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What Do I Cover In A Planning Session

October 7th, 2010

So you’ve set time aside to complete your business planning as discussed in the earlier article, but what do you do, what things do you consider and how do you go about it? The following information outlines the key points that PlanA Consulting covers off with clients when completing their annual plan.

Immediate Issues

There isn’t much point trying to put a plan and implementation process in place if there are some immediate issues that may be holding you back. For example you might decide that you need to have a push on prospecting for new clients but you fail to follow up existing leads. In this case you need to resolve your follow up process before you drive new prospects into your business.

Look for immediate issues in 4 areas:

  • Sales process (any activity that leading up to a sale)
  • Operational (your key activity)
  • Finance and administration (managing your business)
  • Other (catches anything else you’ve missed)

Once you’ve identified any immediate issues, decide who is responsible for getting it fixed, what needs to happen and when it will be completed by.

Vision – 5+ Years

Consider what you want your business to look like in 5 years time. This allows you to paint the picture of the perfect business and then decide what you need to get there. This is no different than when an architect draws a set of plans with a client. They know exactly what they want the finished product to look like, but a lot of work is required to get there. Think about:

  • Your key activity
  • The market you want to operate in
  • Turnover
  • Profitability
  • People requirements
  • Location and so on

Strategy – next 12 months

Choose the key strategies that you need to implement within the next 12 months. In deciding what the key issues are you need to ask yourself some good quality questions about your current situation and the future. Some of these questions might be:

  • What issues customers or clients have with your services
  • What small problems could grow into larger ones
  • How can you improve quality
  • What information makes your job easier
  • How is your communication internally and externally
  • What training is required
  • Will client needs be different in the future

Once you’ve gone through the questioning process decide on what the key strategy is for the next 12 months and set yourself 3-4 breakthrough goals that need to be achieved.

As with anything in life, once you put a mark in the sand obstacles will appear. The planning stage is a good time to identify potential obstacles and what you need to do to overcome them. Often the difference is not whether a challenge may occur but how you react when it does.

The next article will look at 90 day activity, specific implementation and measurement of your implementation.

If you’d like to find out more about planning for your business or would like some assistance in that area then please contact me at [email protected] or 06 974 6236.

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