Business Planning

Business (Corporate) Planning is the process of deciding what tactical action and direction to take, in all areas of business activity, in order to secure a financial and market position commensurate with the strategic objectives of the organisation. To put it another way, it is the comprehensive planning for the whole of the business and involves defining the overall objectives for the organisation, and all the actions that must be adopted in order that those objectives are achieved.


If only we spent as much time doing our jobs, as we waste in these budget meetings, we would be a lot better off. This planning stuff is all very well, but has anyone ever worked out how much it costs? Anyway, all we can ever do is write down what we think will happen, then wait until it hasn’t happened, and finally argue about why it didn’t. Sometimes I wonder if it is all worthwhile.

Statements like these occur because:

In general it can be assumed that FIVE important features of Corporate Planning prevail, they are:

  1. Objectives and objective setting;
  2. Flexibility - the ability to be adaptable within the plan;
  3. Growth - anticipating opportunities for new markets;
  4. Synergy - the sum of joint efforts being greater than either one;
  5. Time span - the critical length of the plan - long termism is increasingly risk managed in today’s business environment.

Corporate planning is, like most business activities, only as good as the people who do it. Its methods and approach do, however, stack the cards in its favour. In nearly every business, competition and technical change has increased, is increasing, and will continue to increase, and won’t stop. It cannot be ignored, so better to be part of a success story through effective corporate planning than flounder with those competitors who have failed to grasp the nettle.

It really is the case that “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”.

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