TZL 1384 (web)



I f you ask most owners of A/E firms – especially those who have achieved any size and scale – if business plans are a good thing to have, the majority will say that they think “business plans are good.” Don’t underestimate the importance of getting everyone involved in the business planning process and then sharing that plan with all. Get everyone involved in business planning

That said, I don’t think many of these same people have ever really stopped to consider WHY business planning is important for their firm. As a result, they don’t get all they can out of the investment of time it takes to do a new business plan, or revise the one they already have at least once a year. The “lack of why” can also result in minimizing the involvement of their entire staff in the planning process and just doing it at the top with their BOD, principals, or executive team. And when that happens, it most certainly reduces many of the benefits they could get out of the whole thing. The plan is done and there’s little evidence of that provided to the rank and file employees beyond their sense that a budget has been prepared and maybe some financial goals have been set that some, but not all, employees will see. That’s a shame. Because aside from the necessary tasks of creating a budget and goals, there are so

many other great reasons to get everyone in the firm involved with creation of the plan, along with reasons to share the whole thing with everyone in the firm once it is done. Here are some of them: 1)You can help instill a real sense of purpose in your people. When people have that sense of purpose, your voluntary staff turnover rate goes down. Your people will also work harder and tend to do more of the right things that will enhance your long-term reputation as a business. This is important stuff! When we talk about “purpose” in this business, it’s usually pretty easy to find a worthwhile one because A/E firms do such meaningful work. You DO actually make the world a better place, something that certainly can’t be said for a lot of other types of businesses. So take advantage of that fact! The business planning process is a great time to establish and communicate that sense of higher purpose for the work of your firm to every team member.

Mark Zweig

See MARK ZWEIG, page 10


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