Planning your business
This lesson is all about mapping out your journey. From to-do lists, to timelines, to tasks, it's time to break your big picture idea into the smaller details.
Social Entrepreneurs Discuss
In the video, we focused mainly on operational or pragmatic ways of planning. This section will provide you with some information about planning strategically. As you can see from the graph below, strategic planning can be split into five different parts. This chart will enable you to plan the development of new ideas and projects within your enterprises. [strategic planning cycle] 1. Goals What are your overarching goals? Think about what you ultimately want to achieve. An overarching go...
In the video, we focused mainly on operational or pragmatic ways of planning. This section will provide you with some information about planning strategically. As you can see from the graph below, strategic planning can be split into five different parts. This chart will enable you to plan the development of new ideas and projects within your enterprises.
What are your overarching goals? Think about what you ultimately want to achieve. An overarching goal may, for example, be to develop a project which supports young people living with autism in Wicklow town.
2. Desired outcomes
As the video expresses, desired outcomes can break down your overarching goals into smaller components. They allow you to have more tangible objectives. An example of a desired outcome could be to support three people living with physical disabilities to gain employment.
This is where you flesh out the idea and develop the concept or project in more detail. At this point, you may want to speak to different stakeholders within the organisation to co-produce the development of your strategy. Your strategy should be clear and accessible, allowing others to understand the concept more deeply.
4. Measures and targets
Reflect upon your initial goals and desired outcomes. How can you measure the impact created? Some things are easier to measure than others, such as creating a turnover of 10,000 euros. In contrast, other more qualitative goals, such as measuring the well-being created for beneficiaries, can be more difficult to define. Therefore, before you start the project, you should have a clear vision of how you will measure whether it has been successful or not.
During the project implementation, be sure to collect and collate the data. Without doing this, it is hard to gauge not only the social impact created but also if your targets have been met. Once you gather the results, reflect upon the different stages of the cycle. Remember that projects evolve, so if you don’t meet the targets, you initially planned, explore why this was the case, implement the feedback and learn from mistakes for the planning of future projects.
Project management and planning tools and mobile apps make it easier than ever to ditch the pen and go digital. Here is a selection of the best free and paid-for small business apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets that can help you with planning and managing your business more efficiently and effectively.
Co-writer of the Agile Manifesto, Jeff Sutherland is one of the world's leading experts of organisational management. He'll explain how to be agile, not just in software development but in every business to disrupt the field.
Complete the Gantt chart regarding key steps in developing your social enterprise. The Gantt chart includes the ten steps as explained in the above video but also gives you four blank spaces so you can personalise the first few months of your development journey. The second activity is a copy of the strategic planning cycle discussed in the further reading.
Once you have your overall goals in mind, the smaller steps should start to fall into place. Timelines should be detailed but flexible — don't let yourself get into a pickle when the inevitable obstacles throw themselves at you! Find a method that works best for you and your social enterprise, and log your progress so your team can move along the plan together.