Corporate planning is critical in achieving the company’s long-term progressive goals and ensuring everyone is heading in the same direction. Corporate plans usually apply to broader, complex corporations. However, it is equally helpful to the growth of brand new businesses. It can help you map out strategies for company growth and identify ways to harness resources more effectively.
Despite its usefulness, creating a solid corporate plan is not easy. Fortunately, some tips can help in crafting effective corporate plans. Among them is learning what is corporate planning and its scope. To help you further, below are five helpful tips for putting together an effective corporate plan.
1. Distinguish corporate plan from business plan
Although these two are frequently associated, there are numerous points of distinction between them. Putting together an effective business plan requires understanding the difference between a business plan and a corporate plan.
A business plan is a business strategy to increase profits or sales. It details the business’s everyday operations and methods of obtaining daily operating resources. Corporate objectives are more comprehensive. It concerns the scope of business plans and the group’s overall growth down to its units or subsidiaries. The company’s long-term goals and objectives are definitively outlined, along with the roadmap to get there.
2. Conduct a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Completing this analysis helps evaluate not just the company but its stand in the market and the eyes of the competitors, allowing the creation of a fit strategy.
The technique helps determine the strengths and weaknesses to harness and threats and weaknesses to overcome. It assesses the business’s current landscape and identifies critical areas that may or may not require adjustments. Doing it right provides full awareness of the internal and external factors that may or may not be favorable to you. It also allows you to get a glimpse of the business’ bigger picture.
3. Set quantifiable objectives
When presented in quantifiable or measurable terms, goals and objectives are more likely to be achieved. These are realistic, time-bound targets and not vague, and subjective indicators. Specified performance targets within an equally fixed time frame make it easier for the company to track and manage progress. At the same time, when a goal is accomplished, it’s much easier to broaden it.
Examples of these are:
- Achieving 20% sales growth in a year
- Increase revenues by 15% by the year 2023
- Improve customer response time by 50%
- Establish three (3) training and development programs within a year
Some corporate plans are riddled with generalities, rendering them weak in the long run. Simply saying ‘to improve,’ ‘to increase,’ or ‘to achieve’ the goal without quantifiable measures does not convert the mission and plan into reality.
4. Strategize your roadmap
This goes hand-in-hand with the quantifiable objectives the company tries to pursue. Corporate plans are not restricted to setting goals; they also outline how they will be achieved, referred to as strategies. It functions too as a roadmap to where everyone is headed to.
After analyzing and developing a clear, long-range vision for the corporation, do what’s necessary and start with those that require changes. Your roadmap is the direction you determined to lead you to the plan you visualized. It outlines the tasks or objectives that must be completed within a specified timeframe.
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
Another critical tip for strengthening a corporate plan is the follow-up. This refers to the evaluation or review of the plan’s progress once they’re implemented. This is accomplished by noting deviations, acknowledging or incentivizing improvement, and following up on areas that require immediate attention.
Since corporate plans are typically lengthier than other business-related plans, the key is to remain consistent and vigilant. This way, issues and areas requiring adjustment are promptly identified and addressed.
Corporate plans are a continuous, dynamic process often challenging the willingness and involvement of everyone in a broader company. It requires time and commitment as it guides the company to move ahead. Indeed, they are sophisticated and complex, trying to address contingencies. But, it is well worth every step as it is vital for the business or company’s growth and overall success.