Getting your Business Plan done

7th February 2015

For some people a business plan is an official-looking and lovingly crafted document. For others, it’s back-of-an-envelope stuff. To be honest, it doesn’t matter which approach you go for. What matters is whether or not you manage to execute that plan effectively. If your business plan never gets past the ideas stage – what a waste!

Here’s how to get your business plan done.

Set Objectives

Strategic business plans should provide financial targets, initiatives to reach those targets and an overarching philosophy in which the company operates. Writing the objectives is the easy part – it is the implementation of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely (SMART) objectives that is key to the success of any business plan.

Support the strategy with tactics

A business plan that hits the mark not only identifies the strategic direction of the company, but also maps out the tactical elements that enable the company to execute the plan. Most companies fail to break down their strategic plan into tactical initiatives.

Why are these strategies going to deliver the greatest return on investment and effort? How are they going to complete and deliver on their strategic plan? Who is responsible for all of the steps required to execute?  You need to get these specific, key questions answered.

Cascade the Objectives

A strategic plan generally comes from the top. It is up to you to make sure the plan cascades down through your business. You need to set the benchmark, help your team lay out the necessary tasks and then hold them accountable to meeting the mutually-agreed targets.

Your team, of course, may be very small.  But whatever the size, each team member needs to be brought on board if you’re to stand a good chance of getting your business plan off the ground.

Monitor Regularly

Achieving strategic success is one part execution and one part inspiration.

Hitting targets on a regular basis provides the ongoing motivation to see the plan through to the end and get the most out of it.

Setting targets and assessing these on an ongoing basis not only keeps the firm on plan, but also allows you to communicate these successes to your team, and keep their heads up and focused.

So that’s your 4-step guide to getting your business plan done: Objectives, Tactics, Cascade and Monitor.  And repeat….