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Too many business plans, not enough business
By Tano Rebora on 21/05/2012 - 1 Comments
It seems that every time I turn around there is yet another tack on ‘creating a business plan’. Of course, each different angle depends on the authors experience and expertise. Ranging from the simple ‘last year plus x% ‘ to the’ look out for production’ by way of the purely numeric.
The fact is that any specific focus in one area has impact on the whole; be that sales, Marketing, H.R., Operations or Financials.
Fewer still have the focus of Covey’s ‘start with the end in mind’ and, thus have little by way of real understating of where they are aiming to be in the next x years with little chance of ultimately keeping to the plan since they are now dealing with the unknown competition. The result is that there is little positioning of the company as a competitive leader or of real success.
This is not confined to any specific business size or complexity. The marketplace is littered with examples of both SMEs and corporates companies that have placed little emphasis on their true market or with the ‘due diligence’ on the future marketplace movements.
For example, where is Woolworths in the High Street now? The behemoth of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s just did not see how the market was moving. Now the high street is full of retail outlets stocking stationery, CDs, DVDs, cameras, toys, school uniforms and other such items amongst their ‘real’ focus market.
When did Tesco’s move from just selling food? B&Q just selling tools? Where is MFI?
The most successful companies are focused on where they need to be to fulfil their Owners/ Shareholders expectations in the next strategic time period across all their functions whilst answering the fundamental questions:
- What is our vision?
- What is our product/ service.
- Who is our client?
The answers to these questions may not be as easy as first thought and, it is my experience, the value is in the process that helps define this positioning. Many companies do not engage in the process and the result is that they have to be very flexible in keeping ahead. At best they follow the market at worst they ultimately fail.
Run of the mill competitors will always follow. The question is: are they following you or are you following them?
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Bar Stools - April/09/2013
Excellent blog here!