Business Planning and Strategy Implementation
A formal business strategy is the key to fulfilling your company’s potential. It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but with a comprehensive business plan in place, your business is in the best position to take advantage of any growth opportunities that may arise – both planned and unexpected.
Below, we have explored the process of creating and implementing a business strategy, as well as highlighting some of the key benefits to having a plan in place through the good times and the bad.
The benefits of creating and implementing a business plan
Traditionally, business plans are often no more than a few notes on a piece of paper, offering an insight into the goals an owner or decision maker may want to achieve at an unspecified point in the future. However, a detailed and up-to-date strategy can not only incorporate major objectives but also help companies set out and manage a path that will allow these dreams to be realised. Some of the main benefits of creating and implementing a business plan include:
A business plan can allow you to hone the direction you want the company to take, rather than becoming distracted by short-term issues. You can also take the opportunity to clarify this goal with other team members to ensure you are all on the same path.
By clarifying your goals, the task of identifying internal or external threats to your success will be made significantly easier. These threats can be tackled as part of your strategy or carefully avoided as part of the planning process.
Aiding with employee organisation
By breaking goals down into achievable, time-sensitive tasks, allowing you to allocate the right resource to a task. A business plan can be both productive and freeing. Ultimately, it will allow your company energy to be better focused.
No business plan will prove successful if it is not executed with the target market firmly in mind. Market research should be a significant part of your strategy, offering your company endless opportunities to become reacquainted with your audience.
What to include in your business plan?
The key to the success of business plans is customisation. To create a strategy, you will be forced to provide specific answers to generic questions. This process alone should help you hone your objectives and drill down into the issues that are particularly important to you. It’s also vital that you explain any assumptions made within your strategy, and how you plan to take on any risks you may face along the way. Some of the key points to consider include:
Your key products and services
Without a plan in place, it’s easy to spread yourself too thinly. Consider the products and services you offer: which do you consider to be most important to your business and why?
Without clear market insights, you can easily become lost in traditions and routine. Take the opportunity to learn more about the market you’re targeting to ensure you’re on the right track.
Areas of success
Which strategies or products have proved most successful in the past? Never be afraid of exploring the same avenues more than once if they’re helping you to achieve your objectives.
Rather than simply listing your goals, take this opportunity to look at your objectives in more detail. Take the time to set out the best- and worst-case scenarios and how you plan to overcome any obstacles you expect to face along the way.
Your financial forecasts
Monthly estimates of sales and costs should be stated in detail during this process. This financial information is key to ensuring the implementation of your strategy (including the potential arrangement of further finances) goes as smoothly as possible.
Your business development strategy
Write a comprehensive business development strategy to ensure you and your team know how you plan on achieving your objectives. Make sure you take into account all of the detail you’ve included above to ensure you have a clear path to success.
How to use your business plan
No matter how professional a business plan looks when sat on your desk, it’s no use unless it’s implemented properly and consistently. Business planning is a continuous process that should be embedded into the day-to-day running of your business and revisited regularly as objectives are updated. There are many methods of keeping your business on track, so it’s simply about establishing which ones work best for you.
Engaging with your team
One established method of keeping your business plan on track is to engage a number of team members who are likely to be interested in progress. Planned, regular meetings of crucial decision makers will give each responsible person a date to aim for when implementing their part of the strategy. A meeting can also offer the opportunity for open discussions so that any team members with concerns or queries have the opportunity to air their thoughts.
Keep tabs on your finances
A more quantitative measure of the success of your strategy, the regular measurement of your predictions against your actual figures will give you a clear idea of how close you are to meeting your goals. By keeping a close eye on cash flow and sales you will also be in a better position to alter your business plan if you think your predictions may have been incorrect.
Revisit your business plan regularly to see how you’re progressing. Each revisit is an opportunity to make updates based on new market information, changes to your objectives, or input from a new member of your team. By including this real-time feedback in your strategy, you can ensure implementation remains smooth and trouble-free.
Successful strategy implementation requires regular reporting from all relevant parties. If your strategy requires the cooperation of multiple departments, consider how often you require a report and what information you need them to include. Each report should not only include an overview of how their department is working towards the strategy, but also how their progress compares to that detailed on their last report.
Finding help with your business plan
While you may feel confident taking a business plan yourself, it isn’t uncommon for companies to seek financial help to ensure every figure is as accurate as it can be. At Finance Equation Ltd, we provide expert financial advice to companies that want to get their numbers just right. Our financial directors can work with you on a regular, part-time basis to provide support during the creation and implementation of your business plan.
With our expertise and support, you can achieve even greater clarity when it comes to decision making, so you can feel confident that your objectives are backed by facts. Our experts will also work with you to ensure you understand the figures and can work with them on a day-to-day basis with ease. This will ensure even greater success and allow you to jump on opportunities without concern.
Overall, comprehensive business strategies provide clarity and a greater sense of control. While your previous business plans may have seen you grow and even flourish, taking a more active approach to your strategy could see you elevate your profits and significantly increase the speed with which you achieve your goals in the future.
Not only that, but a carefully crafted and up-to-date business plan can help you negotiate any challenges that come your way. Whether you’re facing changing market conditions, financial struggles or even global pandemics, your detailed business plan will include all the information you need to quickly and efficiently make the changes that see your business survive, or even thrive, in difficult times.