Whether we wish to achieve a short term goal or a long term goal, planning has to be the first step towards it. In case of a business, the stakes are high and thus, more concrete planning is required. This does not only apply to the start-up companies but also to the ones that are expanding or introducing new processes to the existing framework. This article discusses two of the broad categories of Business Planning and the process that entails.
Types of Business Planning
- Strategic Planning- The objective of strategic planning is to develop a vision, through which the actions, decision making, and resource allocation of an organization will be guided. This planning covers the big picture for the business and determines where an organization is will be headed to over the subsequent years, how it is going to reach there, and how it will identify if it has gotten there or not. There are varieties of approaches used in Strategic Planning, depending on the nature and size of the business.
- Succession Planning- It starts with the making of an organizational chart and written job descriptions. This helps in establishing accountabilities of not just the employees but of senior-level executives and owners as well. By having the job descriptions appropriately defined, it becomes easier to recruit suitable people for those positions. This plan ensures that your employees are well-equipped to take over the responsibilities in absence of the concerned person.
Business Planning Process
- Gather Information- First gather all the relevant information about the internal and external environment of the domain you are entering into. Needless to say, this will help you make informed decisions while creating the Business Plan.
- Set the Mission and Goals- Prepare a formal statement highlighting the main objectives of your organization. This will help you to stay on the right track and direct you back to it whenever you digress from it.
- Devise a Strategy- Once you know your goals, you will need to come up with a suitable strategy, defining the course that is to be followed for achieving them.
- Implement the Plan- Implementation of the plan includes communicating the strategies to the employees in clear terms so that they can start working in that direction. Execution of a plan also requires providing all the necessary means of incorporating the strategies.
- Monitor the Performance- After implementation of the plan you should monitor the performance of the staff. See if the new plan is being executed the way it should be and how it is impacting the performance of your employees. The results will also tell you about any other changes that may be required.
These fundamentals are applicable to all Business Planning Processes. However, detailed Business Planning Techniques can only be determined according to your nature of business and your individual goals.