Organization and Business Planning
By Louise Balle, Demand Media
One of the top concerns of business managers is the need for effective planning, and organization is a key element of proper planning. A disorganized company is prone to setbacks and challenges to its overall business plan. A prudent business owner or manager seeks insight into the relationship between organization and business planning as well as how it directly relates to her own company.
Organization is necessary from the very beginning of the business planning process. How you organize your initial written business plan has a significant affect on how useful it will be to you on a day-to-day basis. If a business plan is poorly written and organized, it’s difficult to follow and implement. A well-organized business plan also affects how seriously potential investors, partners, and lenders will take your business when you approach them for help. According to business consultant Nathan Kelly of Baron Consulting, the five essential elements of a well-organized business plan are marketing, human resources, operations, financing, and an exit strategy.
Project planning requires an organized business leader. When setting up project teams, you must organize your workers into functional groups that will efficiently complete the task at hand. You must also organize a written project plan with a list of to-dos, responsibilities and deadlines that team members can follow. Finally, keeping track of deadlines and issues that occur during the project requires advanced organizational skills.
Another important element of the business planning process that requires organization is the company’s budget and finances. The company owner must keep close tabs on the business’s budget, both in general and as related to specific projects. He must organize and monitor expenses to ensure that he makes informed financial decisions.
Communication consultant Andy Johnston suggests that business owners use a three-point process to organize a strategic plan. Start by asking the questions, “Where are we now?,” “Where do we want to be?” and “How do we get from point A to point B?” and writing down detailed answers each question. Use your responses to organize and form your plan.
A number of software programs help businesses organize for success. One basic type of program that can help is a calendar organizer (such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, or Google Calendar). Additionally, project management software allows a business owner to create, manage and organize a project, as well as communicate with members of the team, within one common system.