It’s worthy of note that the goal of business is customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This is important because unless we are able to satisfy customers’ needs, we cannot be profitable to grow and expand our business operations. At the end of our discussion today, we’ll have a better understanding of how we can plan our businesses to achieve success.
The above diagram is a simple but very effective plan to structure our business for success.
Business Planning therefore involves asking these four important questions
It is advisable to study the above questions and make efforts to create a plan that will guide your business venture. This also works as a simple business plan that you can draft within a few hours. It’s important that we take time plan our business. There’s a popular saying that validates this: fail to plan is planning to fail.
Writing business plans has often been a quite complicated process for beginners to understand. There are some experts that offer this as a service and charge a fee for this expertise. It’s possible to hire them to write a business plan for your business idea.
However, it is strongly advised that entrepreneurs take active participation in developing their business plans. This is important because as an entrepreneur, you need to have a good knowledge of business processes. Relying on experts has often led to business failure for a number of reasons.
Experts are not infallible. Their mistakes can happen and lead to devastating results. There has been many cases where errors undetected have resulted to business disasters.
Having a generalist knowledge of business planning and processes gives you an advantage to understand basic concepts which will help you make better decisions.
Also, the role of the entrepreneur is to organise the other factors of production: land, labour and capital. The entrepreneur, therefore, must have in-depth knowledge of these essential factors. According to Mark Cuban, a very successful entrepreneur, “Businesses fail due to lack of knowledge and efforts by entrepreneurs.”
We need to understand that the business world is both competitive and challenging with many companies contesting for brand recognition and loyalty. The importance of knowledge cannot be overemphasized. A situation where the competition and even customers know more about your industry than you is misnomer.
Business Planning not only sets you up for success but it simultaneously improves your business intelligence and market understanding which is essential for understanding customer needs and gaining their trust and loyalty.
Here’s some tips for entrepreneurs to succeed in business planning:
1. Think Systems first
Think of your business as a machine. Plan the process from value creation, marketing, sales to value delivery and after purchase activities. The more defined your business systems are the better the outcome.
Here again, planning is essential. Finding the best people who can run your business system and deliver results is so important to your business success. Round pegs in square holes don’t fit.
Here’s an info-graphic that explains the corporate hiring process
This is a guide that can show the best processes that can help you select the right talent that fits well into your business plan.
2. People Power Possibilities
When you have the right people, you have the right power to create the possibilities that you want. It’s worthy to note that your employees are your customers too and they deserve satisfaction and loyalty. Employees are classified as internal customers while people that purchase your products are external customers.
These internal Customers also known as employees also need to trust and believe that your company will meet their needs and give them the satisfaction. Your business planning must cater for this if you really want to be successful. Welfare packages, health insurance, bonuses, gifts, discounts, social events, recreation club memberships, pensions, etc are just a few ideas that come handy in providing satisfaction for your internal customers.
It’s important to note that employees are the face of your company and come in direct contact with your external customers. Happy employees go the extra mile to delight your customers by offering better service. It’s that easy.
3. Be the expert
Know everything about your industry. Your business success depends on it.
4. Review and Revise your Business Plan
Government, politics, competition, changes in technology, changes in customer needs or taste, acts of nature and of course, even pandemics can disrupt your business plan. Your ability to recognise trends and revise your strategy might be the difference between your business success and survival.
Nokia failure to adopt android software early on, lead to the loss of market share to not only established brands like Apple and Samsung but even emerging brands like Tecno and iTel cut into the huge Nokia customers not just in Nigeria but worldwide.
Strategy review and revision but be regular and at most every quarter. There’s no fail proof plan. The only constant is change.