There might be a question constantly revolving in your mind what are business milestones? Can there be varieties?
To begin with, milestones are those corporate objectives that include dates along with the individual or team that should be held accountable for the same.
Consider the following scenario wherein your business plan brings out that the marketing department has to launch the app by the end of this year.
When you are occupied in planning the business process, one of the stages that you must look at is to use milestones to build a roadmap for your company.
Let us guide you in establishing your company strategy by helping you in developing plans to strategize your business process, creating a roadmap to expand your firm, that will help you in defining your business model, even if you aren’t creating a lean business plan.
Milestones come into the picture when you are to build a strategic plan for your company. We have done our bit to guide you as to how to use these milestones.
Without milestones, a company’s plan and strategies will continue to be on paper and might never catch attention. To avoid the scenario of never becoming a genuine business, start adding milestones that segregate written along with strategies that you employ to put them into action. A business plan consultant can guide how to strategically go on introducing milestones better if you face issues.
To explain it better, consider milestones in business as a route marked on the side of the road or the footpaths that guide steps in the metro. It records your progress as you develop and execute your strategy. They are used to monitor outcomes, handle obligations, and turn your unique concept into a real working company.
Do strategy and tactics have a link with milestones?
The next question that might pop up in your head is this. There’s definitely a connection between tactics and milestones, just as there is between tactics and strategy.
Beginning with what tactics mean, they are the actions you’ll take to put your plan into action. Using influencer marketing, for example, maybe a tactic that highlights your marketing plan.
To provide precise information to your strategies’ implementation, milestones are used. Carrying forward the above-introduced example, an apt milestone would be to reach out to a pre-defined minimum count of influencers on daily basis and finalize the deal.
To help you get the basics of how exactly your strategy leads to a tactic and ultimately to a milestone, refer to the below text that exactly highlights the route.
Educating millennials about the services of business plan consultants is a marketing strategy. Influencer marketing is a tactic to reach out to the right audience and grow the base. Further, the milestone will be a collaboration with a minimum of hundred influencers by the end of the first year.
What we did above is a simplistic illustration of this vivid procedure. Your plan will almost certainly include several methods, each with its own set of milestones and not to forget growth hacking techniques highlighted by tactics. If you still can’t get the gist, consider them a pyramid where the fulfilment of each milestone leads to the implementation of the overall business plan you wish to make a reality.
Which milestone can be counted as an appropriate one?
To get a head start, a good milestone is one that lays out the boundaries of the job at hand and establishes expectations for how it will be completed.
You’ll need a clear picture of the following information when creating particular milestones: The task’s description in simpler words.
- A deadline by which you need it done.
- Complete Financials.
- Finally, to mark an end to the list, you’ll need someone in charge of managing and meeting these deadlines, someone who’ll be held accountable. You can even collaborate with this person on defining the details of each milestone and their further assessment.
Management relies heavily on milestones.
Your milestones will help you better manage your company. When you meet with your team, say once in a month to discuss out your planned companies strategy and compare statistics by going through your milestones in order to make sure your pre-defined goals are on track. This is also the stage where you can make adjustments if there are any issues or if the plan is in dire need of modifications.
When you are reviewing your milestones on a monthly basis, you have a better chance of catching issues and can identify budding possibilities. You will, hence, have fewer chances to alter the course and amend the plan by shifting directions if you just check on your work once a quarter, or even once a year. Worth mentioning, there’s always fresh information that needs your attention, to bring in changes in whatever way your consumers want and examine the further milestones on the performance of previous ones.
You can be agile and adapt fast when you evaluate your objectives on a regular basis. You should, in fact, evaluate your milestones and other business KPIs on a regular basis for additional information.
Further, there are three different kinds of business milestones, to begin with.
When it comes to planning, creating and sustaining a company, these are the three kinds of milestones you should definitely consider:
- Review of the planned milestone
- Verify assumptions behind milestones
- Putting the plan into action
- Review of the planned milestone
Milestones of plan review once a month should be established in all companies. This is the most significant benchmark you can ever set. Hence, this milestone is pervasive and should continue to exist.
This imperative milestone allows time for you to evaluate your company’s strategy, tactics, further forecast for coming years and alongside a set-aside budget. It’s easy for you to go off course if you don’t review your strategy and not actively make changes on a frequent basis.
Hence, we are making it a point to mention here you should never mindlessly follow the plan. A regular meeting for the purpose of review of the plan will, on a better note, will allow you to assess what works when we look back and what isn’t. And therefore, you can bring modifications as needed.
When you hold this plan review meeting, gather your management team, go through financials, and discuss what you accomplished last month when compared to past milestones and thereby carry-on bringing modifications and plan properly for the future. This milestone is crucial for making plan modifications, adjustments, altering course, as well infuse new paths as required.
We can completely agree to the point, it may just be a few of you who come together and the company might be in the early stages with a single or few people managing each and everything. Though there may not be much to discuss financials for instance revenue or expenditures the monthly meeting should still be held. When you are in starting stages, it’s okay to not have much to discuss financials. What is not okay is that not having these monthly meetings in the first place. You can obviously shift the emphasis on the next actions you can take to turn your dream company concept which is for now on paper a reality. You can as well bring up the topic of progress shown by a business or you’ve achieved so far.
Assess your progress towards executing the strategy and tactics you planned previously, such as creating a conversion sales funnel, boosting customer retention by 15%, or negotiating a contract for additional office space.
- Are there any checkpoints to confirm milestones are in the right place?
When the business is just started and you are in the early stages, it’s common to find yourself struggling to figure out whether you have the correct approach. You may even go on to set goals to assist you to verify the assumptions if any. Many may even walk through the prospective clients in order to determine whether they have the issue you believe they have, whether the solution you thought of will bridge the gap or not. You might also attempt to find out how much you should ideally charge and will they be willing to pay.
Again emphasizing, in the early stages of your company, you’re involved in making a lot of guesses- what it might be, what it might not be. Or rather, assumptions from what your consumers need and desire to the pricing stage.
Your plan begins with a whole lot of collection of assumptions about your prospective customers’ issues, how they want to solve them, and how much they’re prepared to pay for your solution. They might be occupying more than half of your business plan. At this point when you are looking to find the answer to whether milestones are in right place or not, you should first ensure milestones are focused on verifying those set assumptions so that you can have ease in creating a real profitable company.
Some milestones that are worth your time are:
- Analyse pricing of competitors
- Go around and meet a set number of prospective clients on weekly basis.
- Meeting a business plan consultant to ensure everything is strategically planned.
- A mock social media landing page of the company to catch the attention of prospective clients and have an answer to whether they are actually interested?
It is imperative that the goals you set at this point should be keeping in mind current economic conditions and they should be geared toward achieving the market that your product/service perfectly fits in. This indicates that you’ve identified a market for your product that is genuinely interested in purchasing it when launched and that your solution addresses a genuine issue for your consumers.
It’s quite probable that you’ll discover straight away, that you don’t have an excellent product/market fit. That’s perfectly fine. Many come across this phase. Remember the business plan is not static? It’s, hence, simple to alter your approach, infusing assumptions that strike your mind now, and test them with your prospective consumers again. This is why we suggest you to verify your assumptions early in the start-up process. Turns out that it’s in fact an advantage as you haven’t invested too much in your company yet and can quickly alter the course as required.
- Putting your plan into action
You’ll start setting milestones that suggest execution of the plan after your assumptions have been verified, confirmed and altered. This is the stage that involves real activities that will help you grow your company after sowing the seed. You’ll be creating your product, setting up your office or store, creating your website, building social presence and testing your services among other things occupying the plan.
Putting the plan into action is the stage that is usually set for businesses that have gone beyond the start-up phase i.e., from initiating assumptions to their validation everything is done. And now have a proven plan that you believe will succeed. Hence, these goals entirely revolve around getting things done in order to carry out your on-paper plan.
As you proceed, you can go on modifying your plan. Business plan consultants can be of great help if connected.
Hence, your plan will change as you go, bringing a change in how you further plan milestones. You won’t be spending excessive time recording every single step once you walk forward from the planning phase. You will be found making a plan for the next few actions you’ll take with someone who knows how these are to be done like an experienced consultant of business planning.
When you’ve completed those set stages, go back and add more as you go and your company grow.
This might be clear by now; planning is a continuous process. It is never a one-time occurrence. And it’s not entirely about making a plan but also carrying it out, analyse the outcomes, and adjust before moving on to the next stage. The clearer milestones are, the smoother and much more efficient process will seem, allowing you to create a better company even quicker.