According to businessdictionary.com, the process of planning is ” The development of goals, strategies, task lists, and schedules required to achieve the objective of the business. The planning process is a fundamental function of management and should result in the best possible degree of need satisfaction given the resources available.”
The key thing is planning always has a purpose, an objective, and a desired end result in mind. The more time you invest in preparing your plans and creating actionable steps to implementing them, the better off your team and company will be.
In my last post, I wrote a few quick tips for creating and implementing an action plan. This time we’re going to discuss the three main types of business planning: strategic, tactical, and operational.
Let’s start with Strategic. Your Strategic Plan will be a very broad statement that applies to the entire company. It includes the mission of the company and future objectives and goals. Its purpose is to ensure that all team members are working toward that common goal. The Strategic Plan is essentially an agreement that sets priorities, focuses energy and strengthens the operation.
The Operational Plan goes into a little more detail. It applies to mid level management and focuses on the company’s products and services. While you’re creating financial projections, you’re also incorporating your production costs, softwares and other processes the company uses, staffing, equipment, and inventory. It will entail answering the Who, What, Wen, Where, and How much? There can be a single use Operational Plan as well as an ongoing Operational Plans.
An example of an operational plan would be coming up with tangible way to achieve the company’s strategic goals, such as cutting costs by 10% within 12 months time. This would entail single use plans. But an on going plan would be changed as necessary and would be pertinent if the goal of the company was to cut costs by 10% while avoiding lay offs.
Lastly, the Tactical Plan is much like an action plan it breaks down the bigger goal into small plans. Remember, the idea is to start producing results and see change so there needs to be bold and clear directives with specific deadlines. These directives should be delegated to specific, key people that will drive the result you want to see. Without action, there will be progress or forward movement.
You want to ensure that your employees know why their actions tie into the company goals and what makes the planning relevant. There should be just a handful of directives as you don’t want to overwhelm your team. An example of a tangible, measurable tactic would be requiring your sales team to recommend a specific add on service or product for all customers who purchase “Product 1”. A tactic in itself has the purpose of being a result driven action step that will lead to measurable success.
While all of these plans and their creation as well as implementation are critical to your business, they are often neglected. Writing these plans can be the hardest part, sometimes its hard to articulate your vision. Not to mention, it’s time consuming and as a small business owner, you are busy busy busy with day to day activities.
This is the part where I tell you High Tide Writing Services has you covered. Help us help you get your mission and strategies aligned and turned into working plans! Drop us a comment or e-mail if you’d like to learn more!