Every successful journey, (even that holiday visit to Grandma’s house that takes you over the river and through the woods) starts with a clear vision of your final destination. Business planning is the same way. You must define the end in mind and clearly articulate your goals and vision before you can effectively create the strategies and plans to get you and your teams heading in the right direction. There is no value in jumping into budgets and planning if everyone is not in agreement on the overall direction of the business.
So what is your end in mind? Answer these questions:
- WHY does your business exist? This is your overall reason for being. And can take the follow form: We exist to ______________ so that ___________________. It includes your purpose and the impact you have on others outside your organization.
- What do we do? This is your mission.
- How do we do it? This is your vision.
- What is our exit strategy? Are we looking to sell? Go public? Hand off to next generation? (This may be private to owners.)
While many business owners are clear on their own answers to these questions, the answers may be less clear to others in the organization. The planning and budgeting process is the perfect time to review and document each of these items and to discuss how they come to life in your business. If there are newer members to the team, ask for their input about how these items were brought to life during the interview process and since they began working with the company. Then ask other members of the team for any stories that best represent individual aspects of the end in mind. Be sure to capture these stories and connect them to your planning documents.
Here’s how this might look for a sample business:
- We exist to deliver the kinds of financial services that empower minority-owned businesses to create sustainable success.
- And What we do is: We deliver Benefit Planning services and ongoing training and support.
- And How we do it: We charge an annual fee to support business owners proactively and ethically. We act as partners in their business success.
- Our Exit Strategy is: We plan to sell the business to current team members
Once you have your end in mind documented, you are ready to create your focus for the next year. Determine your financial, customer, operational, and people goals for the coming year and then determine how they will be supported through activities and measures in alignment with the end in mind you have articulated. The team at KRD can help you capture your end in mind and bring it to life for every member of your team through financial and operational planning.