Sunday, July 24, 2016

Business Management

Crystalize Growth Options – Use Strategic Planning

A few thoughts on how strategic planning can help grow your business.

What is it? Why do strategic planning? When is the right time for strategic planning?

Strategic planning is undertaken to define the precise mission of the organization, prioritize opportunities, maximize resource utilization and help manage growth. It is also a very useful tool in satisfying succession planning needs.

A strategic plan is a coordinated and systematic way to develop a course and direction for your company. Basically, if you don't have a strategic plan, it's akin to navigating unknown territory without a map. And without a map, you're lost in a highly competitive business environment that will inevitably throw these challenges your way: increasing globalization, unpredictable investment patterns, more demanding clients and the dizzying speed of technology. A rule of thumb is that if there's uncertainty on the horizon, which there always is today, the greater the need for strategic planning.

Since no two businesses are alike, the process you choose to do your strategic planning should fit the nature of your business. You can adapt it to suit your needs. If you're a small firm, a brief strategic plan might be appropriate. If you're a bigger company, a more detailed plan on various aspects of your organization may be more effective.

Don't confuse a strategic plan with a business plan which is a much broader document and includes a strategic plan, a marketing plan, financial plan and operational plan.

Prepare and define the scope of your planning by reviewing your motivation, costs and means. Plan your way to the future.

I hope these suggestions provide some of the options and steps to consider as you grow your business. Let me have your thoughts:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Business Management

Facing the Challenges

There are many problems that are encountered by business owners when managing their business. New entrepreneurs are often not prepared for the problems coming their way or understand that problems are an everyday part of every business.

Here are some common faced problems in new businesses:

1. Financing
Money is one of the major causes of problems that can lead business to failure. For a new business, the biggest mistake is expecting instant profit. Young and eager entrepreneurs often start up a business with little money, assuming they will earn big and then invest that money again in their business. Many business start-ups do not expect much profit for at least two years. Prepare for the worst case scenario. Before starting a business, ensure that you have enough money to sustain the business for at least two years. Start slowly and patiently.

2. Time Management
It is essential for new businesses to manage their time wisely. Planning in advance and ensuring everything is done on time is very important for the prosperity of any business. Ensure the schedule you are making is achievable. Give yourself enough time to perform a task with accuracy. Plan your future projects. Utilize calendars and planners to make sure you don’t miss an appointment or a deadline. Spending time effectively can actually save you money and even earn you more revenue.

3. Lack of knowledge/Skills
This is one of the top mistakes made by entrepreneurs. It is important that you have ample knowledge about the industry you are entering, your competitors, your target market, current trends, marketing techniques as well as financial know-how. You must possess the skills needed to start up a new business. If you are not prepared, educate yourself or acquire the expertise needed. The level of success achieved can depend on having the required knowledge and skills. Never assume you as owner you can manage every issue without support or advice. The most successful owners hire strong smart support staff,

4. Missing the larger picture.
Owners should recognize the need to work on the business and to not get trapped working in the business. Let staff handle day to day activity. Owners should focus on larger issues and determine what issues need attention. Communicate with managers and ensure reports on detail are received while you develop broader growth strategies.

Please let me know your thoughts on these challenges; there are many others that could be considered.