Business Planning is the process of translating an organisations Strategic Plan (see diagram) into a plan that is designed attain the objectives and goals that have been set in the strategic plan.
The business planning phase of the strategy creation process focuses on the activities that have been identified as being critical to the attainment of the strategic objectives, goals and ultimately the vision.
The natural outcome of the process is can written Business Plan. This is an extension of the business planning process where the strategic plan is further refined and developed into a coherent structure that has much more focus on the activities – the actions, programmes and projects – that are directly linked to attaining the stated objectives, goals and ultimately the vision for the future of the business.
A business plan is a written document that can be used for multiple purposes, the most common one is to be presented to prospective investors to gain funding. While this is obviously a valuable use of this resource, it should not end there. The business plan is not something that is stuffed in a drawer never to be seen again.
To be of real value to the business, the business plan should be used as a constant point of reference in the day-to-day decision making process within the business. This means that it should be primary document that is used to implement the plan. It should also play a key role in creating a measurement system that allows you to ensure the implementation is achieving the expected results.