Having spent the time to THINK about where you want your business to go, and having gotten CLARITY about your business goals and objectives, it’s time to define the STRUCTURE of when, how and who will get you there.
While each client’s needs are unique at this stage, our PLAN efforts tend to follow a broad path in defining the tactics the business needs to employ. First we start by breaking the goals and objectives down into significant milestones, and placing those milestones on a phased timeline. Then we focus on defining more detail for the “near-term” initiatives. “Near-term” is relative to the growth stage of the company and also any inherent seasonal cycle they may have.
We utilize our Business Algebra approach to create projections for “key performance indicators”, including forward-looking financials – giving the business owner something against which to measure and review their progress, and to use to understand what needs to change in response to what the market is telling them.
Our goal while evaluating alternative solutions, is to identify the most Efficient & Effective of the alternatives in relation to the businesses goals and objectives – what will get you there “the fastest with the most-est”!
For a new entity (coming out of a Strategic Visualization process, or something similar), it’s important to get the business started. This involves detailing the short-term efforts that will get the business first into revenue, and then to break-even.
This includes identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a budget – i.e., Business Algebra!
For an expanding business, it’s important to have definition around what needs to be done to reach the expansion goals.
The depth and detail of PLANs created at this time is controlled by the question “do we know enough to feel comfortable about the time and resources estimated for this effort?”.
In the PLAN stage it may be appropriate for some companies to define major internal business processes and/or tools, that identify how the work of the business will get done on a day-by-day basis.
Also, it may be the right time to analyze and select vendors/partners that are going to have a major effect on the business getting things done.
All of these structural definitions include identifying the resources needed (people, money, etc.) to make the PLAN happen.