I have been considering what information I can pass on to our numerous business associates. What would be useful? I thought, well, maybe there would be some interest in how I have managed to stay enthusiastic about my industry even though I have been participating in it for the past 43 years.
There have been periods when this has not been so! These occasions can be traced to times when I was not playing the game. I had forgotten to focus on the purpose for arriving at work each day. I was doing something else – filling in time, working in an automatic way (just repeating what I done many times before), not planning our future, existing and not being interested in where I was going.
Business plans are talked about a lot, and though vital, very few businesses – particularly small businesses – have one. They are vital if we want something to work towards, or actions to take on a daily basis. They are the stimuli for learning something new, facing a challenge or achieving a target.
A business plan with a goal will be actioned on a daily basis. It will have purposes and there will be barriers to overcome. It is a game, you either win or lose.
In this current environment, it is very important that business wins. If it does not… then jobs go, the economy suffers, and the environment in which we all live can go to dust like ancient Rome.
It is not difficult to write a business plan. Generally, business people start with a product or service they would like to deliver or produce. They start on their own, producing that product and selling it to others in exchange for money. The business grows and new staff members come on board. If you have a clearly written business plan, you can have each new staff member read the plan and understand what it is they are there to do.
What is the goal we are going for? What is the product we will produce that will provide the energy to achieve our goal? This makes a great orientation exercise.
For example, the goal might be: To sell 2000 families per year a caravan.
The actual product you produce might be: A caravan made to order to match the unique needs of a specific caravanner.
I am just playing here. The point is, in order to produce the product you would need a way of knowing what the caravanner wants and recommending the right product based on those known needs. This is called surveying. Perhaps companies like Jayco achieve their penetration and market share because their survey techniques get it right more of the time.
The plan identifies the overall reason for doing the activity – the goal. What happens is, a person has the goal: To provide the dollars or wherewithal so I can look after my family. This is very personal, and when achieved there is no longer a goal to carry on with, and often a business will fail right there. So a new goal needs to be created if the first one has already been achieved.
The purpose could be
- To meet lots of people who like caravanning; or
- To provide a safe employment situation for my staff; or
- To buy a big yacht and sail the seven seas.
If you can identify these purposes and bring them alive for your staff and yourself, then your business culture will benefit because there is purpose to the activity you are doing every day.
If you would like some more information about business plans,
then contact me by phone at (03) 9808 5466.