Starting Your Business

Aspects of Planning in Running a Business

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

Planning in business is one of the four facets of management, the others being organizing, leading and controlling/coordinating. Effective planning entails carrying out specific tasks in different but related activities crucial to the business.

Planning in business basically involves an identification of objectives, goals, resources and methods required in accomplishing various activities.

Aspects of Planning in Running a Business

Planning also has to do with the assignment of responsibilities and timeframes within which the aforementioned activities must be completed. There are different ways in which planning in business is exemplified including business planning, strategic planning, planning for advertising and other promotional events, planning for production etc.

It is necessary to define what the various terms used in planning mean. Goals are those achievements that must be accomplished wholly or in partial combination such that a grander overall result may be achieved e.g. the achievement of a set annual sales target. Objectives on the other hand are those achievements that must be accomplished wholly or in partial combination such that set goals can be realized. In planning for business therefore, objectives are minor in comparison to goals.

Strategies/activities are those processes or methods that must be implemented for the attainment of set objectives and goals. Tasks are those specified actions that are assigned to individuals for completion as part of the overall strategy. Resources are those inputs that are required so that predetermined strategies and activities can be implemented. These inputs are quite diverse in nature and include labor, raw materials, technology, and of course money.

Planning in business is done in a stage-wise progression. The desired result is first identified and properly articulated. Next, the management takes stock of its capacities and analyzes the situation to ascertain that the attainment of that particular result is indeed feasible. If so, the goals and the strategies for the achievement of these goals are identified and established. The distinct tasks that must be done within these strategies are identified and timeframes are determined for their completion. The tasks are then assigned to individuals who will be required to accomplish these in the set time. A planning document is then created and communicated to all the concerned, signaling the start of the process. Upon success it is only apt to celebrate and acknowledge the effort.

To achieve success while planning in business you must set effective goals and objectives. The SMARTER acronym gives the best description for these i.e. they must be Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, Time Frame, Extending and Rewarding. The tasks for the same must be assigned to qualified and capable persons. Accountability is very much of the essence in planning for business.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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