1) Recognizing Need for Action
The first step in planning process is the awareness of business opportunity and the need for taking action. Present and future opportunities must be found so that planning may be undertaken for them.
2) Gathering Necessary Information
Before actual planning is initiated relevant facts and figures are collected. All information relating to operations of the business should be collected in detail. The type of customers to be dealt with, the circumstances under which goods are to be provided, value of products to the customers, etc. should be studied in detail.
3) Laying Down Objectives
Objectives are the goals which the management tries to achieve. The objectives are the end products and all energies are diverted to achieve these goals. Goals are a thread which bind the whole company. Planning starts with the determination of objectives.
4) Determining Planning Premises
Planning is always for uncertain future. Though nothing may be certain in the coming period but still certain assumptions will have to be made for formulating plans. Forecasts are essential for planning even if all may not prove correct. A forecast means the assumption of future events.
5) Examining Alternative Course of Action
The next step in planning will be choosing the best course of action. There are a number of ways of doing a thing. The planner should study all the alternatives and then a final selection should be made. Best results will be achieved only when best way of doing a work is selected.
6) Evaluation of Action Patterns
After choosing a course of action, the next step will be to make an evaluation of those courses of actions. Evaluation will involve the study of performance of various actions. Various factors will be weighed against each other. A course of action may be suitable but it may involve huge investments and the other may involve less amount but it may not be very profitable.
7) Determining Secondary Plans
Once a main plan is formulated then a number of supportive plans are required. In fact secondary plans are meant for the implementation of principal plan. For example, once production plan is decided then a number of plans for procurement of raw materials, purchase of plant and equipment, recruitment of personnel will be required
8) Implementation of Plans
The last step in planning process is the implementation part. The planning should be put into action so that business objectives may be achieved. The implementation will require establishment of policies, procedures, standards and budgets. These tools will enable a better implementation of plans.