Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market
It is said that something well planned is 50% done. If this holds true, then I wonder why so many of us do not make an effort to plan our business activities in advance. To my mind there are numerous reasons why continuous business planning is advisable or even non-negotiable.
- It gives you a snapshot of the future state of the business. It creates an image of future possibilities in your mind’s eye.
- It helps you to develop targets/goals which, if managed to completion, will enable the anticipated future state of the business.
- When targets/goals are set you can optimally allocate business resources by answering the following questions:
- What needs to be done?
- How should it be done?
- Who should take responsibility to get the task done?
- When should the task be finished (deadline)?
- How much funding is required to get the task done?
- When targets/goals are set, continuous monitoring of progress and the reaching of milestones are very helpful to make adjustments along the way. Priorities and resource allocation can be adjusted to ensure delivery on the target or achievement of the goal. Client feedback and market insights can also serve as elements to inform the optimal implementation of the plan of action.
- A written plan of action serves as a mechanism to align management and employee actions towards the common target/goal. “Everybody is on the same page.”
- It also helps you to decide which business alliances or strategic partnerships need to be vested to achieve the anticipated outcomes.
In the 2014 National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) Survey members were requested to indicate the areas in which they require training and development. Seventy-three per cent of the respondents highlighted the need for business and strategic planning.
To support business owners with this important task, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success. Go to www.sanlam.co.za/gameplan to download your free copy.
May the following words of author Alan Lakein hold true for you: “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
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