A properly executed small business plan can positively impact business vitality and growth.
In part one Planning Is Core To Small Business Success- Part 1 of this planning two part series, we looked at why a business plan is core to success. In part two we’ll look at how to properly execute a plan.
The execution of a plan can be a grueling process that can either make or break a company. The first step towards building a successful business is establishing a sound plan; however, the buck doesn’t stop there. Companies are now faced with the often arduous task of executing what they have put down on paper. At this stage of the game the chance of company achieving success is measured by their ability to successfully implement an intelligent execution strategy.
Here are some strategies that companies can utilize to ensure a successful execution phase:
Create an organized infrastructure
Ensuring a successful plan execution is for owners to establish an infrastructure that serves as a system of checks and balances. Companies need to have regular meetings where they establish micro-goals, strategize, discuss and resolve problems, evaluate performance, and determine if they’re on-track with the initial plan.
Often times many companies fail in their plan execution because they either ignore or fail to identify potential problems that would normally present themselves if the time was taken to evaluate the company’s current progress. This practice allows companies to become more adept in identifying and responding to problems before it’s too late.
Maintain the focus and accountability of employees
It’s essential to maintain the focus and accountability of employees. A successful execution is heavily dependent upon the performance and attitude of employees. Companies that properly plan will assign roles and responsibilities to each employee in an effort to establish accountability; unfortunately, when the time comes to act, employees can sometimes lose track of what they’re accountable for.
These problems arise due to a number of reasons, such as lack of internal communication between owners and/or managers and employees, not believing in the company’s vision, failing to properly instill an ownership mentality amongst employees, and personal issues related to individual employees. Unlike larger companies that can sometimes tolerate a small amount of underperforming employees without the threat of serious consequences, smaller companies often can’t afford to have any underperforming employees.
In order to avoid these problems owners and/or managers should constantly reinforce accountability amongst their employees as well as their importance and value to the company. The bottom line is that the focus and motivation of employees must always be in line with that of the company’s goal.
Be sure to maintain composure when plans begin to go awry
Be sure to maintain composure when plans begin to go awry. A common problem associated with companies that are able to develop a stellar plan but fail in their efforts to execute is the tendency to deviate from their initial plan. In reality, plans don’t always unfold in the way that companies expect. Despite having a plan that takes into account various scenarios, there will always be both negative and positive externalities that can’t be anticipated.
Whether or not a company experiences a negative or positive shock, it’s imperative that companies maintain their composure and determine whether or not a pronounced change in direction is the appropriate course of action.
Unfortunately, some companies that find themselves in these types of situations fall victim to irrational behavior by deviating away from their original plan when the correct decision would have been to stay on course.
Planning Is Core To Small Business Success- Part 1 (part one of this two part article)