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Determine Your Business-Planning Team Guidelines

As soon as you’ve selected your business planning team, you need to establish procedures that spell out exactly how the team is to carry the work out. The clearer the ground rules means the smoother the process — and the happier your team. Make sure that your ground rules address these three points:

  • Identify key steps. The process of writing a business plan usually includes five steps: research, first draft, review, revised draft, and final review. You may want more or fewer drafts and review opportunities, but make sure you specify the steps that fit your situation and spell them out upfront.

  • Establish a schedule. The process of writing a business plan doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. In fact, it shouldn’t be. A business plan has to be timely, which means it needs to respond to the business environment as it is — not the way it looked six months ago.

    After the preliminary research is complete, the rest of the steps are fairly straightforward. To keep your project on track, set due dates for each component of the plan and each step in the process. Give the members of your team as much time as they reasonably need — but no more.

  • Assign duties. Make sure that all team members know exactly what you expect of them, including which components or sections you want them to assemble and when drafts and reviews are due.

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