Annual Business Plan: 7 Key Processes
Your annual business growth plan is critical to the consistent, healthy growth of your business. I hope you will overcome the barriers and go into the new year with a solid plan for growth.
I have already identified the 3 Parts of an Annual Business Growth Plan. They are: Your Marketing Plan (with particular focus on your Marketing Calendar), Your Budget (or Financial Plan), and Your Organizational Improvement Plan. Here I want to look more closely at Your Organizational Improvement Plan.
There are 7 key business processes that should be evaluated every year. These 7 key processes are
- Operations and Customer fulfillment
- Customer Service
- Admin/Back Office
Big Picture SWOT Analysis
I recommend that you create a high level S.W.O.T. chart so you can analyze where you are right now. Create a 4 quadrant grid, one for each of your S.W.O.T. topics. Here is what I mean by S.W.O.T.:
- Strengths – These are your current or past year internal areas of strength.
- Weaknesses – These are your current or past year internal areas of weakness that needs to be improved.
- Opportunities – These are external possibilities that you see for the coming year.
- Threats – These are potential external threats to your growth and success in the coming year.
Once you create your grid, write each of the 7 key processes in one or more of these boxes. This will give you a high level analysis of your entire business. So my high level S.W.O.T. chart looks something like this right now:
Bring it Down to the Key Processes
Once you complete this high level S.W.O.T. analysis, take it down to each of the 7 key processes. Create a S.W.O.T. chart for each of the 7 areas starting with Leadership. You may want to include your staff for feedback and brainstorming. For Leadership, consider the following:
Leadership – vision clarity, communication of direction, overall business strategy, clearly defined goals, good accountability structures.
So my Leadership S.W.O.T. chart looks something like this right now:
Now do the same with the other key processes. You can break them down this way, but feel free to add components to each of these:
Management – effective systems, documented systems, process improvement systems, comprehensive operations manual, efficient dashboards
Marketing – effective referral strategy, building a strong brand, direct response advertising/tactics, relationship management, PR strategies, leveraging the internet, leveraging social media
Selling – documented sales process, strong scripts and selling questions, plan for handling objections, making it easy for customers to buy, closing effectiveness, training
Operations/Customer Fulfillment – documented processes, efficiency, quality control, safety, expense control
Customer Service – relationship management, quick response, building loyalty, reviews & testimonials, customer satisfaction
Admin/Back Office – accounting, reporting, finances, data management, inventory control, technology, infrastructure, technology
Set Some Goals
Once you complete your analysis of the 7 key processes, set some goals for the coming year. You may want to set 2 or 3 goals for each area or set 5-7 overall goals. However you approach this, be sure to write specific, measurable goal statements and share them with your team. If possible, assign a “Champion” to each goal.
After you write your goals determine the specific action steps you will need to take to achieve each goal. Assign a deadline for each action step and assign a person to be responsible for each action step. Once your finished, you have completed your Organizational Improvement Plan.
Be sure to review all 3 of the annual plan components, Your Marketing Plan, Your Budget, and Your Organizational Improvement Plan, to make sure they are all in alignment. Plan a time to review this either once a week or once a month. Now, take action and watch your business grow!