An action plan is a business management tool that helps the manager move his business from point “A” to point “B”; in other words, determine the steps toward the goals set for the business.
To exemplify this with market data, according to the report Ecommerce Trends 201894% of e-commerce companies intend to increase their marketing investments to improve their business results.
That is, their focus is on improving revenue, and investing in marketing is one of the actions necessary to achieve that goal. In this case, of course, it is still necessary to determine the expenses, other elements of influence and who will be responsible for this effort.
The action plan is so practical and efficient that even self-employed professionals use the tool to organize their careers and personal activities.
But to get good results, it must be well designed and understood. In this post, we show what you need to know about developing an action plan. Join us!
What is the action plan?
The first step to its use is understanding its concept, after all, there are several models, support tools and ways to build it. It is a management tool that lists, in topics, what actions are necessary to achieve a goal.
This allows you to break down a company’s central goal into a variety of tasks, organize them chronologically, and determine who will be responsible for accomplishing them, for how long, with what resources, and budget.
It is a widely used tool and therefore many applications and systems were developed with its principles of organization and shared responsibility. Here are some of them:
With this application, it is possible to register teams and tasks in a calendar that organizes activities, indicates who is responsible for completing them and allows the inclusion of attachments that are crucial for the achievement of an action plan.
So, if a business decides to create an action plan for an upcoming event, it can list:
- who will be responsible for management;
- indicate the deadlines for completing each step;
- attach supplier’s budget;
- establish deadlines for decision-making, among other details.
Also very well known, Trello has the same functionality as Todoist and other solutions. It allows you to determine whether or not the step has been completed, create alarms about a deadline approaching, as well as different classifications for tasks.
In other words, a manager can create lists and action plans for different aspects of his life, professional or personal, and manage everything in a single application in an organized and efficient way.
We could mention other applications, such as Schedule Planner and Evernote. In addition to the organization of actions, they ensure the productivity of the people involved.
Let’s take a closer look at their contributions to the business!
What are the main benefits of the action plan for companies?
The action plan brings excellent results to the business, even if it is used to organize only the actions of your manager, for example. Among his earnings, we can list:
Break larger goals into smaller steps
Aiming for a big goal in small phases makes it more feasible to achieve and brings gains to the emotional aspect.
This is mainly because small victories are attractive and make the professional see their activities with more control over the difficulties and challenges of the moment.
Organize deadlines and priorities
Some actions are more urgent or necessary than others at each stage of the business, and having them all assigned allows the manager to determine the order of execution with greater precision. Therefore, the progress of the plan will be optimized, avoiding rework or delays.
The most capable professional is chosen for each role
The use of the action plan and the consequent segmentation of tasks ensures that the company can also determine the responsibilities of each member of its team according to their specialties.
In addition, it makes it clear to all employees what responsibilities they must work with, as well as an understanding of the steps on which the success of their executions depends. This creates a sense of commitment to teamwork.
The routine is organized
Action plans can also be used for recurring tasks in a company. It can be used, for example, by a Digital Marketing agency that wants to determine which first actions in digital media and social networks should be scheduled for their new clients.
Using apps like Todoist, you can create different teams, determine which teams will be responsible for driving actions for each customer, what actions need to be taken, and replicate this model every time new deals are closed.
How to make an action plan?
To make a good plan of action or evaluate which applications and tools are more compatible with business dynamics, it is important to understand what its steps and process are.
The first moment of the plan is to determine all the actions required for the execution of the project.
So, if the goal is to double sales, the basic requirement of the survey is to list the needs, such as:
- team building,
- the exchange of machinery,
- develop a good content plan for the correct application of Content Marketing,
- the organization of campaigns in Google Ads,
- as well as other changes involved.
Execution and monitoring of actions
In these phases, those responsible for executing each task, the delivery time, the elements that will be necessary for its execution, among other aspects, are determined.
You can use traditional Excel spreadsheets, Google Calendar, or productivity apps like the ones in the previous topics.
However, at each stage completed, monitoring will notify the start of the next stage, ensuring that the schedule is completed successfully.
Conclusion and analysis of results
With the end of the action plan, it is necessary to evaluate the results, what points could have been improved in the strategy, as well as if the model can be replicated in similar projects in the future. This will ensure the standardization and optimization of future actions.
An action plan can bring significant results in cost optimization, better service and customer relations, and, of course, productivity and sales for the business. It can also be used as a basis for marketing strategies.
Do you want to know how to design an action plan that determines the actions to be taken, their characteristics and the determination of responsibilities? Check out this complete marketing plan guide!