Prepare a business plan for growth

Business plans for each department

Guide

If your business has grown to contain a series of departments, each with its own targets and objectives, you may need to draw up a departmental business plan.

Department plans

A departmental manager will typically write a business plan for their department, usually under guidance from the business owner. Some people prefer to call it an operational plan. Whatever the name, such plan may:

  • detail any current responsibilities or commitment of the department
  • include a SWOT analysis of the department
  • analyse previous performance
  • collect and review historical information on income and expenses
  • create financial forecasts
  • determine departmental goals and initiatives
  • align individual plans with wider business strategy
  • draft tactical plans and propose budget, resource, timescales, etc

The manager will then have to agree how their plan fits with other departments, solicit feedback, negotiate - if needed - with senior management, and secure approval. It's important for each department to feel that they are a stakeholder in the plan.

Each department's budgets and priorities must fit in with those of the entire organisation. Department plans need to be more specific than the overall business plan. It's important that you set realistic and achievable objectives for each department.

Find best practices to help you measure performance and set targets.

Align department-level plans with strategy

You should aim to combine the individual departmental plans into a single strategy document for the whole organisation. This can be complex, but it's vital if each department is going to work towards the overall goals of the business.

Drawing up a business plan that unites all the departments requires co-ordination. Make sure all departments are using the same planning template.

Read more about strategic planning for business growth.

Departmental planning is not just an issue for large businesses. Many small businesses consist of separate departments working towards different strategies. Read about decentralised organisational structure.