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Business Planning Process and Techniques

Planning is defined as the act of formulating a course of action. The business process involves defining the company’s objectives and goals and the determination of the necessary resources that may be needed to achieve the objectives and goals. The business process is important because in order to achieve any vision, there is a requirement for concrete and coordinated efforts that conform to a wider organizational plan. On the other hand, business techniques involve a specific action or strategy that utilizes skills and experience in matters related to the company’s day-to-day operations. In this essay, the topic is on planning processes and techniques. The essay includes the use of real-life business examples.

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Planning Process

Planning is a set of tasks laid in advance to cover a certain activity, and it involves adherence to the company’s mission and vision statement. When planning, a company must use business strategic techniques so that the entire plan can come to success. For example, Rakuten indulged into online marketing, a strong phenomenon of e-commerce, and expanded its virtual shops across all the regions beyond Japan and Asia. The idea to expand is a plan that must be implemented by putting in place required bits of information and any other relevant paraphernalia. To execute the plan, Rakuten used techniques such as selling their brand more by having discounts, coupons, premiums, among other techniques that made more online consumers aware of their portfolio. Several steps are passed in systematic planning processes, as discussed below.

Definition of Objectives

Objectives, in this case, are those related to business. It is something that a company wants to achieve or accomplish for a given period. Examples of objectives are to earn profits, cover a wider market share, grow the products and services, provide quality products to prospects and protect the environment. Objectives can be long-term or short-term, depending on the same nature. Additionally, they can be economic, social, human, national, and global. Economic objectives, in this case, mean those that are meant for earning a profit; social objectives are designed to benefit the company’s welfare and society. An example of a social objective would be ensuring there are production and supply of quality products and services. National objectives benefit the country and could be things like offering more investment opportunities, among other considerations.

Determination of Where a Company Stand

It means analysis of the company’s financial position where the company’s value and financial statements are derived. The other determination would be the company’s position in the market by analyzing the brand recognition, demand, and supply of the products offered, what consumers are saying about the company’s goods, among other things. For example, Starbucks, a fast-food chain specializing in hot beverages, specifically coffee, wanted to know its position in the market. They did that by checking demographics such as the number of people interested in buying their coffee over the other rival firms, the kind of reaction consumers have when they get services from employees, and whether or not they can meet the demand of buyers’ time.

Development of Premises Regarding Future Conditions

At this step, a manager is expected to make some assumptions about the future. The assumptions can be base material by which plans are to be executed. That can be informed of forecasts, current plans, etc., to develop premises; it is important to forecast as that technique provides and gathers information. The end game here would-be successful plans from accurate forecasting that aims at placing the firm in the right place.

Analysis of Alternatives

One of the planning process determinations of the substitutes is ensuring there is sustainability in the business. A serious company about maintaining the mission and vision does not indulge only in one product or service. The firm can decide to have minor business elements to use as a major substitute; in any case, there is a risk of product or service collapse. An example is Uber that no longer relies on taxi services to individuals and has alternatives services such as the delivery of food through Uber Eats. The strategy is better because people will always need food instead of traveling all the time.

Plan Implementation and Results Evaluation

Implementation involves turning the business techniques and skills into actions to accomplish objectives and goals. Implementation requires the performance of the tasks by doing according to the plan. In the example of Rakuten’s objective given above, the company can decide to implement that by successfully opening virtual correspondent shops in other countries. Implementation has outcome and most of the times there are benefits that company and the shareholders realize.

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Benefits of Planning

  1. Planning enables an organization to be proactive and foresee their future; therefore, prepare accordingly. A company can anticipate certainties or uncertainties before happening, hence knowing how to accommodate them.
  2. It gives a sense of direction that a firm can follow. For example, it allows a company to follow specific objectives and goals corresponding to the mission and vision statement.
  3. It leads to operational efficiency because management has a roadmap to follow the functional tasks that are made to achieve goals.
  4. Planning helps to increase market share by noting valuable insights about the current trends in consumer buying behavior. For example, Pepsi increased market share by adding the favorite flavors to suit consumer needs.
  5. It ensures business thrive and durability because business is a dynamic concept that involves a constant change in world markets and industries.

Planning and Time Management

As indicated above, plans can be long-term or short-term. Therefore, time management is vital as it allows a company to do the right activity at the right time by the right personnel. Managers have used strategic plans that follow a certain time range, such as short-term and long-term plans taking three and six months, respectively. Sticking to the plans and schedules is a key virtue in the process. Managers need to build the variables by effectively predicting possible implementation outcomes on time or late. One of the common examples of time management in the planning process is when firms plan the workforce by delegating duties and shifts. The shifts ensure employees do not work for fewer or more hours, and the duties ensure that they are engaged to the company’s goals.

Conclusion

The planning process is the course of action taken by measuring the company’s objectives and goals. It is implemented by using the right techniques and steps. Some of the steps include objective formulation, determination of where the company stands, among others. The benefits of planning include increased operational efficiency, relevant firm business direction, etc. Time management is essential in the planning process as it ensures duties are carried at the right time and follows the company’s goals and objectives. All managers should utilize relevant business planning processes and techniques to answer business collapse, rivalry, and improvement of product or service lines.

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