Business planning is one of the most challenging and pressure-filled tasks team leaders take on every day. If you’re just now beginning to experience the world of business planning, the entire landscape that you’re now navigating may seem completely overwhelming. To help you set yourself on a path toward success, here are eight crucial business planning tips that every professional should know:
If your business plan fails to prioritize both accountability and tracking, it’s bound to fail. You need receipts of when people are doing work, how long it’s taking them, and how effectively that work is being done. By harvesting this information, you can easily keep tasks on track, and ensure that workers are being held fully accountable for the work that they’ve been assigned by a team leader.
One of the firmest rules of business planning is that form should always follow function. A business plan cannot be judged as good or bad until it’s been tested out. Once its effectiveness has been determined, you can see how the function of the plan is guided by its formal makeup. Presenting the plan in the right way is just as important, and can make or break a leadership operation.
If your business plan, especially an operational planning document, fails to be easy to understand, it’s almost certainly doomed to fail. Remember, you need followable, exact strategies laid out in front of your team members if you want operations to go off without a hitch. If everyone finds themselves confused as they try to carry out tasks, they will need much more time to complete their goals, and your ideal timeline will fall apart.
Before you can get your superiors, as well as the workers you’re leading, on board with a plan, you need to put together a solid pitch that effectively demonstrates the merits of your plan. Without a quality pitch, you’ll have a hard time inspiring hope and loyalty among your workers. This will put you on a path toward disastrous, business-harming results.
Covering every relevant base in your operational planning, and with any other business plan type, is crucial to succeeding. While this point might seem like common sense, it’s often forgotten when people get too cerebral about their business plans. Keeping things simple, and easily understandable should always be your top goal when you’re forming a new business plan, after all.
Speaking of the point we made above, overwriting your business plan is always a terrible idea. As Shakespeare said, brevity is the soul of wit (and this extends to business dealings as much as it does to creative writing). You want to keep your business plan’s specific points as cut-down, dry, and followable as humanly possible if you want to lead your team members to success.
Trying to cleverly hide elements of your business plan, either via malicious intent or a feeling that certain details do not need to be known by everyone, is a recipe for disaster. When you hide crucial elements of a business plan, it can cause leaks in the workflow pipeline that will eventually burst. Protect yourself and your team members by being as transparent as possible when presenting, executing, and writing your business plans.
Lastly, every business plan should not be implemented until it’s been thoroughly reviewed, and triple-checked. You want to assume that mistakes happened in first drafts so that you never become too cocky about your business plan’s merits too early on. The more work you do to refine your business plan, and the more relevant team members you allow to help you tweak it, the more effective it will become. Unless you are an absolute business genius, putting together an effective and promising business plan in one draft is practically impossible (so never fool yourself into trying to pass off the first draft as a finished product).
With these eight tips, you can easily supercharge your business plans and efforts in 2023. Team leaders need to constantly strive for clearer, simpler, and more ambitious business plans if they want to continue climbing the corporate ladder. With the right dedication and effort, you can reach your business goals with ease.