Are you feeling like you’ve been hit by a COVID 19 hurricane? Your business ship took a blow and you’ve been scrambling to get things back under control. Immediate, urgent, short term plans have been devised and executed. Time lines are hourly, daily, weekly. There has been no time to think beyond the current week.
Planning never stops, it just speeds up and slows down.
As you start getting things back under control, your crew will be more anxious than ever to know where the company is heading, and how they can help.
How do you communicate the new direction and focus when you’re not clear yourself. The business leader’s primary function is to set the next destination and chart the course. Wandering aimlessly in a turbulent sea is not an option.
How can I make a plan when the future is so unclear and changing so quickly?
Yes, the landscape has changed dramatically in the last few weeks and continues to change quickly. But planning is always done in a fluid business landscape. Each time we refresh our business plan, we do so in the context of an ever changing world. We set our goals and determine our best course of action, taking into account the impediments we are facing and the resources we have available.
Most plans are stale after 90 days, and need to be rewritten. When the pace of change speeds up, this review cycle needs to be adjusted accordingly.
If our normal practice is to set goals for 1-3 years into the future, we may need to be focused on 3 to 12 months in the current situation.
Where do I start?
Start with the big picture, your business plan summary. The structure in the Plan Genie business planning workbook contains five core pieces of information:
- Your unique business proposition – a succinct description about what makes your business special and unique.
- Your purpose – why your business is needed, as seen from the customer’s point of view.
- Your long term goals. Your destination 3 years from now (or 1 year).
- Short term goals, one year out (3 months).
- Strategy/Action steps – A list of the major steps we need to take to reach our goals.
Write it down!
Write your plan down in a structured, easy to understand format. Your business plan summary is the foundation for communicating the future direction for your business – where you intend to take business and how you will get there.
As you go through the process of writing your plan, you will gain clarity and confidence to tackle the challenges ahead. others are looking for this – your leadership team, your bank, your suppliers and distribution partners, and your customers.