Welcome to the final blog on how to overcome the challenges of an industry in a downward spiral. If you have followed the advice in our previous blogs you will have:
a) To Minimise the impact of factors that affect your business adversely i.e. decrease sales, make it difficult to trade
b) To maximise all opportunities that increase business and help your business grow.
a) About what you would like to do with your products
b) About what you would like to achieve through your plan
If you are still unsure about your objectives and strategy the following article may help you http://www.learnmarketing.net/marketingplan.htm. This article defines a marketing plan and includes advice on strategy and evaluating your progress. Whilst http://www.learnmarketing.net/smart.htm will help you ensure that your objectives are
are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timescaled).
Write Your Plan
Now it’s time to write your plan. A typical plan will have the following headings
- What (Objective)
- How (Strategy)
- By when/Deadline
It may take several actions to achieve one objective. Decide whether it will be useful to list each objective or if they need to be summarised as one objective. It may also be useful to group similar objectives together
This is the section that you list the actions that make up your strategy. Do not confuse this with objectives; those need to be listed under what.
This is self explanatory i.e. where you are going to carry out the actions for example at a particular office or nationwide. Alternatively you may decide that the plan does not need to specify where, as the tasks are not location specific; they can be completed anywhere.
For each task decide the best person to complete it. List their name and job title in this section. It is worth including a job title just in case the person listed needs to be replaced. Review your list and make sure that the tasks are spread fairly across your team. When allocating tasks you may also need to consider each employee’s other commitments as well.
Decide when each task needs to be completed by. Build in some contingency (extra) time just in case something unexpected comes up. Will the amount of time it takes to complete a task depend on a third party e.g. an external supplier? Head office approval? If so build the amount of time you will need to wait for the third party (to complete something) into your deadline? Ensure that the tasks will be completed in the correct order for example; do some tasks need to be completed before others? Can some tasks be completed at the same time? Once you’ve filled in all of the dates. Review each one, is it realistic? Is there enough time to complete the job? Amend your dates based on the results of your review.
Formalise Your Plan and Give Your Plan Clout
Now that you have a plan it’s time to decide how you will make sure that it achieves its objectives. There are a number of things you need to consider when deciding how to do this.
- Do you need a project manager? A project manager is responsible for implementing the plan. They need to review progress on the plan and let everybody know what is going on. A project manager needs to have excellent interpersonal skills as they need to motivate and persuade people.
- Who will the project manager or team report progress to? If progress is regularly monitored by another person (usually a senior employee) it is more likely to stay on track.
- Do you need a project sponsor to give you clout? A project sponsor is usually a senior manager or director so that their status/position can be used to persuade “reluctant” people within and outside the firm
- Communication – Who does the plan need to be communicated to? If people are aware of the plan, it will help when you need them to complete a task for you. If the plan involves a situation that is important to the firm communicating the plan will reassure and motivate people. For example carrying out business in an industry that is struggling in the current economic climate. Communicating the plan to the firm’s employees is also a good opportunity to gain feedback about your plan and revise it if necessary.
We hope you enjoyed the final edition in this series of blogs. Good luck with your plans and remember to tell others who might find the blog useful. Please visit again soon.