Digital Organizational Planning For Small Business
While doing some research for this article I found some good info on definitions of organizational planning but there weren't any articles that seemed to take this definition and update it for today's day and age.
Planning short and long-term objectives with specific strategies to meet your goals ends up being a part of the process whether we are conscious or not.
What becomes interesting is how we take this idea and apply it to online businesses.
How do you develop and work with your team if everyone is remote? How do you communicate the development of a product or service when your coworkers have a 12 hour difference? Are there new financial tools that allow us to make better predictions for growth?
What Is Digital Organization Planning?
The core of organizational planning is the same for any business, large or small.
The goal is to come up with strategies for different areas of your business like finance, personnel, products, expansion, etc. that you will follow for whatever amount of time you feel is appropriate. One year, five years, ten years.
By setting out a specific vision for the business you are able to measure your progress throughout the given timeline to see if you are on track and meeting your goals.
But as the growth of online entrepreneurs continues, the traditional methods of meeting at the long table in the middle of the room with coworkers for planning sessions is changing.
Digital organization planning happens in your home on a computer with other people around the world on their computers.
Or it happens in libraries, restaurants, co-working spaces, or coffee shops.
So what is available for entrepreneurs in order to be as effective at organizational planning as other, larger companies.
What Makes Online Different?
If you're running an online business than chances are some of your coworkers are living all across the world.
That would make it difficult for traditional models to create a plan for with dedicated online meeting places there is an abundance of options.
Zoom is a great conferencing software that you can easily download on your computer in order to host virtual meetings with several people at the same time. This is great for all kinds of meetings but not your best option if you have dedicated full time/part-time employees.
Slack is a popular collaboration software for businesses with dedicated teams. Not ideal for connecting with freelancers and potential clients like Zoom, Slack offers a great place for your team to communicate and be connected on specific projects.
Github, Google Drive, and Dropbox are all great online storage centers where your team can share files needed for financial planning or displaying products or updated content to the team.
Marketing is an area that has changed dramatically with the growth of online businesses.
When making an organizational plan for your small business it would be crazy to not include plans for a website, social media, email, etc.
Traditional methods of advertising on radio, tv, and newspapers are quickly becoming obsolete while Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and influencers are needle movers in the online world.
Sales funnels created entirely online have removed the need for large teams that require a huge amount of resources.
Digital organizational planning can also be solo. Entrepreneurs with easy access to resources and low barriers to entry can now start a business anytime they want.
I love going to my local library and reserving a private room in order to focus on creating a vision and plan for my business.
What Are Some Good Strategies?
I just mentioned going to the local library and reserving a free room for a solo planning session and I find this to be incredibly useful for my own practice.
You could also essentially do this at a co-working building in your area or any quite little area. I do suggest leaving your home if you work remotely because I find getting out of your comfort space gives you a different mindset that can be useful.
If you are meeting with others then make sure everyone has used the online platform that you will be meeting through before the actual meeting takes place.
Logging into a new platform can take time and be stressful and you want to make sure everyone is coming together with a great mindset.
Before you have your planning session make sure you create an outline that you can follow throughout the meeting. You should also have a time keeper to ensure that everything on the agenda gets addressed.
I would also make sure all documents are shared to all members ahead of time so that they have time to check if the documents are opening on everyone's computers.
Don't let the idea of meeting online to keep you from trying to do something special for your planning session. You may not be able to bring in pastries or kombucha but send out a personalized email to everyone after the meeting thanking them for their time.
You could also make a social media post on your accounts tagging and acknowledging everyone for their hard work.
Just try to do a little something extra since you don't have that personal touch to give!
Traditional organizational planning doesn't work in the online world. Online entrepreneurs can't meet in large conference rooms around a big table.
They need online meeting places like Zoom or Slack for their remote coworkers.
They need file sharing capabilities through platforms like Github, Dropbox, and Google Drive in order to work on new projects or get updates for the latest finance reports.
The push into this new definition of digital organizational planning will help small businesses understand where they can improve and scale the same effective planning that has always been traditionally valued.
If you are running your online business and have some thoughts to add to the convo, comment below so we can understand your insights!
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If you need some help setting up your online presence and organizing your business then contact me and I'll help you find a better path for where you want to be! Good luck and keep putting one foot in front of the other!