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50% of businesses fail for non financial reasons

80% of businesses centralise their planning

65% of businesses fail to integrate plan with implementation and monitoring

80% of businesses solely rely on financial measures for monitoring

10% of businesses use planning and plan development as a management development tool

6% set operational targets for continuous improvement (CI)

What should be in the better business plan?

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A series of questions to make your business plan
fully functional and comprehensive

Does the plan clearly resolve the key business planning questions?

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Where we are?

Where do we want to be (and when)?

How are we going to get there (cost effectively)?

Successes, failures, lessons learnt

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What did we do well?

What changes to build market and competitive position?

What do we do badly?

Should we continue with these, withdraw, or change our behaviour?

Legacy
Have we reviewed impact of past decisions?

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Location
Plant Effectiveness
Customer Base
Reputation
Environmental Footprint
Litigation
Structure
Staff
Skills
Style
Suppliers
Pricing

Facilities Management
Industrial Relations
Products Services
Contracts
Record Keeping
Competitive Position
Systems
Shared Values
Strategy
Support
Covenants

Structure
Are we clear about

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Authority and responsibility
The best operational format (SBU) with operational freedom
The best ownership format
The best span of control/ hierarchy
Diversity (age, gender, language, country of birth)

Temporary vs permanent
The best legal format
The best tax format
Special units
Intrapreneurialism
Staff vs line
Dunbar number

Corporate Governance

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OECD guidelines? Directors?
Manual?
Calendar of events?
LBE?
Good faith?

Best practice on ESG?
Management manual?
Nepotism?
Moral hazard?

Industrial Relations

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Code of conduct?
Job description and employee contracts?
Universal bonus system?
Appeals?
Disciplinary code and grievance procedure?
Communication?
Good faith?

Health and safety?
Job description and employee contracts?
Agreements with employee groups?
Universal fringe benefits?
Intranet?
Whistleblowing protections?
Communication?
Promises?

Change Management
Does the company have a systematic approach to defining and implementing major change?

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Chesterton’s Fence?
Scenario building?
Change tunnel?
Project based planning (Agile emphasis)?
Stagegate?

Detailed end goals?
Cost/benefit analysis?
Consultation with stakeholders?
Team based implementation?
Nudge theory?

Management Practices
Does the company follow best practice?

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Recruitment
Appraisals
Counselling
Team building
Communication
Employee satisfaction survey
Meeting management
Management sign off and approval for expenditure
Investment Appraisal
Absenteeism
Exit interview

Induction
Mentoring
Motivation
Access to training, development
Communication
Employee suggestion scheme
MBWA
Rule of eight
MBO
Cascade
Time management
FUD policy

Location
Are we clear about the best location for?

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Clustering
Customers
Staff?
Virtual office functions
Working conditions – space, layout, noise, light, pollution
Advisors
Tax

Logistics
Reducing trade barriers
Security
Premises design
Finance
Grants
Cost
Delivering productivity

BETTER PLANNING
BETTER PLANNING

Negotiation

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Importance
Team
Location
Project plan
Cultural skills
External validation
Break clauses
FSF
Dispute resolution

1st, 2nd, 3rd Objectives
MIS
BATNA
Negotiation skills
Authority
Preparation
Review method
Sign off
Good faith

The planning horizon
Are we clear about:

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What are short term issues (and how long does short term cover)?

What constitutes the medium term (and how long does medium term cover)?

What is the long term that makes sense for our operation?

Decision Making
Are we clear about how we reach decisions?

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Authority & responsibility
Bureaucratic
Record keeping
Use of advisors
Common language
Standard approach to investment appraisal
Manuals, journals, best practice literature

Speed of decisions
Democratic
Authoritarian
Accessibility to decisions
Problem Solving Techniques
Sign off decisions
Ideas day
Work circles

Advisors
Are we clear about, and have we recruited our necessary advisors?

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Tax
Banking
Insurance Contract
IPR
Grants
Planning
Plant management
Security
Regulatory environment
Health and safety
Project Management
Logistics
Personnel
Design

Corporate finance
Promotion and public relations
Design
ESG
Architect
Quality control
Customs regulations
Facilities management
Information technology
Waste management
Quality control
Trade associations
Work study

Vision Statement

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Have we stated and agreed a measurable view of the development of the organisation?

Is it short, logical, achievable and motivational (SLAM)?

Business Model

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Has the current business model been accurately defined?

Benchmarked against industry gold standard?

Balanced Scorecard
Have we key objectives for the short, medium and long term?

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Customer satisfaction
Gross profit
Return on capital employed
Employee skills
New product/ service development

Critical Success Factors

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Are we clear about what the critical success factors are for our organisation?

Current percentage achievement?

Assumptions
Are we clear about what assumptions we are making for the future?

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Market drivers
Price inflation
Currency rates
Product/ service range
Substitutes
Suppliers
Premises
Grants
Accounting
Litigation

Regulatory changes
Cost inflation
Competitive structure
Entrants
Customers
Employees
Funding
Company ownership
Social responsibility
Competitive reaction

Risks and Uncertainty
Are we clear about what risks exist for the future?

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Market drivers
Price inflation
Competitive structure
Customers
Credit management
Substitutes
Employees
Funding
Company ownership
Data security
Security
Climate
Project risk
Covenants
Litigation
Warranties
Negotiation

Regulatory changes
Cost inflation
Product / Service range
Currency rates
Entrants
Suppliers
Premises
Grants
Accounting
Fraud or Theft
Pollution
Investors
Interest rates
Quality control
Competitive reaction
Black swan

Forecasting
Has management decided on managing assumptions and risk through appropriate forecasting?

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Have the requirements of forecasting been identified?

Have appropriate tools (quantitative, qualitative) been chosen?

Has the source of objective data been identified in each case?

Has the company identified the accuracy of each data source?

Has the company made the necessary investment in appropriate forecasting methodologies?

Cost Implications

Competitive Moat
Are we clear about how we are going to maintain and further strengthen the competitive position?

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Comparative advantage
IPR (patents, trade marks, branding, GIS, copyright, design)
Quality
Market coverage
Promotional investment
Reputation
Skills

New product/service development
On-line Sophistication
Customer base
Product width/depth
Price
Distribution channels
Customer satisfaction
ESG
Cost base
Funding system
Regulation

Pricing
Have we a fully developed cost control and pricing methodology?

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Management accounting cost and overhead recovery
Activity based system
Competitive pricing reviewed
Price leadership
Discount policy reviewed
Currency
Sales promotion options

Sales promotion options
Variances
Pricing strategy
Dynamic pricing
Prices reflect intermediaries
Finance option reviewed
Tax
Historic pricing

Speed of Change
Are we clear about how forecasts match market and competitive change?

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Very significantly above market and competition?

Significantly above market and competition?

In line with market and competition?

Below market and competition?

Significantly below market and competition?

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Has the percentage of company activity in core areas increased or decreased over the past planning period (mission creep)?

Have we increased or decreased our core competence over the past planning period?

KISS?

Experience curve?

Prioritization methodology?

Strategy
Have we considered the best strategic options for the company using the various portfolio techniques?

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Pareto analysis
Diffusion theory
BCG
PIMS
Innovation matrix
International product matrix
Capital allocation models (regions, products/services)
First mover advantage
Walking through
Market position
Simulation
S- curve
Value chain?

Market profit / market entry
Segmentation
SWOT/TOWS
GE
PLC
Market growth/business position
Gravity models
EFG
Blue skys
Market Structure
PEST
Kinsey technology

Golden Circle
Are we clear about the emphasis placed during the short, medium and long term on the various golden circle components?

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Gap analysis

Consolidation (withdrawal, cost management)

Market share increase (market penetration)

New market access (market development)

New product/service development

Knowledge Centres

Are we sure that there are individual(s) in each of the key areas of the company to manage and direct operations, build teams, drive skills, enable succession planning, lower costs, reduce meeting volumes, improve motivation through group recognition, and improve control?

Key Performance Indicators

Has the company defined key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each key area for the business?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Benchmarks

Has the company established benchmarks and targets for key performance indicators in all areas of operation?
Are company targets established for continuous improvement (CI)?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Action Plan

Does each operational area develop an action plan?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Action Standards

Does the organisation set action standards for key operational performance activities?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Bottom up planning

Has each operational area developed their own plan for their area of responsibility, including strategy and implementation?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Technology Audit

Has the company a system to evaluate available technology to improve competitive advantage, speed, quality, scalability, security, cost management, customer satisfaction, pricing, profitability, complexity?

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Administration

Finance

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery

New product/service development

Legal Framework

Have the current and future legal frameworks been identified?

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Administration

Finance?

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery?

New product/service development?

Project Management

Does the organisation emphasise project management techniques to improve performance?

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Help to identify risk (risk register, Equator principles)?

Control time, specification, and budget?

Improve control over investment through stagegate techniques, hurdle rates, HACCP?

Buy in through agile approach?

Are major projects always reviewed on completion?

Production/service delivery?

Use external advisors to review project design and monitor performance?

Standard Operating Procedures

Does the company have a well established system for incorporating standard operating procedures in all areas of company activity to standardise response, improve quality, speed, while incorporating a paper trail for review? Are software solutions continually explored? Intranet available?

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Administration

Finance?

Personnel

Marketing / Sales

Information Technology

Production/service delivery?

New product/service development?

Complaints

Has the organisation a formal method of responding to internal and external complaints, including recording, effectively responding, and reviewing outcomes?

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Management Information Systems

Does the organisation have a functional system to integrate all information in a system which is widely available and useful (SATURNS mnemonic) for most employees? Is the system secure and safely duplicated? Is vital information maintained off-line?

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Project management
Forecast trends
Regulatory information
Products/ Services
Market research – on going and ad hoc
Production/ service delivery
Customer activity
Premises performance

Regulation
Accounting
Employees
Products/ Services
Market data
Customer complaints
Premises performance
Data analysis methodology