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9 ways to improve your next planning round.

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Spring. Warmer weather, longer days and summer being just around the corner. And if you are a business leader, it is a reminder that it is probably time to get the planning cycle moving for next year.

Planning rounds at their worst are driven by financials and involve putting numbers into spreadsheets, instructed via an email with a tight deadline, and with little staff involvement and even less buy in. But this misses the point for progressive organisations, who pride themselves on hiring smart staff.

An inclusive planning round will provide much more value, energy and engagement for the business as a whole. Staff want to be involved and often have innovative ideas and workable solutions. Their involvement is particularly important if they have skin in the game in the way of bonuses or profit share, and they lead a team. The result will be greater than the sum of its parts.

It is safe to say that few business would have predicted how 2020 and 2021 would shape up. But the pandemic has also brought innovation, and arguably more efficient working, along with unpredictability, shipping delays and semi-conductor shortages. It has also brought market strength, although we aren't yet in a position to see how deep the effects of the spring lockdown on the economy has been. If experience from 2020 is used, it will still likely be a strong economy for the remainder of the year.

Outside of COVID related impacts, the automotive industry is going through its greatest period of change ever. Electrification is becoming mainstream, new brands* are pouring into the market faster than any time in the last 40 years, PCPs / GFV products are now offered by most brands, Mobility as a Service has arrived, SUVs have supplanted sedans and hatches, direct selling and agency model have evolved and the Chinese car brands are gaining momentum, with more on the way (BEV first of course) and The Clean Car Programme Rebate has distorted the market. Navigating these external challenges and opportunities requires innovative thinking and a board considered approach.

Planning rounds at their best can provide an opportunity to bring the team together to focus on the key issues in order to face the coming year stronger together. They also provide you and your team with clarity, and a common purpose if done well.

Here are the Boost Auto top 9 tips to invigorate your next planning round to come out on top for 2022.

  1. Make the planning round a collaborative exercise.

  2. Ask your team to develop stretch goals.

  3. Set your top line 'must achieve' business objectives and let the team develop the 'how'.

  4. Create plans for alternative scenarios. Build in a Plan B (or C) just in case.

  5. Provide a filter to help your teams to focus on the best use of resources for maximum gains

  6. Encourage senior managers to run similar sessions with their immediate reports for more detailed departmental budget setting and action plans

  7. Set some 3 and 5 year goals - to make sure that strategic projects don't fit with short term goals don't get left behind.

  8. Get some external resource to help inspire, mix it up or disrupt to run a planning day or sessions or day.

  9. Set yourself a tough timeline for the planning cycle. Start now, but wrap it up efficiently.

If you need a hand boosting your planning round for 2022, reach out to us here. Boost Auto can help facilitate your planning session or provide your team with information about changing automotive environment to stimulate debate and assist with identifying the best opportunities for your business.

*New arrivals, last over four years up to end 2021; Haval, MG, Cupra. Polestar, Opel, BYD are all due this year.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Boost Auto is an automotive consultancy working in six main areas.

  1. Sales and Marketing effectiveness for brands and dealers

  2. Green fleet facilitation for large corporates

  3. Go To Market strategies for emerging brands

  4. Market Insights & Trends

  5. Business Planning and facilitation

  6. Operational Effectiveness

You can contact us at

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