Tag Archive for: Business growth

If you’re ready to take your business plan to the next level, you’ll want to keep reading. The first step for writing a planning document for your business is designing the structure for your plan. With a clear and coherent structure, the task of planning is much easier. You simply fill in the content and Presto! you have a working plan for your business. And the structure can be reused each time you need to make a change to your plans.
To help you get started, we designed a universal structure that will fit any business, large or small, at any stage of its growth, from start-up to preparing for sale.
Here is an outline of the Plan Genie 5-Step Structure. This will help you document where you are today, where you intend to take your company, and how you will get there. Let’s dive into the structure and take actionable steps!
Step 1 – Plan Summary
This is a short, 1-2 page, document that contains the following information
– Your Unique Business Proposition – What makes your company remarkable?
– Your Purpose – “Why” does your company exist, as seen from the customer’s perspective?
– Your long-term goals (3 years)
– Your short-term goals (1 year)
– A list of major action items that you intend to pursue that will help you accomplish your goals (strategy)
Step 2 – Values/Culture
Another short document that identifies and clarifies how you expect everyone in the
company to behave and exercise judgment when dealing with non-routine challenges that arise.
Step 3 – Where you are now
Four important pieces of information that explain your current picture and help you identify changes going forward:
– Description of your target market
– Description of the products and services that you offer, with pricing.
– Description of your current partners, alliances, and influencers
– Description of your major competitors
Step 4 – Departmental Action Plans
This document contains a list of 90-day action plans/projects that covers up to 8 sections of your business:
– Marketing
– Sales
– Operations/service delivery
– People, (attraction, selection retention)
– Technology
– Partners, Alliances, Influencers
– Finance and Administration
– Community and Environment
Step 5 – Organization Structure
Two diagrams: your current organization chart, and a future chart that shows the changes in resources needed to execute the action plans laid out in Step 4.
Once you have captured this information on your initial draft, it is easy to review and update. It’s truly the structuring and planning that have a lasting impact on achieving your business goals. Now that you’re ready to move your business forward, consider passing on the gems by sharing this article with another leader. For more information on documenting a plan for your business, please visit our website plangenie.com.
 #business #growth #community #culture #strategy
In an article published by The Globe and Mail, author Jon Umstead proposes that running your business from a documented plan will increase your odds of success by 30-50%. He further states that business leaders who learn how to be better planners not only improve their own business and personal success, but they can collectively change economic growth throughout the country. This article is worth a read. See the link at the end.

When I first read this article several years ago, it deeply resonated with me. I knew from my own business experience and from chairing a CEO peer group, that documented plans, along with a commitment to an ongoing planning process, really work. I’m now on a quest to help business leaders everywhere be more successful through better planning.

Here are three things to consider when business planning:

Structure the plan

This is where you’ll plant the seed for your business. Once you have a clear picture of what information to include in the plan, and what isn’t necessary, this work can go quickly. With a solid structure, it’s simply a matter of adding content. And content can be easily changed and revised over time using the same structure.

Document the plan

Plans kept in your head, or another person’s head aren’t helpful. Allow yourself to free your mental real estate by writing out your ideas. Only when you distill your ideas into a document can these ideas be understood and added to by others.

Commit to the plan

Even well-structured and fully documented plans grow stale quickly. Every business leader quickly learns that effective planning is a continuous process. It requires discipline to stick to a review schedule with so many competing demands on your time. Take a break, check on your progress, celebrate your achievements, and reset priorities for the next quarter.

Over the past few years, we developed a structure for planning in business that makes this task relatively easy for any size business at any stage of growth. We are also compiling resources about planning on our website PlanGenie.com. If you have any great tools that you have used successfully, or insights, or questions on this topic, I would love to hear from you.

If you are already on the planning “bandwagon”, please share this message with others. Let’s get the economy going again.


 #business #experience #growth #share #businessleaders #change