Who’s Responsible for Your Quarterly Plan Success?
“The buck stops here.”
~ Harry S. Truman
By now you’ve probably heard about the importance of making a quarterly plan for your business, and you may well have a beautifully laid-out document ready to implement. You’ve probably asked yourself what assets your business has and examined the best ways to leverage those assets.
So who’s responsible for the success of that quarterly plan?
The quick and obvious answer, of course, is… you! It’s your show. You’re the headliner, because it’s your company after all.
However, the quick and obvious answer isn’t always the best one. Even if you’re a one man/one woman show, you still have to rely on suppliers and retailers and third-party vendors. You may rely on partnerships and media contacts. You’ll rely on the software that powers your computer networks and the code that helps your social media content look its best.
The situation becomes even more complex when you grow enough to have employees. Since it’s almost impossible for one person to know it all, you’ll likely depend on a team member’s expertise in fields like logistics, graphic design and human resource management. So who do you rely on?
It’s a big, interconnected world, which means we all rely on somebody. Asking the question is not an admission of failure, but rather a way to examine the production bottlenecks that may impede your future growth. It’s a way of asking ‘what if’ and planning accordingly, which is an essential component of any good business plan.
Is the wholesale firm you’ve been using able to keep up with the needs of your growing company? What will you do if a key employee leaves on short notice or a long time supplier leaves the industry? Can your IT people keep ahead of the technology curve or will you need to outsource? How will new software affect your workflow? What if you have to redesign your production processes due to a vendor changing theirs? These are just a few of the factors you may have to potentially look at.
Another thing to keep in mind is emergency planning. It’s wonderful to imagine that everything will fall into place, but the reality of business is that things seldom go exactly the way we want them to. How will you handle things if a product flops at launch or technical problems unexpectedly arise? Do you have someone you can count on with the experience and skill to handle the situation or will you have to rely on your own resources to turn things around?
A good business plan examines contingencies and takes into account variables that may change. In other words, you not only need a great plan, but you need a great plan B as well. Take a look at your business, and identify the people whom you rely on the most. Remember that every business is ultimately a people business, so take these people into account when you make your business plan.