Tips For Successful Business Planning

Tips For Successful Business Planning

At PrimeAdvisory we’ve worked out that failing to plan usually means planning to fail.  For years now we’ve diligently set aside time to create a business plan each year, which is then supported by smaller 90 day plans called Quarterly Themes.  Given our tagline is about “keeping you on-track” it’s critical that we walk the talk ourselves and have a process to do so.

This commitment and discipline to planning and tracking results has helped us consistently achieve consecutive year on year growth.  The best plans are one’s that are simple, have clear metrics within them and that are easily understood.  That’s why we choose to base business plans on a simple one-page format.  We like to use Verne Harnish’s One Page Strategic Plan as our template.

This system for business planning keeps everything in the business plan aligned with:

  • The core values of the business
  • The purpose of the business
  • The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) the business is focused on

As we’re already starting the new financial year with a fresh new one-page strategic plan, we thought we’d share how we’ve managed to make planning work so well that we’ve stayed on-track to achieve our goals for several years running.

Read “Scaling Up”:

All the directors of PrimeAdvisory have read Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish. This has helped us define the key decisions we need to get right:

  1. People
  2. Strategy
  3. Execution
  4. Cash

The book also provides a practical framework for how to define what it is that we need in those key areas.  With this guide we can focus on the big picture.

Get clear on why you are in business and the rules for how you operate:

Otherwise known as purpose (why you are in business) and values (the rules for how you do business). The book outlines a way to ensure your purpose and values are meaningful and authentic to your business.

Get clear on what your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is:

This is where it get’s exciting!  To help energise and align the entire organisation, it’s key to have a goal that’s measurable but also momentous!  This is when it’s time to think big and define a big goal that you can work towards in say 10 years’ time.

Make sure you’re measuring what matters:

It’s important to spend the time you need to make sure that the KPI’s you put into your plan line up. Ideally, they are directly aligned with your brand promise which is supported by your core values and purpose. These metrics can then be used to focus your teams and measure their success.  Then when those critical numbers have been hit you have appropriate rewards in place to celebrate the success.

Keep everything accountable and make sure there’s always ownership:

To get to where you want to go it’s important that you know who is responsible for achieving the results you are after and what actions are to be undertaken by whom to get it done. Good communication on who is responsible for what will also make sure there’s no confusion.

At PrimeAdvisory we have extensive experience in guiding business owners to stay on track with their goals.  If you would like assistance with facilitating and structuring your own one- page strategic plan, contact us.

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How Quarterly Themes Help PrimeAdvisory Stay ‘On Track’

How Quarterly Themes Help PrimeAdvisory Stay ‘On Track’

For several years now at PrimeAdvisory we’ve been able to achieve consistent year on year growth by implementing ‘Quarterly Themes’. Planning and reporting quarterly and annually has been a key success factor in helping us stay ‘On Track’ with our annual and 5-year business goals.

Once a year we develop our one-page strategic plan that maps out our:

  • Core Values/Beliefs
  • Our Purpose
  • Our Targets
  • Our Goals for the year to help us achieve our 5-year goal

Each quarter we review how we are tracking to our plan and as part of that process put in place a quarterly plan with a ‘Quarterly Theme’.

Quarterly themes are a way for us to be able to communicate what we want to focus on to help our team drive their activities to achieve the results we want.

Overall, they help us achieve our long-term plan by identifying any current issues or obstacles and dealing with them effectively and efficiently throughout the year.  Our ‘Quarterly Themes’ help us know where we are going long term and keep us focused on the little 90-day baby steps towards that.

90 days is short enough to do detailed planning for and it means we can see clearly for 90 days.

Our themes and associated activities for the last three quarters this year showcase how we communicate and keep our team aligned and on track.

October – December 2018 – Quarterly Theme: ‘Ship Shape’

‘Ship Shape’ was about tightening up processes.  Looking at our systems and people.  How do we develop our team to ensure they have the right technical skills, how do we get a good understanding of career and personal goals and what training do we need on the tools we use every day.

January – March 2019 – Quarterly Theme: ‘Help Me Help You’

‘Help Me Help You’ was all around getting feedback from our team on what they needed to deliver awesome client results.  We developed an understanding of our training needs in the business as well as identifying any pain points our staff had in their day to day working and the solutions that they had identified.

April – June 2019 – Quarterly Theme: ‘Renovate and Rejuvenate’

This quarter we are undertaking an office space renovation, so it’s a good opportunity to look at what else we could rejuvenate across the business.  Primarily looking at things in the business that are not fully implemented or perhaps activities that have dropped off and need rejuvenating.  These include formalising a training incentive programme for 2020 and getting a training budget together.

Finally, we will conduct our annual internal ‘Heartbeat Survey’ of all staff members to get important feedback on the happiness and health of our people.

How we close off our ‘Quarterly Themes’

PrimeAdvisory celebrated achieving their last quarterly goals with a team day of barefoot bowling

The team will enjoy a celebration at the end of the quarter when all our goals and targets have been met with an end of financial year lunch.  This quarter we’re hosting a celebration at Cork and Canvas where we will enjoy sipping on a glass of wine whilst painting on a canvas.  Every quarter when we launch a theme, we also clearly communicate the goals aligned with the theme and how we will celebrate when we achieve them.

Assisting with developing annual strategic plans and helping clients stay ‘On Track’ are a key component of our ‘Business OnTrack’ program. If you would like to discuss how a one page strategic plan and quarterly planning could help your business contact us.


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