Leaders developing business plan

According to Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, the government and business are planning to get the country back to work. What does that mean for your business?  You may have had a business plan in place for the year again in January. You had big goals and aspirations. How have things changed for you? Maybe you can’t hit that original objective for the year, but what can you do to bend that downward curve back up again? It’s time to take a look at your business strategy

Review your business strategy

The proactive leadership team is looking at what they can do to get their business-focused back on growth and recovery. It’s a good time now to take a hard look at your business strategies for 2020. How many of them are still workable? How many can you adapt to the new normal of 2020? This process will require brutal honesty for the team. It’s not the time to protect pet projects or to fall back on, “we’ve always done it that way.”

After this review, it’s time to get creative. What new strategies do you need to attract customers? People will want to get out of their homes and back to some level of socialization with friends. Others will want to get back to work as quickly as possible. Some might be looking for a break if they were an essential worker during the pandemic. How can you position your business to help them achieve that desire? This business strategy review is crucial for business owners to position themselves to take advantage as the economy turns back up. Finally, review these strategies against two criteria: revenue impact and ease of implementation. Place your focus on those high return strategies that you can implement quickly.

Put together key projects to implement the business strategy

Once you have your strategies prioritized, the real work begins. Each of the new or revised strategies are going to create a project. For each project, identify the resources you’re going to need to complete it. Which members of the team will the project require? What is the expected cost of the project? And finally, what is the timeline for completion? Once you have the resources identified, get the teams in place and get the work started.

After all this work, you might think you’re done; you’re not. The proactive leader has two more important tasks ahead of them: communication and review.

With the plan in place, you need to communicate it to the team. Your employees need to know that the company has a future ahead and a plan to get there. They want to know that and how they figure into the plan. Make sure every employee has that knowledge. It’s a great way to retain and engage your employees.

Check-in on progress regularly

The last piece is a timely process to review progress on plans and against the new objectives. Usually, I’d recommend a monthly business review to accomplish that. In this case, you may want to meet more frequently as the plans get on track. And these aren’t 1 to 1s. These are meetings of the leadership team where they report out to the group on how their project is progressing. Are the plans on time and budget, and where do they need help. It’s not a “show and tell” meeting. It’s a tightly focused, fast-paced meeting that sticks to the essential facts.

Even if your business was essential and busy, you need to be thinking about the rest of 2020 and beyond. It’s time to get started. What’s more, you need to keep that new business plan as simple and straight forward as possible. There’s no time to lose. I’ll be offering a workshop series on building a business plan starting May 4th. But if you’re ready to get started now, let’s connect.

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