Creating an effective business plan puts you head and shoulders above other businesses that muddle through, hoping what they are doing will work. Building and executing the perfect business plan doesn’t have to be difficult, it just takes detailed attention and an understanding of these basic principles of planning.
1. Brainstorm. Remember, at this stage there are no stupid ideas. Even if you have an extremely simple idea like “let’s promote our classic product again,” it’s better than plodding along doing nothing. So, let the ideas flow!
2. Your plan must be able to be carried out. Once you have written out your plan, make sure it’s actually possible to execute. You might realize that you don’t have time to do the whole plan by yourself. It may be that you have to delegate tasks to employees – just make sure they are doing their job and getting your additional assignments done.
3. Recognize that a new plan will likely require resources. Whether the program you’ve laid out requires overtime, needs promotional funds, or requires personnel to execute it, set up/set aside the resources needed for the whole plan before starting.
4. Don’t allow your plan to take resources from ongoing, successful campaigns. If you already have successful campaigns running, make sure your new plan doesn’t take employees or funds away from something that is already making you money. Afterall, your business won’t be profitable if the programs that made it so are impeded. Your new business plan should run alongside successful campaigns, or independently to them, as a pilot – until you know if is working or not. Once you can see it is successful, then you can fold it into the existing work flow.
5. To get your plan rolling, there has to be someone directing it. You can’t just tell people to get your business plan done. You have to assign someone to oversee its execution. If you don’t, the plan will never get completed. It is never advisable to move employees with full-time tasks or already earmarked financial resources to implement your new idea. So, if you don’t have time to guide a new plan or the finances to get the ball rolling, shelve your idea until you do.
It’s almost the new year! Are you making big business changes and plans? Let me know!