A strong business plan delivers growth by creating organizational alignment. This series presents the steps required to create an executable 3-year growth plan.
To be truly powerful, the plan should be constructed by those who will be held responsible for delivery. Some elements are flexible, meaning the owner keeps it alive by ensuring quarterly objectives remain relevant and compelling. Other elements, such as those relating to the firm’s vision, values and culture, remain static.
The planning process takes place in three parts: Foundation, Market Expertise, and Execution. It’s creation is an excellent teaching tool for people of all levels as it challenges one’s market knowledge and provides a running scorecard to compare actual results against targets.
In the first section, Foundation, we record core beliefs, establish baseline metrics and set goals. They are:
- Vision, values and culture – Who we are and how we make decisions.
- Field of play – Geographic scope, primary industry verticals, and product/service focus.
- KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – The top 3 to 5 measurements that will tell us how we’re doing against plan.
- Profit goals – Pricing strategy, margins or market price points.
- Gap – Current run rate or performance compared to the company’s 12-, 24-, and 36-month goals
- BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal. A stretch goal that would take 5-10 years to accomplish.
The next section, Market Expertise, covers understanding who your ideal customer is and using this information in your marketing plan.