direction pertaining to potential entry points, key performance benchmarks, and barriers to entry.

Voice of the Customer Analysis

We understand that every customer and channel partner relationship is critical to the health of a business, and these relationships often serve as an untapped resource for critical intelligence. We help our clients uncover customer insights ranging from relationship stability to broad market intel. We pride ourselves on treating our clients’ relationships as if they are our own. Every introduced customer interview is structured to further strengthen that relationship, while blinded interviews are conducted with appropriate levels of discretion.

 

Whether the underlying engagement goals are driven by an acquisition process, performance issues, or growth initiatives, our process can help shed light on fundamental operator and investor questions, including:

  • How is our performance perceived by our customers?

  • What additional opportunities exist to better serve existing customers?

  • What are customers experiencing in the market? How can we help them navigate challenges?

  • How satisfied are our customers? Are we at risk of losing customers?

  • How do customers utilize competing vendors, and what risks does this present to our business?

Business Meeting
Growth Strategy Development
Acquisition Target Identification & Prioritization
Additional Operator
& Investor Services
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