Tag: planningSubscribe 14 Posts
Most people spend more time planning their holidays than they do planning their business. I strongly believe this statement to be true. Many business owners fail to plan because they get too busy. They are also often focused on the wrong things, such as running a tight ship, rather than investing in the appropriate resources to enable the business to grow. The upshot of this is that in many cases, the owners run out of hours in the day to hold regular Board or management meetings, and it is extremely rare to find a small business with the discipline to hold an annual planning session for the year ahead. Going back to the original statement, you would have to think that business owners do not spend much time planning their vacations either (if, indeed, they even take them!). So my conclusion is that the amount of time allocated to planning is pitiful. I considered calling this article Strategic Planning for SMEs, but I had a change of heart, fearing that the term Strategic Planning might scare off many of the readers of this blog. Let me make something very clear; I am not advocating that you write a 39-page business plan. Most business plans are not worth the paper they are written on and rarely see the light of day once they have been written. What I do think you should be doing is holding an annual planning session, preferably facilitated by an independent professional. (For example, if you have a proactive accountant, he or she could play this role very effectively.) The desired output of such a session is a concise action plan with clear accountabilities for implementation.
She’ll be right ... or will she? My favourite bit of brainstorming is coming up with everything that could conceivably go wrong with a project, product, campaign, launch, business plan etc. Apart from being great fun, this process really helps you anticipate and avoid pitfalls you might otherwise never consider. So let’s give it some thought. Great minds When I worked full time for an advertising agency, there was a business development manager with a psychology degree and a passion for brainstorming. (He’d probably cite something like this.) As I had a reputation for ‘unusual ideas’, he often invited me to his brainstorming sessions.
How would you keep your business up and running in times of trouble? Planning for a disaster means expecting the unexpected. Many businesses backup their important data in case of a tech disaster, but data loss is not the only threat to your business. What else are you reliant on? How would the business cope if you couldn't access your premises and equipment? Anything from a fire, flood or natural disaster to a gas leak or security scare could leave you standing on the footpath. You might lose access to your office for an hour, a day, a week or perhaps much longer. Alternatively, what if staff couldn't make it to the office due to a public transport strike, public health scare or civil unrest? Such things aren't far-fetched—the federal government takes health threats seriously enough that it's published an Influenza Pandemic guide for Australian business. Individually such threats might seem unlikely, but together they present a significant risk. Don't make the mistake of thinking such concerns only apply to big businesses. If your business can't afford to close the doors, you need to give some thought to business continuity.
Where will you be? Apart from ‘Tell us a bit about yourself’, the most common interview question is ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ As a personnel manager, I used to eschew these queries for sharper, more targeted tools*. But last week I was forced to ask myself where I’d be in five years. It took a while.
Did you set out to achieve some key goals in your business this year? Maybe you set some aims at the beginning of the financial year or maybe at the beginning of this year. Whatever the case, the end of the Australian financial year is looming. How are you tracking to your targets? As June 30 approaches, so does colder weather, shorter days and for many people, bouts or various lurgies. So how do you stay motivated – or regain it if it’s already in hibernation?
From food to flying, horror stories affect many sectors from time to time. A recent tragedy got me wondering: How do businesses recover from disaster? What do their peers and competitors do in response? Dreadful day When I woke on 8 January, the radio chilled me. A dreadful hot air balloon disaster had claimed 11 lives. Having ballooned myself, I could picture the scene.