Business planning is hugely important in achieving your strategy and, once the future direction for your company is agreed, will put the required detail around how you are going to get there.
Building the scale and transferable value of your company will involve a commitment of time, human and financial resources. Proper business planning will determine what those are and this will usually involve input from those in finance, sales & marketing, human resources, communications, facilities and other roles.
You may also discover that you need external support to achieve one or more specific elements of your plan if you do not have the in-house people, skills or time in your company. This for example could be in the areas of outsourcing, process redesign, systems, web optimisation and other specialist areas.
The business planning phase puts the required detail around how you are going to achieve your strategy.
Our business planning process
Task Scheduling – Agreed elements of your plan will need to be broken down into detailed tasks and timelines so we help you determine and document what needs to be done and by when over the period in which you need to achieve it.
Task Resourcing – A critical feature of your business plan will be resourcing. We help you to identify the internal and external people, skills and services needed to complete the various elements in your plan together with the associated costs.
A typical process for completing this is as follows:
- Overall goal
- Specific objective
- Management sponsor
- Project lead
- Tactical actions needed
- Key performance indicators
- Resources required (human & financial)
- Risk factors
Budgeting – A common mistake in business planning is not recognising all of the costs inherent in its delivery. We therefore help identify all capital and operating expenses associated with delivering your strategy so that these can be included in your financial forecasts. Some of these costs will be obvious like a new website, increased premises space or new product lines. Others will be less obvious like legal fees associated with revised product terms and conditions, project management resources if you are short of in-house skills and many more.
- Purchases for Resale
- Wages & Salaries
Useful Business Planning Tips
The three most important aspects in business planning are people, time and money. The experience of most businesses is that, even with the best people on implementation, plans take twice as long and cost twice as much to achieve. With business planning therefore, the following advice is worth noting:
- Always ensure those asked to help implement your plan have the right skills and experience;
- Don’t place an over dependence on any one individual for delivering your plan as their circumstances may change;
- Be sure to build in significant contingencies for time and cost overruns to the tune of 20% to 25%;
- Try and keep up momentum even though daily business challenges will continue to challenge your progress;
- Ask for advice – there are many business forums that you can plug into for practical business advice – and its free;