Implementing a business plan
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By Shawn Jackson  October 15, 2009 04:01 pm

Implementation of the business plan is a process involving aligning an organization’s actions and resources with its objectives. Business plan implementation means managing the action plans, establishing accountability, reviewing and measuring results and rewarding associates for the achievement of desired goals. Implementation should be viewed as step by step process.

Questions to ask
• What is the business vision?
• Who will be the leaders and “action takers” in your company?
• What are your short-term and long-term goals?
• What are the strategies and tactics to achieve the goals?
• Who will be responsible (inside and outside the business)?
• What is the timetable (schedule of the tactics)?
• What resources will be needed (people, money & time)?
• What are the expected outcomes (rationale basis & continuity)?
Even the best-written business plan can encounter difficulties once execution is underway. Identifying and understanding the factors leading to failed implementations can help avoid these pitfalls.
In addition to avoiding these pitfalls, effectively executing action plans involves managing resources and the environment in which implementation occurs. Implementing the business plan requires three critical management qualities: Cognizant and creative leadership; the ability to handle negotiations and resistance to change; and the ability to provide a constructive and positive work environment.

Making your business better
• Set priorities properly and in alignment with company resources.
• Track goals versus actual results and make course corrections and changes.
• Plan and manage the critical financial metrics that aren’t intuitive, not just profit and loss but the relationship to cash flow, balance sheet and ratios (frequency, efficiency and opportunity).
• Communicate your plan to others, like partners, employees, lenders and investors. You may have a great plan in your head, but as soon as you need to explain it to others you need to write it down.
The purpose of implementing and maintaining your plan is to use business results to guide your future decisions. The plan itself has no value if it doesn’t help you improve business, regardless of how good or bad, how brilliant the ideas, writing, or how elaborate the tables and charts. Its value is only as good as it assists you in making your business successful.

Shawn Jackson is a highly accomplished and results oriented business development attorney and instructor with over 30 years of broad-based sales, business development and marketing experience. He can be contacted through the California Business Development Center at 664-6464 consultants@californiabusinessdevelopment.com.

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