By Lika Ramlal at May 05 2019 07:19:26
What are the critical steps needed to achieve a successful business plan? This may come as a surprise to my fellow business consultants, but producing a successful business plan is not as difficult as people often think, so long as they follow a logical sequence. Here is my considered view as to the critical steps. 1. Understand what you are planning and why; 2. Define the activities of your organisation; 3. Outline the current position of the business; 4. Review and discuss the external market conditions, undertake and understand a competitive analysis, and define your market positioning; 5. Define your core objectives; 6. Prepare and articulate the strategy to attain and meet the objectives; 7. Identify and review risks and opportunities; 8. Prepare a strategy to deal with risks and exploit opportunities; 9. Refine the strategies into operational plans; 10. Prepare financial forecasts including revenues, costs, cash_flow, capital expenditure and assumptions adopted; 11. Finalise the plan; 12. Get it approved; 13. Use it; 14. Review it regularly and update as appropriate.
All the years in those various positions offered great opportunities for leading, teaching, training, and hands on support for empowering managers and workforces. Environments were created that made it possible for people to reach levels of success they never thought possible. Success came because of the use of real leadership, lean principles, employee involvement, a trusting environment, good communication, continuous improvement, and solid operating systems. The results were people working toward an error free workplace, waste reduction, and a very positive attitude toward meeting goals and expectations. This resulted in labor content reductions, major reductions in labor turnover, major increases in inventory turns, reductions in cycle times, improved customer relations, strong teams, and improved employee satisfaction. I have had the good fortune to have practiced and proven that creating the right environment will cause people to want to participate in helping organizations meet their goals and visions because it is an environment that lets them build success for themselves as well helping everyone else build theirs. I believe strongly that you cannot motivate people but that the right environment is what motivates people.
Organization and content of the business plan will evolve as it is prepared. For example, if the driving force of the plan is marketing or sales then a preponderance of the analysis and plan_of_action section will be more up_front and sales oriented in tone. With business plan's the world is your oyster; think from the center out to the edges and think outside of the box.
Now let's say you estimate your conversation rate to be 3% of turning leads into paying customers with the advertising method you're going to use, how many leads would need to contact to get 387 customers? Simply divide 387 by 3% and you get 12꽭 leads you're going to need to contact. Then the question is; is your market going to be big enough to provide you with 12꽭 leads for the next year and how many will you need each of the following years?