Business Planning 101

Business planning is building a guide or roadmap for where you want your business to go. Most importantly, a business plan clarifies the goals and changes that should help reach the goals. After all, if you can’t link the change ideas to the goals, there is no reason to waste energy on implementing them.

The success or failure of the changes are highly dependent on your ability to manage the changes and get buy-in from staff. So, once you identify your goals and define the change ideas and benefits, your next step is to implement them. Unclear changes and lack of leadership causes discomfort among staff, disintegrates the culture, and reduces productivity and success. Thus, you should designate a leader to head-up each change, decide the timeline, and write an execution plan, and share the plan and benefit to the change with team members to get buy-in. 

Benefits

Well done business planning will:

  • Improve scalability of the business as less time spent on implementation
  • Increase buy-in and successful adoption from the team
  • Retain key employees and boosts the culture
  • Ensure everyone is focused and accountable
  • Reduce brain spinning
  • Decrease stress

Exercise

Either use an online project management software, as shown in the video, or use the downloadable Excel template to Identify, Plan, Justify, and Communicate business plans.

Reflect and Prioritize

Business plans are important because they force you to assess where your company is headed and align your goals to reach the desired destination. Ultimately, you are writing and describing your business’s future and how to evolve. To get the best results, clarify the goals, change ideas to reach the goals, benefits, leaders, and expectations around implementation. The ‘plan slow, run fast’ adage is a great mantra to remind us that planning makes all the difference.  As your goals and ideas are documented and refined, update your staff consistently through quarterly meetings. This consistent communication will become predictable, will save you time and reduce staff frustration. A good planning process will catapult your business in the right direction.

Please remember to add any new epiphanies and ideas to your Master Plan of Ideas and Initiatives (aka. Business Plan).