Sometimes you just need to stop what you are doing, take a step back and think about your business. Make a plan to do this regularly, many businesses make it an annual task. If you have a senior management team you will need to do this as a group, in the form of a business planning workshop.
An outline 4 step structure for a business planning workshop is something like this: –
1/ Create or review your Vision. Define what it is that you want your business to aspire to in the longer term.
2/ Create or review your Mission. Define what it is you want your business to be in the shorter term and describe it or make it more tangible.
3/ Business Goals. Once you’ve agreed your Vision and Mission then you can review your business goals. These will be high level business goals that move you closer to your Vision and Mission. E.g. Improvements to customer satisfaction ratings or implementation of a specific new technology.
4/ Then what are the actions that need to be taken to deliver these goals. These agreed actions then need to be given timescales and owners.
These actions can then be followed up at normal management meetings.
For smaller businesses the structure is the same but doesn’t need two days.
- Provides direction for the business.
- Enables buy in from the management team.
- Allows priorities to be set.
- Resources allocated, human and financial.
I facilitated a number of divisional business planning workshops when I worked for BT, these were two days events. We had a national team of 10 so there was plenty of discussion and that’s where you need to allow the time so that decisions are shared and owned by all the participants. We followed this structure:
- Agree business vision.
- Agree mission statement.
- Agree key business objectives for the next twelve months.