What is business planning?
Checking business, competitor and industry performance Planning where your business needs to go Setting goals and providing resources Implement plan Check performance against goals Repeat
Business planning is an organised yearly process for setting strategic and performance goals for your business and tracking how your business is performing against them. What does it do well? What could be done better? Determining how the business is traveling compared to a set of goals, not all of which are financial.
Business planning is not just about evaluating business performance against goals. The process also looks at competitors and the industry to see how they are going. There is no use being the best in an industry that is being shut down by some better solution to peoples needs. The business planning process has a series of milestones as the financial year goes by and is run every year.
Why use business planning?
If you don’t plan you are likely to end up in an unexpected or unwanted place. For a very small business that is growing and being responsive to opportunity, too much planning can be a drag and prevent rapid response to opportunities as they present themselves. As the business gets bigger it cannot react as quickly and needs to be more structured in how it approaches growth and challenges in the marketplace. Lack of business planning can cause a business to fail. Not seeing the forest for the trees and getting lost.
Who would benefit from business planning?
All businesses will benefit from business planning. The part that makes the difference is not just the planning but driving implementation and measuring performance. If you don’t measure it won’t happen.
How long does it take?
Putting the process in place with the key information takes 4-6 weeks. There is a need for short follow up sessions during the first year. These shouldn’t take more than another 2 weeks.
What is included?
The main elements of a customer investigation are:
- Business performance
- Competitor performance
- Industry performance
- Goals and initiatives
- Implementation planning
- measurement and evaluation
What is the process?
We start the process with a scoping discussion and a written scope document. Prior to starting the job we provide a letter of engagement, setting out the terms of the engagement. You will need to sign this document on behalf of your business and return it to Competitive Insights. Putting the document together requires access to internal financials and documents. In addition we will need to interview a small number of people who hold key positions in the business. We update with the key contact or group on a weekly basis and are available for discussion on completion of the document.
What do you get?
The output from this process is a PDF document that is suitable for electronic sharing or printing. In addition to the document there are weekly progress/debrief sessions during the engagement as well as presentation/discussion when the final document is delivered.
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