Many, if not all, organizations struggle with effective business planning. The problems are manifold. Two of the most commonly-encountered challenges are:
1) Executives can’t get their people commit to a plan, let alone its execution,
or 2) they are themselves confused about what it means to have a plan, and how business planning differs from, say, a financial planning or a plan to raise funding.
In order to get a team’s buy-in on a business plan, and have it focus on it, it’s usually a good idea to involve managers from the start. Managers play a key role in writing – and communicating – their own plans, whether they are managing projects or their own business unit. Simplicity is essential to guarantee desired outcomes: business plans should articulate clear goals and generally be readable and understandable enough for everyone involved. After a plan’s been written, link it to a budget planning, instead of the other way around. The numbers should be the result of the plan, rather than vice versa. Of course, prioritizations can change over time, therefore it’s also important to ensure a business plan is regularly reviewed and calibrated with the wider management team.
To executives, it often comes as a surprise that there’s actually a difference between a business plan and a funding plan. Whilst obtaining funds is essential and may even be a key priority, it’s not the same as a plan dealing with how to run business operations, how to keep project deadlines or how to maintain a happy workforce. Don’t fall in the trap of confusing fundraising with running your business. Effective organizations acknowledge the need for both and integrate financial forecasting and funding plans with a simple and well-understood business planning.
Business Basecamp understands what it takes to launch a successful business plan and achieves this by setting up a solid foundation and clear goals. Seasonal reviews are essential to ensure proper alignment with the latest developments. If needed, change can then be managed smoothly, without disruption and with full support of everyone involved.