Essentials of a Business Action Plan

Essentials of a Business Action Plan

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You have a business plan in place, what provides a blueprint on how your enterprise will be run. Beyond the business plan, an action plan is necessary for carrying out your daily operation. Essentially, an action plan covers back office activities that your customers do not see and include the following activities.

Human Resources

Your employees are your most valuable assets. A human resources plan must be kept in place that covers a variety of procedures, including the hiring, training, promoting, compensating and the termination of employees.

Your HR department must follow guidelines that abide by company, government and regulatory requirements. It must include steps to carry out employee development through training and/or mentoring, provide equitable promotion opportunities for employees, and follow compensation guidelines. The action plan should also spell out steps the company must take when disciplining or terminating an employee.

Vendor Relations

Every company works with suppliers, vendors who provide materials and services to help the company run. The action plan should address how bids are accepted, including the parameters to receive bids and to choose a new vendor.

The company may also have a policy of attracting certain types of vendors that might normally not receive fair consideration. This can include woman- and minority-owned businesses. Instructions must be offered on how these bids are handled.

Daily Operation

Where your business is located, who works there and its operating hours should be included in the action plan. A facility manager should be identified or at least a point person assigned to track key distribution and to oversee security.

The daily operation plan can also include an emergency plan. Specifically, what would happen if the facility was damaged or destroyed? This can include instructions on backing up important data, notifying the insurance company and where and how an emergency team would be assembled advises Forbes.

Customer Service

How you treat your customers should be drilled into your employees. The methods you employ must be consistent across the company line.

Your action plan should spell out how customers are greeted, are served before and after the sale, and what return policy or other guarantees are in place. If you have a customer appeal procedure, then that must also be outlined.

Accounts Receivable

Keeping the cash flowing is essential to a healthy business. Without enough money coming in, your business will flounder. Procedures must be in place on how to collect money that is outstanding.

Those procedures may outline a discount for early payment. For instance, invoices may show 2/10 net 15, indicating a two percent discount for bills paid within 15 days. You should also outline steps for warning tardy customers including when notices will be turned over to collection.

Business Relations

An action plan can also include guidelines on how to present your business to other businesses as well as to the general community. It can include your public relations strategy.

That PR strategy should go beyond the day-to-day plan and include a crisis communications plan. Your team must know who to turn to in the event of an emergency, how to respond, including what to say and to whom.

Business Action Plan

A business action plan can keep your company focused on what it does. You can start off with a basic plan, adding more details later. The action plan should always be kept current, reflecting changes in the company’s policy.

See Also — The Fundamentals of a Three-Month Sales Plan

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