What is business planning?

business planning Jul 21, 2017

Definition: In simple terms, strategic business planning is a series of logical and creative steps to identify the long-term business objectives ranked by importance.

Or - A fresh view on how we want to improve our business. 

If we're going to be strategic, we want to improve the areas that will have the greatest long-term impact to make our efforts worthwhile. We want to focus on the 20% that will make the biggest difference (if you don't know the 80/20 rule it's well worth learning).

In its simplest form a business can be divided into 7 key areas:

Product - The problem we solve for our clients
Customer Service - How well we look after our clients
Operations - The tools and processes to deliver our product/service
Marketing - Everything from finding clients to keeping clients
Finances - Making sure we make a profit
People - Staff, Leadership, and HR processes
Planning & KPIs - Fully understanding where you are, where you want to be, how you're going to get there - and measuring your progress

Remember, for setting priorities we like the power of threes.

Stick with 3 goals at a time; don't try to fix too many things at once. Three goals are: easier to remember, easier to communicate, and more realistically achievable.

We may want to work on three different top level priorities - or perhaps three priorities in one main area.

Either way, we must carefully consider the areas that will make the biggest difference this year. We can then build our plans around those goals.

Here's our very basic planning checklist:
What are we trying to achieve?
Why are we trying to achieve this?
How are we going to achieve it (what are the steps)?

By when, whom, at what cost and risk?

How will we know when we've got there?
What might prevent us achieving it?


Martin Riley

Martin Riley Leadership & Business Development



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