Developing a business plan can appear complex, but its actually a straight-forward process . That doesn’t mean it won’t be demanding and require clear and disciplined thinking, because it will. At Momentum we use a five stage process adapted to clients’ needs. The experience for the client is usually, initially, one of confusion and then clarification as the business purpose emerges and the focus moves on to what is wanted in the long term. The process requires some deep digging and an ability to be candid about what you want. The aim of a Business Plan should be to build the business’ value; so the process and outcome must be effective.
A structured approach is the best away to proceed and one which should be conducted away from the workplace to enable an uninterrupted time and attention. Using external expertise helps the client be clear about what they want, challenges them – sometimes deeply, provides a valid process and identifies options that may not have otherwise been on the radar.
The stages are:
- Where are we at right now?
This stage considers the business’ perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the context of both internal and external environments and will review the commercial, technical and social aspects of the business.
- Where could we possibly get to?
In this stage, the players identify both the business purpose and possibilities to create strategic options.
- Where do you think we should get to?
This stage builds on the first two and requires a deeper dive including clear insights into preferred options
- How are we going to get there?
This is the beginning of the Plan and will identify the value proposition developed in the first three stages. All requirements for the development of the company’s people, processes and organisation are defined including target markets.
- How are we going?
Constant review of the Plan is necessary and needs to be a formal quarterly activity by senior management to ensure actions are completed in order to meet Plan objectives.