Business and Strategic Marketing Planning Steps-Continued
Assumptions make Planning possible. Without the use of assumptions, it would be impossible; since planning deals with the "futurity of current decision-making" and events in the future are almost impossible to predict with unfailing accuracy; - Assumptions make Planning possible.
Overall objectives are the real crux of the Business and Marketing Planning Process. They deserve every last ounce of time and effort – often frustrating. The objectives form the umbrella under which the balance of the whole planning structure is built. Because of the key role they play they must be thought through and be expressed in the most specific and concrete fashion. In simplest terms an objective is … “what do you at your business want to accomplish?” Objectives are prepared to overcome weaknesses and threats developed in the WOTSUP Analysis and to exploit the opportunities and strengths.
To be of any appreciable value the primary objectives must be:
a.) Results oriented and time-phased b.) Measurable c.) Specific and quantitative d.) Consistent with each other e.) Challenging f.) Agreed upon by the principals of the business
Once the objectives have been developed, the preparation of strategies is the next step in the process. Strategies, must explain, in a broad sense, how the objectives will be achieved.
After the objectives and strategies have been developed, we must describe the work to be performed. The Action Programs must be very specific; what work is to be done, by whom, how and when.
The action programs when completed form the basis for budget preparation. Namely, the cost of each action and the revenues derived from the detailed actions generate the operating budget and cash flows for the Business Plan.
Many organizations confuse planning with budgeting. One important purpose of the budget is agreeing on as course of action ensures the business has adequate financial resources to function. Budgeting is about not failing, planing is about what is possible. Planning should be about considering contingencies and how to address them and of course integrating it across the business, which is important.