Starting Your Business

Planning in Business Management

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

Planning in business management is ideally no more different than what is done for other aspects in life. As a business owner you need to know what you have to achieve in the present and what you want for the business in the future. More than that, you have to know when, how, and who will do what you have in mind.

Planning is an integral part of any business' agenda to succeed.

Planning in Business Management

This is one of the foremost business tools that help to avert risks. Planning in business management is done for both the short and long terms.

In short term planning, which is typically meant for a year or less, the tasks involved include making plans for the advertising campaign, the setting of sales targets, etc. Long term planning on the other hand is done for longer periods of time, say 3, 5, or even 10 years. This aspect of planning is normally broad based and the scope may include issues like products/services range expansion and increased market coverage. Depending on the size of a business and the diversity of its products/services, planning may be done in the following levels:

Strategic company planning - This is the most basic level for planning in business management. It is at this stage that the business mission is defined alongside the long range goals and broad strategies that will be embraced to realize the same. The management considers the necessary factors needed to realize these ambitions including the financial requirements, labor, marketing aspects, research and development, and the production capacity.

Strategic business unit planning - This type of planning is usually adopted by larger establishments in addition to the aforementioned strategy. In strategic business unit planning the organization is divided into a number of units for the sake of creating more planning and operational efficiency. It is each of these created units that is subsequently known as a strategic business unit i.e. SBU. Each of these then goes about its own planning tasks.

Strategic marketing planning - This type of planning in business management deals with the goals and objectives of the impending marketing effort. The main tasks here include selecting the target markets and developing the four components of the marketing agenda i.e. the product/service, the price structure, the distribution system, and the promotional effort.

Small businesses will usually combine these three types of planning into one concerted effort.

Annual marketing planning - This part of planning in business management covers the annual marketing operations that will be put in place for a given product/service or a target market. It serves as a guide for each phase of the marketing effort to be implemented within the year.

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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