Strategy

Why Planning is Fundamental to your Organisation

* It is the only common activity throughout all aspects of business
* It is the most underrated aspect of business management and business development

Fundamentals of Planning

* Focuses the purpose of the business
* Is the way to link the owners Vision to Operations
* Identifying strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats
* Allocation of resources
* Feasibility analysis allows for critical thinking
* Strategy management
* Coordinating activities
* Motivation of the stake holders
* Systematic thinking process about the future

Building A Successful Business

This comes about by transferring core ideology, dreams and visions into:
* Goals / strategies / tactics
* Policies
* Practices
* Management behaviour
* Processes
* Cultural practices
* Pay system & incentives
* Accounting systems
* Job description & accountability
* Building layout & efficiency
* Organisational structure
* Everything the company does

All these things require some element of planning.
The more you plan the luckier you seem to get.

Planning aligns all the “bits”, links operations to the Vision and Mission.
Purpose, Vision and Mission statements are only the first step.
No one part is the answer – it’s the whole business & people work on the bits.
Each activity of the company sends out a message or signal.
Look for miss alignments in all the people and activities.
Redesign the business &invent new methods, simplify all activities.
Planning is seen as a real opportunity for improving the management of the business.
The challenge of management is how to make the plan relevant, flexible and focused.
The emphasis is shifting from methodology to the planning process with a team and from the workbooks to the workshop.
Planning is just “too hard doing it by yourself”
An experienced facilitator can make all the difference

Most executives agree that there are four major functions of management:

* Planning
* Organising
* Leading
* Controlling

Your Silent Partner considers planning the most important, particularly in a growing company in our rapidly changing global environment. However planning practices must be simple quick and effective, with a great input of strategic thinking.

Whether they like it or not, every manager has to plan. It may be a plan for tomorrow’s work, or next month’s holiday or next year’s sales. It may involve one department or the entire business. Whatever its scope, planning is a function that must be performed by every manager, even if it is not written down.

When a manager makes plans for their business, they are projecting a course of action for some future period. Whatever it is, the aim is to achieve coordinated action so that desired objectives can be reached with minimum disruption and at a minimum cost.

Just because you plan of course, doesn’t mean it will happen. However, without planning, it is doubtful that you will achieve an objective other than by accident. Plans guide you towards given objectives. Just wishing for it doesn’t make it happen. Nor does planning, but planning will increase your probability of success.

Lending institutions and industry groups are focusing on the need for well thought-out plans, not only for finance applications but also they know that at senior management level businesses that do not have an adequate planning system will probably fail.

Recent statistics show that up to 80 per cent of business failures could have been avoided if they had developed and used a proper business plan. It follows then that the most effective way of reducing the likelihood of a business failing is to take the time to plan taking into account every relevant key element of the business operation.

Cash flow and profit and loss budgets are very important, but how are they going to be achieved? What resources will be used to make it happen? Where are the markets? How is the business going to sell its products or service? Are the resources adequate? These and many more questions need to be answered. The Planning and Thinking processes are the way to develop ideas, however they must be simply and clearly documented in a Business Plan document to facilitate good communication.

In new companies, people are so busy that they have no time for detailed planning. They do not realise the importance in taking the time to prepare written plans. Some argue that the marketplace changes too quickly for a plan to be useful; it would end up collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. For these and many other reasons many companies, particularly small ones, have not introduced a planning system or process.

A formal planning system provides the structure and yields a number of benefits including:

* Encourages systematic forward thinking
* Results in better preparedness for sudden developments and is a unique tool for anticipating problems and grasping opportunities
* Uncovers and considers alternative methods of achieving the objectives
* Helps determine smarter ways of managing the business
* Provides definite expectations of performance
* Business plans help manage the risks and uncertainties of the future

The process of collecting the information, analysing it and making owners think about things before they act is as important as the end result of the Business Plan.

“You don’t have to plan, success is not compulsory” 
No more business as usual! 

Today we have more tools at our disposal than ever before, mobile telephones, computers, Internet, and so on, yet we seem to be working harder. How can you be sure of security of lifestyle for your family and your business, which must be carefully integrated in the modern world?

We must stop doing business the old way. If we don’t change we will continue to get a roller coaster of diminishing results. In the next five years about 750,000 businesses will start up in Australia, 75% of which will not see their 5th birthday, and only 5% of the total (37,500) will see their tenth year. What will be the cost in personal terms, health, divorces and other relationship breakdowns for the 712,500 businesses that fail?

The rapid rate of change in the modern business environment has put pressure on us to make fast and frequent decisions and information is required to support these decisions.

Planning sets your course for business success.
Quality business processes build future growth and profits.

Clients now demand quicker and more professional responses to their enquires, and then follow-up actively afterwards.

Outsourcing, the catalyst for business improvement

Business owners and managers are increasingly outsourcing non-core activities. From bookkeeping, banking, debtor and creditor management, distribution and storage, payroll, marketing, training and business support. More and more services are now being outsourced to specialist providers. The increasing complexity of business render traditional approaches to managing businesses obsolete.

Outsourcing must be carefully planned, with explicit objectives. Outsourcing is not an excuse to get rid of a poorly managed, expensive, or misunderstood activity. Firstly you should understand the costs of an activity and manage it effectively before evaluating its potential for outsourcing. Otherwise, you could be deciding to outsource something for the wrong reason, which you may later regret.

10 reasons why you should consider outsourcing

1. Improved cash flow
2. Free up resources for other purposes
3. Make capital available for more productive pursuits
4. Reduce costs
5. Resources not available internally
6. improves adaptability to change
7. Company improves it.s focus on core business
8. Reduces risk
9. Introduces additional world class expertise
10. Reduces stress by freeing up key people

Outsourcing can reduce the need to invest capital funds in non-core business functions. Instead of acquiring the resources through capital expenditures, they are contracted for on an as required operational expense.


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