Plan Systematically

planning sessionThe one thing that always surprised me when talking to new small businesses was how little importance they gave to planning, if any at all.

In this post I will give a short overview of the system of planning.

There are three interrelated types of planning: new business planning, strategic planning and annual planning. This is shown in the schematic below.

system of plans

The System of Plans

1 Annual Planning
The annual plan looks one year into the future. It predicts your routine activities, events, and special projects for that year.

Key components are the budget (financial plan) and the marketing plan. For projects, i.e. once only activities, you would have project planning.

2 Strategic Planning
Approximately every 5 years one should conduct strategic planning—here we attempt to look further into the future. You assess your current situation and develop possible strategies to follow for the next five years.

Your strategic plan drives your annual planning. It will also identify specific projects whenever you need to implement something new.

3 Business Plan
The new business plan is really a special case of the strategic plan. It the strategic planning you do when you intend to start a new business.

Key components are the implementation plan, financial plan, personnel plan, and the marketing plan.

What is a Business?
In the context of this post, a business is any organized human endeavour. So whether you manufacture products, publish a magazine or run a society—it is a business and needs planning to succeed.

The Takeaway
Many businesses fail exactly because they fail to plan, hence the truism “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

If you are new to planning there are many excellent resources available on the Web. Your favourite search engine would quickly get you on your way. If you need assistance we would be happy to help.