Unless you want to feel overwhelmed and burdened, you need to identify the key people who can help you during the business planning process.
If you are in business on your own, chances are you have to shoulder most of the business planning efforts yourself. but that does not mean you cannot enlist the help of friends or colleagues to read over what you have written and tell you whether it makes any sense. outsiders bring a new perspective to your plan.
Just remember one thing: you need honest opinions, so make sure the people you choose feel free to praise as well as criticize!
The last thing you want is a Yes person giving you guidance.
If you are part of a business team, enlist the help of others in your company. For one thing, people with different backgrounds have different perspectives that add breadth and depth to your business plan. What's more, by involving ki people in the planning process, you ensure that they have a strong stake in getting results after you finish the written plan.
If you are in a big company, you may delegate a lot of the work involved in creating and writing a business plan. Some companies even hire consultants to handle parts of the process. The downside of outsourcing the work to outsiders is that you may end up with a plan that does not really reflect what is happening in your company.
Worse yet, you may fail to win the commitment of the managers who are ultimately responsible for putting the plan into action.
To get inside, make sure that your senior management team plays a central role. the marketing team ,for example, may be charged with writing the company strategy section, and the chief financial officer CFO is an obvious choice for completing the financial review.
And think about asking someone in Corporate Communications to write a Crisp, clear, to the point executive summary (but wait until all the other parts of the plan are completed and ready to be summarized)
To organize your business planning process, latest review the major components of a typical business plan..you can use this form to keep track of who is in-charge of which business plan component and when it is due.
If you are planning all by yourself, you can use a form to track your progress.
When you enlist help in putting together a plan, you are probably asking the people around you to take on more than their usual workloads. To avoid overwhelming the office, create a reasonable schedule for getting the work done. And to keep everyone motivated, share the importance of the planning process.
If you are asking people to put in over time, reward them for their efforts.
A dinner out to celebrate important milestones in the planning process can go a long way towards keeping enthusiasm high.
Because Business Planning involves a lot of brainstorming, discussion, vision, and revision, it generates a lot of paperwork. To keep a track of it all, name one person to be the keeper of a loose-leaf notebook containing all the materials related to your plan. If you are heading up a planning team, make sure to assign a person who is a natural born organizer.
To read my article on Leadership in Yourstory, click here.
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