The Rule of Three in Business Planning

By Paul Byrnes

There are plenty of “justifiable” reasons to not plan. We are too busy. We can’t take time out to plan. We are not sure exactly how to plan. We have been successful and are good at adjusting as needed. However, without a business plan to change, update or target something new, we can get stuck in a rut.

Build a strategy with tactics that will help you achieve your goals. That’s it. Keep it simple so it doesn’t take forever to build – and because the plan will almost certainly require adjustments as it plays out.

I like the rule of three because it helps keep things manageable. Compile three goals the entire company can focus on, three goals each department can focus on and three goals each person can focus on. It’s even more powerful if all three segments complement one other. To make it more attainable, break the steps down further to three things that will happen this quarter, this week or even today as the plan plays out.

The first key to simple planning is understanding what improvements will provide your desired impact. Look for shortcomings in current processes. Are there offerings that could be updated? Could you benefit from adding a specialized person? Should you focus on your brand?

Next, ask your employees to provide three things that would most impact what they do every day. You will most likely know what the business or your department needs, but the employees will know best what they do.

Getting ideas out in the open and building your plan around them will provide you the best opportunity to positively impact your business. The plan can cover the entire company or a single department and should deliver both financial and morale wins. Another benefit of keeping it simple and manageable is that everyone can still do their everyday job as they are working the plan.

The NetPlus membership can help:

  • Use Growth Plus to build a plan with suppliers that has a real impact on your business.
  • Leverage Netplus product trainings to increase your sales team’s product knowledge.
  • Consider the financial impact of the programs offered by Netplus preferred suppliers: better pricing, payment terms, lower shipping requirements, co-op and rebates.
  • Begin selling a new product category with our diverse supplier list.
  • Attend the 2020 Annual Meeting to begin planning for 2021.

Not a member? Learn more about the benefits of joining NetPlus.