Planning for Growth in Business
03.30.2016 / Posted in Articles, Strategy
Planning is the ongoing management process of setting objectives to be achieved during a certain period of time, developing a plan of action, and continuously monitoring results so regular evaluations and, if necessary, modifications, can be made to the objectives and action plan.
It is the process of making today’s decisions with the future in sight. Planning assists in preparing for future decisions so that they may be made quickly, economically, and with as little disruption to your business as possible.
When clients come to FrogDog, revenue growth is usually one of the CEO’s main objectives. However, growth does not happen by itself. Questions we answer for clients include:
- How much revenue growth should we aim for?
- In which areas should we grow?
- Who will be responsible for different tasks?
- What order should these be done in?
For a company to realize revenue growth in a systematic way, strategic planning must be done in a systematic way. Factors such as products, markets, personnel, financial resources, and operational resources must be evaluated and analyzed effectively.
Planning leads to a stronger understanding of the organization and helps it advance in ways that senior management consider most suitable. It helps executives analyze, act more effectively, and progress in their desired direction in a flexible manner.
Sometimes, companies must choose a path forward from among several equally attractive options. In these situations, planning is essential to making the right decision.
Characteristics of successful planning include:
- Involving the CEO as an active participant
- Using a simple process
- Aligning with management’s characteristics
- Noting that implementation is a shared responsibility (not just for your planning team)
- Highlighting that decisions made with long-term implications may not appear good in the short run
- Focusing on achievable
- Encouraging overall flexibility to accommodate changing conditions
Initiating Planning Activities
There is no best time to start planning activities within an organization, but it is important to ensure the organization has the capacity to take the time needed to establish a strong planning foundation. Planning should not be put off until times are tough as it is not merely a solution for disappointing performance. Planning is a process and should evolve gradually.
- Satisfying planning: The most basic level of planning, satisfying planning, involves the development of plans to meet easily achievable goals. This requires setting goals at an attainable level instead of setting them as high as possible. The satisfying planner devises one acceptable way of accomplishing goals, which may or may not be the most effective way.
- Optimizing planning: With optimizing planning, the planner analyzes various aspects of the end-goal and amends planning efforts to maximize their effectiveness. For example, if your objective is to increasing market share, the planning team would look at all of the factors that affect the organizations’ market share (such as price elasticity, capacity, competitive behavior, etc.) and analyze them to find the optimal market share to target.
- Adaptivizing planning: This type of planning is used to produce changes in underlying relationships to create a desired outcome. For example, your target audience might not value what your product is, therefore you have to look at ways to change how they feel about the product. This planning looks more toward the future, and looks less at past results.
Do you need help with your planning and strategy? Contact us at FrogDog – we are the planning experts!