Critical Elements of Business Planning – Part 2

In the ever-increasing competition in the IT business world, it can be difficult to determine which technology and business initiatives or programs are worth pursuing, spending more time investigating or eliminating altogether. So what are the critical elements of business planning that can make it easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any new business initiative that you are undertaking? Let’s take a look at some of them.

Operations

The question that one should ask is, Can operations be consistently and reliably delivered over time? You must demonstrate that the offerings element can be duplicated consistently and reliably. What also comes into play in operations element is the ‘organizational chart’ or the different roles. Ask yourself, “who needs to do what along each step of the journey, and what are the skills and capabilities that they need to do it successfully?”

Finance

The question that one should ask is, Are the financial rewards worth the investment of time, money and resources required? Factors such as how much financial investment is required, the projected return or investment or rate of return, the length of the payback period, and network present value should be looked into. Think about what other opportunities you would have to skip if these returns cover the cost of capital while also looking at the opportunity cost.

Competition and Co-operation

The question that one should ask is, Why should your potential client get this product or service from you and not someone else? Even if no one else is offering it, why should someone buy from you after someone starts offering it after they see you delivering it? It is also critical that you properly define your competition to be successful in addressing this element. Competition is anyone competing for the same dollar of your client. Lastly, find a way to switch this element from competition to cooperation, to work cooperatively with people who you thought were your competitors.

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