We are in the second part of our challenge to improve your business in 77 days. In this part, you need to improve your business planning process.
The best way to start improving your business planning process is with your previous experience in such a process.
You know what you make good in the past and what’s wrong. You know what gives you desired results and what does not give you. Also, you know where your mistakes are. That knowledge will give you the possible parts where you need to improve your business planning process.
Why You Need to Improve Your Business Planning Process?
Business planning is a necessary process that helps you and your business to optimize operations and goals. By planning, you can consider various factors, such as market trends, customer needs, competitive pressures, and financial considerations. This will ensure that your business runs smoothly and you reach all your goals.
It is interesting that there is a significant correlation between your business planning process improvements and your overall business improvements. Through improvements in your business planning process, you can improve your business future.
Questions to Help You Improve Your Planning Process
Let’s look at the questions that will lead you to the possible improvements:
1. Why have you not accomplished some goals in your previous planning cycle?
In your earlier experience, what are the goals in your business plan that you don’t accomplish? Why don’t you accomplish them?
In reflecting on your previous experiences, examining the goals outlined in your business plan that were left unaccomplished would be insightful. A deeper analysis of the reasons behind non-achievement can provide invaluable lessons and insights for future planning efforts.
When you analyze the specific challenges, such as lack of resources, unpredictable market changes, or ineffective strategies or processes, you can better understand the factors that hinder goal realization. Understanding these obstacles can help you decide and develop a better business plan.
2. Why have you accomplished some goals in your previous planning cycle?
In your previous experience, what are the goals in your business plan that you have successfully accomplished? Why have you successfully accomplished them?
With this question, you want to find the factors or conditions that helped you achieve your goals. This is important because you discover your strengths, and you want to improve them and be more powerful for the future of your business.
The combination of the answers to these two first questions will give you valuable insights about what will need to be improved.
3. What about improvements in your products and services?
Is there something in your products and services that can be improved based on implementing previous business plans?
When evaluating your products and services, it’s worth considering if there are any areas that can be enhanced based on insights gained from implementing previous business plans. When you analyze the outcomes and lessons learned from past experiences, you can identify potential improvements that will help drive even greater success in the future. Taking a meticulous approach to incorporating these learnings into your strategies ensures that your offerings continue evolving and meet your customers’ and stakeholders’ changing needs and expectations.
4. Your products and services VS. customer’s needs
Are your products and services aligned with the needs of your customers? Why are they not aligned if they are not aligned?
Ensuring that your offerings are fully tailored to meet your customer’s specific requirements is essential, as this plays a pivotal role in achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty. If your products and services are not currently aligned, it is crucial to identify the reasons behind this misalignment to address and rectify any gaps or shortcomings.
5. What about your business model?
Is your business model something that allowed the implementation of your previous business plans without a problem?
With this question, you want to determine if the business model is somehow responsible for the poor planning and implementation processes.
6. Sales forecast
What is your previous experience with sales forecasts? Are the numbers the same as planned? Why are they different? What are the reasons for discrepancies?
Check if the actual numbers align with the initial projections and plans that were laid out. If there are any discrepancies, it would be valuable to understand the underlying reasons behind them. If you analyze the factors contributing to these differences, you can gain insights into the drivers and variables that impact sales forecasting accuracy.
7. Sales numbers
When you look at your sales numbers, can you see some spikes? Why is there such a spike? What can you learn from it?
It’s interesting to explore the reasons behind these spikes and what valuable insights they can offer. By looking deeper into the factors contributing to these fluctuations, you can find valuable information to improve your business strategies and decision-making. Understanding the underlying causes of these spikes enables you to make data-driven adjustments and leverage the learnings to drive further growth and success.
8. Customers’ needs
Do you base your previous business plans on your customer’s needs? Are they changed quickly, or are they the same in the implementation process? Can you learn more about their needs that you can include in your business planning activities?
To build a successful business plan, it is crucial to base it on your customers’ evolving needs. These needs may change rapidly during the implementation process. So, it is essential to stay updated. By actively seeking to understand more about your customers’ needs, you can get valuable insights that can be effectively incorporated into your business planning activities. This customer-centric approach will contribute to your business’s overall success and growth.
9. Are you losing customers?
Are there customers that you include in your predictions, but they didn’t come to buy from your business? Why? Can you bring them back, and how?
Understanding the reasons can help you develop strategies to return your closed customers and convert them into valuable ones. When you analyze factors such as customer preferences and competitor offerings, you can tailor your marketing efforts and promotional activities to re-engage these potential customers and provide them with compelling reasons to choose your business.
10. Are there mistakes in your assumptions and hypothesis?
Your business plans are based on assumptions and hypotheses. Can you find mistakes in your assumptions and hypothesis? Can you improve your assumptions and hypothesis? Or, can you improve your business plan when it is implemented if you find it is based on wrong assumptions and hypotheses?
When you develop a business plan, you must acknowledge that you write something based on assumptions and hypotheses. It is crucial to regularly evaluate and identify potential errors or flaws in these assumptions and hypotheses. Doing so can effectively enhance your business plan and make necessary adjustments throughout its implementation phase.
Discovering that your plan is founded on incorrect assumptions and hypotheses should serve as an opportunity for improvement.
Answer these questions, and you can find really important areas for improvement.
The next part of this challenge is about improving your forecasting as a part of your business plan.