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 give you desired results and what not give’s you. You know where are your mistakes. That knowledge will give you the possible parts where you need to improve your business planning process.
It is interesting that there is a big 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.
Let’s look at the questions that will lead you to the possible improvements:
- In your earlier experience what are the goals in your business plan that you don’t accomplish? Why you don’t accomplish them?
- In your previous experience what are the goals in your business plan that you have successfully accomplished? Why you have successfully accomplished them?
- Is there something in your products and services that can be improved based on the implementation on previous business plans?
- Are your products and services aligned with the needs of your customers? Why they are not aligned if they are not aligned?
- Is your business model something that allowed implementation of your previous business plans without a problem?
- What is your previous experience with the sales forecast? Are the numbers same with the planned? Why they are different? What are the reasons for discrepancies?
- When you look at your sales numbers, can you see some spikes in them? Why there is such a spike? What can you learn from it?
- Do you base your previous business plans on your customers needs? Are they changed quickly, or they are same in the process of implementation? Can you find something more about their needs that you can include in your future business planning activities?
- Is there customers whom you include them in your predictions, but they didn’t come to buy from your business? Why? Can you bring them back and how?
- Your business plans are based on assumptions and hypothesis. Can you find mistakes in your assumptions and hypothesis? Can you improve your assumptions and hypothesis? Can you improve your business plan when it is implemented if you find that it is based on wrong assumptions and hypothesis?
Answer this questions and you can find really important areas for improvements.
Next part of this challenge is about improving your forecasting as a part of your business plan.