Whether you’re starting a new business or reviewing your existing one, the crucial thing all businesses need is a solid plan, a written roadmap for the big picture – achieving consistent, healthy growth of your business.
A good business plan should outline all the projected costs and possible pitfalls of each decision a company makes. Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they all tend to have the same basic elements, including an executive summary and a detailed description of the business, its services and/or products. It also states the methods the business intends to implement to achieve its goals.
Having a detailed business plan is of paramount importance to almost every company because ultimately it allows them to identify objectives and remain on track. Ideally, the plan is reviewed and updated periodically to see if goals have been met or have changed and evolved.
For some people, the hardest part is getting started, so I’m going to get the ball rolling for you by providing a short and sweet outline for reference.
Essential Elements of a Business Plan
Your annual business growth plan is critical to the consistent, healthy growth of your business. As we enter the new year, we want you to conquer obstacles and progress ahead as we can only grow stronger together.
There are 3 parts to an Annual Business Growth Plan. They consist of
- Marketing Plan (with particular focus on your Marketing Calendar)
- Budget (or Financial Plan)
- Organizational Improvement Plan
Your Organizational Improvement Plan weighs the most during a review as the elements are key business processes that should be evaluated every year. They are:
- Operations and Customer fulfilment
- Customer Service
- Admin/Back Office
S.W.O.T. Analysis Strategy
The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T.) analysis strategy has been a tried and tested method that is highly effective for businesses to examine their current condition. Like many experts in business systems and professional development, we recommend creating a grid or table (whichever suits your style) and carry out your S.W.O.T. analysis accordingly.
Image: Corporate Finance Institute
S.W.O.T for Key Processes
This is a great exercise to do with your team during the year-end business planning. As you review the business year and think of the future, including your employees for feedback and brainstorming is an excellent way to gather opinions and perspectives on the business.
Here are some areas of consideration when analyzing each key process under the Organizational Improvement Plan. These are by all means suggestions for your business plan, as working processes are completely dependent on each company.
1. Leadership – overall business strategy, vision clarity, communication of direction, clearly defined goals, good accountability structures.
2. Management – comprehensive operations manual, clean data systems, documented systems, process improvement systems, efficient dashboards
3. Marketing – referral strategy, build a strong brand reputation, good UI/UX, direct response advertising/tactics, relationship management, PR strategies, writing content, leveraging social media platforms
4. Sales – documented sales process, strong scripts and selling questions, plan for handling rejections, easy customer journeys, staff training
5. Operations/Customer Fulfilment – documented processes, efficiency, quality control, safety, data privacy
6. Customer Service – customer relationship management, quick response, building loyalty, reviews & testimonials, customer satisfaction
7. Admin/Back Office – human resource, finances, data management, inventory control, technology, infrastructure
Goals, Goals, Goals
Finally, set some goals for the coming year once you’ve completed your analysis of the 7 key processes in your Organizational Improvement Plan. It should have specific action steps, deadlines, and a person-in-charge to ensure efficiency.
Be sure to review all 3 of the annual plan components - your Marketing Plan, Budget, and Organizational Improvement Plan to make sure they are all in alignment. Set a time to review this either once a month or every quarter. Now, take action and watch your business grow!
If these essential features don’t spark the Marie Kondo in you to organize and plan ahead for your business, then you can consider having in-person meetings with your team at our event spaces.
Facilitate half or full-day long annual general meetings, strategic planning, or workshops in comfort as we provide support dedicated to you and your teams’ wellbeing. Enjoy amenities like coffee, high-speed Wi-Fi, Chromecast, and even catering for full-day events if required.