10 Tips for Your Business or Startup

September 5th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Strategy 0 thoughts on “10 Tips for Your Business or Startup”

Strategically planning and managing your business can be challenging – especially if you’ve never worked with tools like Plan Canvas, or used the kinds of planning and management concepts supported by it.

We emphasize that strategic management is as important as strategic and business planning, which is why it is key for you to maintain information, record actual achievements after you’ve defined targets, and keep identifying, managing, and closing objectives, initiatives and action items.

At first brush, all of this can feel a little overwhelming – especially if you are doing it without the assistance of someone who’s been there before and done it.
We like to say that it doesn’t matter how you define success, but it’s critical that you do.

With that in mind, we’ve made things flexible enough that you don’t have to bite off everything at once. Ease in to things. Here are a few tips for startups and for existing businesses.

Tips for Existing Businesses

  1. Complete as much as you can under “Organization” – This is simply a place for you to describe your business.
  2. Record a few Action Items and begin tracking them – Action Items are more than a “To Do” list – they include the “to do”, who it’s assigned to, when it’s due, and what its status is (you can assign Action Items to anyone, inside or outside of your organization and whether they are Plan Canvas users or not)
  3. Notify anyone to whom you have assigned an Action Item – let them know they will start receiving automated email notifications from Plan Canvas
  4. Define a few Strategic Initiatives (Strategic Plan) – These are projects that require time and money over and above your typical day-to-day business activities (for example: Develop a social media strategy)
  5. Produce a Progress Report (Excel) every week to start looking at any items with a due date – Start using this report to run your regular team meetings
  6. Define a few Strategic Goals and Objectives (Strategic Plan) – The Strategic Plan is designed to close the gap between your long–term vision and today’s reality (think of Goals as destinations and Objectives as measurable accomplishments)
  7. Define one to three Financial Objectives (Business Plan) – The Business Plan is designed to help you define targets and how you are going to manage the business in a 12-month financial period
  8. Walk backwards from there and define one to three Sales/Marketing Objectives (these should be based on what you need to market and sell in order to meet your Financial Objectives.
  9. Now define one to three Operating Objectives and one to three Staffing Objectives
  10. At this point you have defined success on your terms (through everything measurable and with due dates) – Now you can begin filling in the additional components of the business plan to document how you will get there.

Tips for Startups

  1. Complete as much as you can under “Organization” – This is simply a place for you to describe your business.
  2. Define a few Strategic Goals and Objectives (Strategic Plan) – The Strategic Plan is designed to close the gap between your long–term vision and today’s reality (think of Goals as destinations and Objectives as measurable accomplishments)
  3. Define a few Strategic Initiatives (Strategic Plan) – These are projects that require time and money over and above your typical day-to-day business activities (for example: Develop a social media strategy) – You can assign Strategic Initiatives to anyone, inside or outside of your organization and whether they are Plan Canvas users or not.
  4. Notify anyone to whom you have assigned a Strategic Initiative – let them know they will start receiving automated email notifications from Plan Canvas
  5. Record a few Action Items and begin tracking them – Action Items are more than a “To Do” list – they include the “to do”, who it’s assigned to, when it’s due, and what its status is (you can assign Action Items to anyone, inside or outside of your organization and whether they are Plan Canvas users or not)
  6. Produce a Progress Report (Excel) every week to start looking at any items with a due date – Start using this report to run your regular team meetings
  7. Define one to three Financial Objectives (Business Plan) – The Business Plan is designed to help you define targets and how you are going to manage the business in a 12-month financial period
  8. Walk backwards from there and define one to three Sales/Marketing Objectives (these should be based on what you need to market and sell in order to meet your Financial Objectives.
  9. Now define one to three Operating Objectives and one to three Staffing Objectives
  10. At this point you have defined success on your terms (through everything measurable and with due dates) – Now you can begin filling in the additional components of the business plan to document how you will get there.

Tips for Everyone

  1. Produce Progress Reports weekly
  2. Review the Action Items and Strategic Initiatives (from the Progress Report) weekly
  3. Review the Business Plan Objectives monthly (from the Progress Report)
  4. Review Strategic Objectives quarterly (from the Progress Report)
  5. Review Strategic Goals twice per year (from the Progress Report)
  6. Frequently make all updates in the software, not on paper or within the electronic files produced from Plan Canvas!

You can do all of these things in Plan Canvas. Click here to see a demo. Good luck and let us know how it’s going!

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