This is the first blog of our series titled “Seats at the Planning Table” in which we will explore the who, what, when and why behind organizing a planning team for your business. In this series, we are not talking about your “in the business” strategic planning team, but your “on the business” planning team.
This team will be made up of various outside advisors and some internal team members. We will get to the makeup of this team in the next blog, but for now we need to answer the questions: what should this team do?
Consider the following list of planning areas that this team should be focused on:
- Your Why – We always start with why. Your team needs to first understand what is most important to you and what you are trying to achieve in the long-term. This understanding sets the stage for planning priorities and gives context for strategizing around risks and opportunities within your business.
- High Level Financials and Forward-Looking Strategy – This team needs to understand your high-level financial position to identify planning risks and opportunities. They also need a clear understanding of your forward-looking strategy and what financial resources that may take. If you are planning to open a new headquarters down the road, this would drastically alter your financial management versus if you were looking to maximize your personal return on equity for the business.
- Risk Management – You are relying on this team to help you avoid risks inherent to your business. This takes the form of insurance protection, legal agreements, and financial capital management. It also requires discernment around how to address and quantify different types of risk within your business.
- Succession/Exit Planning – What do you need to be doing now to be best prepared for whatever your ‘endgame’ is? This area of planning should include advice on company valuations, your personal financial situation and how to best position the company for a successful future transition, whether internal or external.
- Retaining Key Employees – Drawing on their varied experiences, this team can give valuable insight on how to retain key employees, whether in the cultural sense or in the financial sense. They can also help discern where your next-gen talent lies and what roles the company will need into the future.
Depending on the circumstances at any given time, conversations with this team may revolve around any combination of the above topics. That is why having a regular, consistent team is so vital, so they can help you identify what your priorities should be at the top of the list, based on what is going on in your business. Establishing a regular agenda and rhythm will ensure that you do not lose sight of any vital planning areas.
So then, who should be a part of your planning team? Stay tuned for part 2!