“Big Things have Small Beginnings…”
Finally, the group was asked to reflect on how easy or difficult they think it will be to achieve their business planning goals and objectives.
The uncertainty of the current economic climate was frequently cited as making it difficult to plan. However, the creativity and persistence of the sector is apparent. Many people spoke about the value of breaking work down into small parts:
• Think about where to start
• Start with small nuggets of information – don’t aim for a polished plan straight away
• Get to the heart of the issues in a short document
• Sketch out what the plan is going to include even if you can’t develop the whole thing
• Focus on a couple of income targets that are ‘good enough’ for this year
• Focus on one area of change, e.g. Board review
• Look at the information you already have, e.g. in your organisation’s strategy, pull out what you need and organise it in terms of a business plan.
The session closed with reassurance that business planning is not a mystic art but really just a process of getting down onto paper all the stuff you already know in a logical way. Most importantly, it’s not just about the act of writing a document but about the collaboration and conversation that gets everyone on board with the process.