Tag Archive for: #direction

There has been a lot written about “disruptive innovation” in the last few years. New and creative approaches to established industries are changing the landscape. Examples include Uber disrupting the taxi industry; AirBnB is disrupting the hotel industry. The underlying message is about reminding business leaders to take innovation more seriously and avoid complacency.

We didn’t see it coming, but our business and personal lives have been hit by one of the biggest disruptors in recent history. And it happened quickly, in a matter of a couple of months. Very few, if any businesses or personal lives have escaped. (Uber and AiBnB are being impacted, … a lot of Uber drivers are now doing food delivery via Uber eats… while AirBnB is in disarray ) Whether you have seen a significant loss of revenue, or a major spike, or something close to normal, the way we operate our business has been irreversibly disrupted.

COVID19 has been a disruptive force. And it has created an exceptional opportunity to innovate. As the C19 storm eases, it’s time to renew our plans for the next cycle of our business.

The opportunities are everywhere for new ideas:

Our markets,

How will our market change? How will we adapt? What new products or services, or pricing will we offer?

Our Operations – What have we learned, so far, about how we deliver our products and services to our customers?

Our people – how do we redeploy our people more effectively in the months and years ahead?

Our systems – what lessons have we learned about our embedded way of doing things?

Planning ahead is an essential task for all business leaders. Planning requires more than generating ideas. It is important to cull, prioritize and to write them down in a coherent, easy to understand document that can be shared with your leadership team, your employees, your bank, your partners, and occasionally with your customers.

Taking your thoughts from your head and documenting them is the catalyst that cannot be overlooked and why a written plan is so powerful – there is magic in writing things down and speaking them aloud. Ideas die in the dark.

Now is an excellent time to get your team all rowing towards your next destination.

Any comments? Better still, love to have your questions about planning. What do you need help with?

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:

  1. Your unique business proposition – a succinct description about what makes your business special and unique.
  2. Your purpose – why your business is needed, as seen from the customer’s point of view.
  3. Your long term goals. Your destination 3 years from now (or 1 year).
  4. Short term goals, one year out (3 months).
  5. 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.