A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning

 Failing to plan is planning to fail.

This course provides a step-by-step guide to planning and implementing a strategic plan for your organization, department, or team. It leads you through exercises and activities to provide you with a developed business plan.

A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning is a practical approach to effective organizational planning. This is a comprehensive strategic business planning system.  Now you can create a unique business plan for your organization. It will be one that is jargon-free, that you and your team own and understand. Month by month it will become a working document for each part of the business - a growth tool for all. 

This course will lead you through a series of exercises and activities, the outcome of which will be a developed strategic plan which will enable you to communicate your goals to staff, customers, suppliers, and other organizations so that you may gain their support. This provides a straight-forward, simple, yet comprehensive approach to business planning. 

Follow the instructions, and you will benefit from an improved understanding of the planning process and through a greater commitment from staff to the business objectives to which they have contributed.


The Business Planning course is divided into two parts, Part One is the introduction and how the planning system works, and Part Two, the seven modules of the plan itself, concluding with an actual example to aid implementation. Examples, summaries, checklists, glossaries, and quality standards are included throughout the course.

The business planning exercises are threaded through the course which on completion becomes a working business plan. Below is a sample of some major content headings.



  • How A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning was developed
  • About the authors
  • How to use A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning

The Big Picture

  • The Basic Components of Team Performance
  • A Unified Sense of Direction
  • Strategy, or Long-term Goals
  • Outputs and Performance Measures
  • Feedback
  • Reward Systems
  • Targets
  • Training
  • Structure and Job Design
  • Systems & Processes
  • Communication

The Planning System

  • The planning system
  • Why business planning is important
  • Let's look at some of the reasons why businesses do not plan
  • What do business plans achieve?
  • A systems approach to planning
  • Understanding the terminology
  • Time frame
  • The planning system - the big picture
  • Business planning model


Section One: A Unified Sense of Direction

  • Values, vision, and mission: What are they, and what's the difference
  • The importance of focus and balance
  • Implementation of a unified sense of direction: Guidelines and pitfalls
  • Workbook exercises to develop values, vision, and mission

Section Two: Environmental Analysis

  • Environmental analysis
  • Example
  • Workbook exercises to complete a S.W.O.T. analysis

Section Three: Strategy Formulation

  • Why formulate a strategy for your organization?
  • How to formulate a strategy or strategic goals
  • Competitive advantage
  • Developing your business strategy
  • Workbook exercises to develop strategic goals

Section Four: Target Setting

  • Why set targets
  • Quality standards for effective targets
  • Common pitfalls when target setting
  • Workbook exercises to develop targets for strategic goals

Section Five: Financial Plans

  • When do we prepare financial plans?
  • Proposed financials
  • Why financials are important
  • Financial plans
  • Using your financial data to improve your business
  • Workbook exercises to develop financial plans

Section Six: Resource Requirements and Action Planning

  • Identifying resource requirements
  • Action planning
  • How action plans help achieve targets
  • Guidelines for preparing action plans
  • Pitfalls when developing action plans
  • Action planning - the logistics
  • Progress review meetings
  • Workbook exercises to develop action plans for selected targets

Section Seven: Evaluation

  • Steps in the evaluation process
  • Workbook exercises to evaluate the business plan

General: General

  • A complete example of a business plan (Example of a business plan is provided)

What our clients  say about A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning

Fundamental to the future development of my business. It is just what is needed to help get small business on track and to assist with growth and development. Mandy Forward, Leber Storage Systems

I looked at it and thought, hell, this is it. It was so elementary and straightforward, and it helped me sort out my thinking process. Danny Doubell Kempe International

I thought to myself, 'this all fits together so well'. I found your approach very easy to read, and whipped through it. It was presented in a clear and logical manner, and will certainly help me in my work. Angie Roger New Zealand Fire Service

This  is so well written and the jargon is very similar to what is used in this company. Errol Jaeger Superintendent Strategic Planning, Worsley Alumina

It is very impressive yet simple in concept and terminology. Of course, it is all 'common sense' - why is it that common sense is not common? Graeme Atwell, Station Manager Torrens Island Power Station


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