Take Charge With These 3 Planning Strategies

Qinfusion crystal ballApril 27 2016, by Karen Que

What are your goals for your company? Where do you see your company five years from now?

Maybe you’d like to sell your product to a bigger market, or maybe you’d like to increase the number of employees on your staff.

Before your company can begin its journey to grow, you need a solid Strategy, Planning, and Action system to prepare you for the days ahead.

A Planning and Action system is all about the leadership and management behind a company. For a small company, this falls along the responsibilities of the CEO. For large companies, it can be spread across different roles.

There are a few ways to divide up Planning, Action and Strategy. From the management standpoint, you want to focus on:

People

  • If you have employees or you are outsourcing work to contractors, it’s important to manage all of their task
    • As your business grows you have to have a staff that can serve your clients in a consistent way. A training system ensures your staff provides a quality product or service the way you’d do it. Training programs can include:
      • Demonstrations
      • Videos
      • Having the employee shadow you
      • Assistant program
      • Internships
  • Developing a system for rewards helps to keep morale up on the staff and build a strong team that works together.

Projects

  • At some point, you’re going to outgrow your current processes. This means adding new tools and new applications to the way your systems are working.
  • Upgrade current applications and technology you use, such as hardware, software and the tools you’re already using.
  • Create new processes to handle an increased volume of work. Your processes need to evolve with your business to handle where you are in your growth cycle and support your infrastructure.
  • In order to focus on the craft or service you’re putting together, you might need to bring on other employees who can do the same work as you or outsource different responsibilities.

Business-to-Business Relationships

  • Properly managing any hired services your company uses ensures that they will work for you, such as your bookkeeper, tax accountant, virtual assistant or lawyer. You’re the glue holding these relationships together.
  • A solid relationship with suppliers, vendors or anyone who provides parts for your products and services can help you stay on top ordering and keep you well-stocked.
  • Companies who rely on renting space, equipment or other tools might find the relationship mutually beneficial. Partnering with other businesses to leverage their skills can lead to future growth.
  • When you know your rental company well, you know whether to trust them to show up on time and provide you with quality equipment.
  • Wedding planners partner with rental companies for furniture, napkins, table cloths, flowers, or catering. These kinds of agreements can lead to referrals and more exposure.
  • Holding events with a business that complement yours is one way to showcase your products and services on a broader scale. Kids’ birthday party venues partner with local pizzerias and bakeries to provide discounted rates and a quality birthday experience.

Aside from management, successful business leaders strive to have planning cycles that cover a range of time, from daily to up to 5 years. Don’t worry; your business plan doesn’t have to be huge at first. It should be an evolution.

  • Set goals. Figure out long-term goals and work backward, beginning with a 3- to 5-year plan, followed by annual, quarterly monthly, weekly and even daily.
  • Create a strategy. Using how-to-steps, determine what will be done to achieve your goals.
  • Take action. Review how taking action turned out. Based on whether it hurt or helped your business, revise your plan and do course correction. Your goals may not change, but your plan needs to be flexible in the how-to’s and the actions so you can learn from your mistakes and make adjustments.Whatever planning cycle you choose needs to be appropriate for your timespan. If you don’t give yourself enough time for the action to take place, then there won’t be enough to review later.
  • Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to have daily goals because a day may not be enough time to realize or measure progress. Instead, take planned action every day for two or three months, then assess to see if you are on track to meet your quarterly goals.
  • If you want to use social media to promote your business, it can take three to six months of engagement to build trust, gain a solid following, and be able to start assessing results. Often it can take time to get traction.

Strategy, Planning, and Action is about being able to have the vision to figure out what’s coming down the road so you can try to avoid crisis situations. When something starts going wrong, it’s important to address it right away. Having the process of action, review, course correction and re-plan can help you to be more proactive in your business.

What actions steps are you taking to grow your business?

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