Agency 19: Business Planning

7 min read

The nineteenth agency in the community is the Business Planning Agency. This agency’s primary role is to facilitate stewardship business plans by offering the expertise and the automated system needed to make realistic and winning proposals.[1]

The agency is part of the Business Development Bureau, which focuses on offering businesses and community agencies the basis on which they need to do business, in terms of managing risk, formulating business plans and strategies, and marketing. The other agencies in the department are the Underwriting and Marketing Agencies.

The Business Planning Agency plays an important role in facilitating businesses’ success in the community. From the time a participant enters the system, they need to come up with a plan that they will then use to seek financing and other help from other agencies, including IP development from the IP Agency, or business operations advice from the Stewardships Agency, among others.[2] The agency achieves its objectives by performing a number of automated roles. The agency president adjusts the system so that it can better handle participants’ requirements for business planning. In instances where the agency’s system is unable to meet specific participants’ needs, the participants approach the departmental agents directly, who also advice the agency president on what needs to be changed in the automated system to better cater to such issues.

As with other agencies, the roles of the Business Development Agency are categorized on the presence or absence of coordination with other agencies.

Core Responsibilities

The Business Planning Agency’s core responsibilities revolve around facilitating participants’ business planning. Participants use the agency’s system to actualize their business ideas through documented plans that are realistic and can pass scrutiny from the Investment Bank, the Commercial Bank, and other agencies. The core responsibilities are:

  • Set up and update the system that allows participants to create business plans
  • Respond to changing economic trends and practice in business planning, and advocate their incorporation in business plans
  • Offer automated training to existing businesses on business expansion and diversification, especially where such expansion requires community investment
  • Monitor business plans to avoid over competition or monopolization

Facilitate the creation of business plans

On its online platform, the Business Planning Agency runs modules through which participants translate their business ideas into concrete plans, which can be used for their own business strategic planning and for presentation to other parties. The agency aims to equip participants with all the information needed to develop these plans, from operational details and feasibility studies (including financial) to human-capital requirements. The system is designed in a way that enables participants to get the information they need to draw up their business plans. Specific attributes include the proposed nature of business, investment in the Capital Fund, age, profession, and credit rating, among others.[3]

Facilitate the incorporation of economic trends into community business thinking

More than simply facilitating the drawing up of business plans, the Business Planning Agency scans the environment for changing business practice. As needed, the agency updates the modules that participants use to draw up their plans, encouraging them to adopt new ways of doing business, including management and financial planning. Continually updated with this information, the agency’s automated system is better able to advise businesses on whether their ideas are well suited to the current and future economic trends.[4]

Training on business expansion diversification

The Business Planning Agency uses its online platform to train stewards on how they can diversify their businesses to tap into community and external economic opportunities. On business expansion, often the stewards will need to approach a community financial institution, in many cases the Commercial Bank Agency, for support. The participants can access the Business Planning Agency for help on how they can fashion their business plans for acceptance by the relevant agencies and for the sake of practical application.[5]

Moderate business plans

The Business Planning Agency’s system moderates business plans that are proposed by participants, with the aim of approving them or flagging them as impractical or inconsistent with the community’s economic model. The community’s economic model is based on the promise to participants that the economy will be at full or near-full employment at all times.[6] This means that under-employment, arising from a mismatch between supply and demand of products and services, does not arise. The Business Planning Agency has an online processing portal through which business plans are submitted. The portal is able to vet the plans and, vis-à-vis the community’s current economic model, determine whether they are surplus to requirements or not.

Coordinated Responsibilities

The Business Planning Agency performs several other roles in coordination with other community agencies. These roles are coordinated along three dimensions, taking into account departmental proximity, congruence of the nature of roles, and practical liaison. The three dimensions are horizontal (within the Business Development Department), vertical (within the Business Support Vertical), and diagonal (beyond the vertical and the department).

Horizontal coordination

The Business Planning Agency liaises with the Underwriting Agency so that business plans are vetted in terms of their risk. The Business Planning Agency system, therefore, gives participants information that includes means through which they can manage the risk associated with their plans. The Business Planning Agency liaises with the Marketing Agency to equip business plans with the necessary qualities needed to make them more marketable and likelier to succeed in the market, once rolled out.

Vertical coordination

Within the Business Support Vertical, the Business Planning Agency liaises with the Stewardships Agency so the system can advise participants on their business intentions. When drafting intellectual property, participants need to back it up with business plans. The Business Planning Agency works with the IP Agency to back up IP with business plans that outline the economic viability of the IP being developed. The Business Planning Agency liaises with the Investment Bank Agency so the system can advise businesses on the viability of their plans, as well as on funding for startups. The Business Planning Agency also works with the Accounting Agency so the system can incorporate financial feasibility analysis into the business plans to ensure the math adds up.

Diagonal coordination

The Business Planning Agency works with the Life Planning Agency to include business plans as part of life planning. This gives business plans an integral role in a participant’s intentions in the community, enabling them to plan their businesses more holistically and to include social aspects. The Business Planning Agency also works with the Commercial Bank Agency to assist stewardships with business expansion plans. The Business Planning Agency’s system considers participants’ plans and the Commercial Bank Agency’s requirements before advising the stewards on their course of action.


The Business Planning Agency gives life and a practical basis to participants’ business ideas after they join the community. Through the agency’s platform, participants are able to access the skills and information needed to plan their businesses adequately, as part of their life-planning process. The agency provides a platform through which stewards can access the services needed by businesses at the start-up point and later as existing businesses try to expand.

The 24 agencies are organized in rows and columns. Beyond working in their bureau (row), agencies also interact extensively within their column. An overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Human and Financial Capital Department is here, and an overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Process and Property Department is here.
Representations of hierarchical- and matrix-type organizations.
The structure of a hierarchical-type organization is shown on the left, and that of a matrix-type organization is shown on the right.

[1] Winning business plans are likelier to raise capital, and as a result, overcome one of the barriers that claim the lives of so many startups. In addition, research suggests that those who come up with business plans are likelier to actually become investors (Heberling, S. The Undeniable Importance of a Business Plan. 2019. 22 06 2019).

[2] Through business plans, it is clear to measure where a business is going. It also becomes easier for a business to explain its strategy, and ensure that its ideas are overall in alignment with the mission it expects to satisfy in the marketplace. Business plans also help entrepreneurs develop more realistic plans of what they can achieve, and what to do to get there (Berry, T. 10 Benefits of Business Planning for All Businesses. 31 01 2016. 23 06 2019).

[3] Normally, businesses consider factors such as human and financial capital requirements, market needs, and profit prospects, among others as they draw up a business. However, the community has a different approach, whereby the system also vets whether the participant’s chosen business plan is practical, given their personal information and attributes, including experience, professional lives, etc. (Dhanush, M. Factors to consider while making a business plan. 31 05 2017. 22 06 2019).

[4] Before coming up with the business plan, the participant will have done market research, and analyzed data to find out if their plan has any real chances of success. The business plan preparation process also demands that participants interact extensively with other agencies, which provide important insights on whether the business plan is viable. The process therefore enables businesses to be reasonable with their plans and expectations (Nationwide. What is the Importance of a Business Plan? 27 03 2017. 23 06 2019).

[5] Through training, participants are able to have additional and practical skills beyond what is offered through the academic system. These skills come in handy as a business starts off, and as an entrepreneur needs to formulate additional plans so that they can survive past the initial period. The Business Planning Agency equips participants with these skills, significantly enhancing their chances of success (Grecu, V. and C. Deneș. “Benefits of entrepreneurship education and training for engineering students.” MATEC Web of Conferences (2017): 117).

[6] Full employment refers to a situation whereby all available human resources are being used optimally. While this has proved to be elusive in modern market economics, due to information mismatch, among other things, it is expected that largely, this will be eliminated in the system. The Business Planning Agency will work to prevent oversupply or undersupply of any services, by controlling business planning (Kagan, J. What is Full Employment. 28 12 2017. 20 06 2019).