With your team established, it is time to put in place the necessary systems and processes to enable everyone to continually add value as a planning team. Just like within your business, you need to think strategically about how your team is structured, and what rhythm will work best for them and for you. Here are some structural components to consider for your planning team:
- Regular Meetings – Unless you have a major event happening such as a shareholder transition or business acquisition, you and your team should not need to meet formally more than once or twice a year – but be sure to meet at least once per year! This meeting should cover the strategic objectives you have for your business in the upcoming year, allowing your team to uncover issues that may arise or will need planning attention.
- Communication Policy – You should establish an agreed-upon communication policy within the team. For instance, you may want all team members copied on all e-mails that relate back to you and your business, so they know what others are working on. You may want to be copied on any conversations between various advisors, or you may want to only know what needs a decision from you! Whatever your preference, be sure it is clear and understood by the whole team.
- Who Does What – At your annual meeting, it needs to be clear who is responsible for each task. Ideally, each team member should briefly communicate the services they provide to you, which will ensure that all the necessary areas are covered, and you don’t have multiple people trying to tackle one area of focus. It also allows your team members to fully understand their role. When talking through a specific issue, the ‘to-do’ items should be clearly and specifically delegated out to the team to make sure everyone has the same expectations.
- A Quarterback – As we have mentioned before, your team needs a designated quarterback to develop meeting agendas, facilitate communication between meetings, coordinate services and move planning items along. They can also help you determine how to best allocate the team’s resources for your planning goals.
As with internal teams in your business, your planning team will thrive on trust and communication. Having a regular meeting cadence where team members can spend time together will help build trust and facilitate efficient communication within your team. Your quarterback can also be a unifier on the team, making sure all team members and following through on playing their roles for you.
An intentionally built planning team allows you to focus on your business while knowing you are not missing out on opportunities to optimize your situation, so be intentional and put a team in place that can help you capitalize on those opportunities!