By: Kevin Gardner
A business plan is a document without a final version. It is constantly evolving as new opportunities open up, and as strategies change. If a business plan was always the same, your business wouldn't have a chance to adapt to changes in technology, changes in the economy, and changes in consumer demand. As your business plan evolves, changes, and goes through quarterly updates, it not only benefits your business's growth, but it improves productivity and workplace culture, and here's how:
1. Set Deadlines for Goals
Business plans are fairly detailed documents, which is why some business plans are as thick as a book. It's a written guide for how your business operates, and as such it keeps your business on track.
As you update your business plan every few months, you should also share parts of it with your employees, including your set deadlines. When employees know deadlines, it not only makes it easier for them to work together to make sure deadlines are met, but it helps them to work better as a team. This in turn increases productivity.
2. Understanding the Mission
Your business plan should include your company's mission. Every company has a mission, and knowing that mission can help you stay on track and build an identity around that mission.
Mission plans also improve workplace culture. It gives employees a purpose. When they understand why they are doing what they do, they take more pride in their work as well as a positive impression of the company.
If your company doesn't have a mission statement, form a committee of employees, supervisors, and managers, and come together to brainstorm so you can develop a mission statement. It's possible your employees are seeing a bigger picture you have yet to see.
3. Makes Employees a Part of the Business
When you share your business plan with your employees, they feel like they are trusted, and they also feel like they are important. Some companies treat employees like nothing more than hired help. When employees feel like they are actually an important piece of the whole machine, it improves employee morale and increases employee retention.
Keep a copy of the business plan within every department so anyone can review it. If there is information in your plan that you feel should be kept more confidential, provide a revised copy. It will stay with all the pertinent details that concern the employees. It also opens up the opportunity for employees to ask informed decisions.
4. Realistic Milestones
Your business plan should include milestones. Milestones are stepping stones to achieving a larger goal. Milestones also make a larger goal appear more achievable. When employees can see they are taking realistic steps to reach a goal, they have a clear roadmap to success.
Reaching milestones always gives employees a reason to celebrate. As your company reaches milestones, congratulate the employees, and provide incentives, such as small bonuses, or office parties. Not only do milestones increase productivity, but they also improve workplace culture.
5. A Future for Growth
A business plan gives your employees faith in your company. When they know you are continually planning for their future, and that future includes plans for growth, they feel secure in their job roles.
A business with an optimistic outlook for the future is a business that exudes success. Working for a business that is focused on goals and a future is better than focusing on how you'll ever achieve success, which is what businesses without a business plan do.
Your business plan serves so many vital purposes for your company, it should always be at the forefront of each day. Have your plan easily accessible so you can review it on your own and you can review it with other employees.
It will also help employees if you have meetings every time the business plan is updated. While this may seem like you are slowing productivity, it will actually provide fuel to keep employees engaged and on task.
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