Phone: 01242 260066 | Email accountants@mitchells.org

Make your planning meetings count

At Mitchells we can provide businesses in the Cheltenham area with support and advice on a wide range of business issues. Here are some tips for making planning meetings more effective...

We are constantly being reminded that planning is the key to business success. 'Failing to plan,' the saying goes, 'is planning to fail.'

So every so often we dutifully gather our key staff in the conference room or hotel suite. We assemble the flip chart, distribute the Post-it notes, and begin the familiar ritual of brainstorming goals and objectives.

No change

At the end of the day we return to our offices with the next three months' goals:

'Become more customer-focused,' 'Improve procedures,' 'Strengthen teamwork' and so on. And of course nothing changes. So how can we make sure that our planning meetings really do have a beneficial effect on the business?

Avoid conference-speak

It is very easy to fall into the trap of communicating with each other in a detached 'conference-speak' that virtually ensures any goals or objectives we articulate are too vague to be implemented. The result is, of course, that such exercises gradually lose their credibility and the opportunity to make use of employees' energy to make significant progress is lost.

However, if approached in the right way, it is possible to make planning a meaningful activity that contributes to real improvements in both performance and profitability.

Five-point planning procedure

The overall objective of a planning exercise must be to set measurable goals to be accomplished within a specified period by implementing clearly defined procedures.

Try following this five-point procedure:

  1. Limit your wish list to two or three projects. Long lists tend to lead to unstructured business rather than measurable progress
  2. Avoid vague or clichéd objectives. Spell out in plain English precisely what is to be achieved, by whom and by what means
  3. Establish clear criteria for measuring progress and assign someone to do just that
  4. Specify how the plan may be modified, if at all, as it is implemented
  5. Agree a definite time and place to evaluate the final outcome - and be sure to conduct that evaluation

Progress in business does depend upon planning, but only if that planning is practical, measurable and subsequently implemented.

If you are in the Cheltenham area and are looking for support and help from experienced accountants and business advisers, contact Mitchells.

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Contact details

Office: 01242 260066

Company Registration No: 4161638
Company Registered in England and Wales.
Company details
Mitchell Glanville Limited
Registered Address: 41 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1HX

Mitchell Glanville Limited regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales If, during the provision of professional services to you, you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, we may be able to provide certain investment services where these are complementary to or arise out of the professional services we are already providing to you.

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