An introduction to planning your future needs

Sound planning underpins all income generation strategies. This section will enable you to identify the key stages of developing and implementing a plan, including analysing and preparing for any potential risks, think about how to define and assess outcomes, and how marketing can be used both to generate income and extend your reach.

What does planning mean?

Forget planning as a purely bureaucratic, number-crunching or statistical exercise. Planning is a continually challenging yet energising journey, beginning with big vision, ending in specific service delivery.

Certainly numbers are an essential component. But planning starts with vision and ideas. And planning should be seen as an invigorating process: it is about taking a thorough look at an organisation top to bottom and inside out.

Planning can, and should be, a creative, energetic, even enjoyable activity.

There are many different methods of moving through the planning process but broadly speaking it can be seen as a three part process:

  1. Beginning with the defining of a mission and building of a vision
  2. Moving on through defining and setting objectives
  3. Developing and writing annual plans and budgets, arriving at the final destination – the specifics of product/service delivery and the implementation of the planning process

Put another way, the planning process or continuum takes an organisation through three broad questions

  • What are you here for?
  • What should you do?
  • How do you actually make that happen?

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