We recently conducted a workshop at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in Savannah GA. There were approximately 120 chamber leaders, from across the nation, and the question was asked, how many have a formal strategic planning process? There was an overwhelmingly positive show of hands. The response from these participants reflects our experience with all nonprofits, that most have a strategic planning process. It may vary in timing or method, but it is essential to the success of the group. Without it, there can be a loss of faith from those who invest their time, trust and resources to an organization.… Read the rest
We are often in a social situation where we meet people, who will eventually ask us, what we do. When we reply that part of our practice is business coaching they often reply, “OH that’s nice.” They say that in a way which indicates that they are unsure of what that means and are fearful of finding out more about the subject. They assume that they are well equipped to handle their business issues or that this is a “touchy feely” subject that makes them uncomfortable.… Read the rest
One of the skills necessary for success in any business or nonprofit organization is the ability to chart a course. To properly chart a course, it is important to understand first where you are, than where you want to go, and finally the plan on how to get there. If you have ever been in a new town and wanted to go out to dinner, you might have first looked for a restaurant in a magazine. You then call to find out where they were located. The first question you were asked by the person in the restaurant is where are you now? In fact, you have just taken the first step in charting a course to dinner.… Read the rest
Charles Kettering, famous inventor and founder of Delco, once said, “We should be all concerned about the future because we will spend the rest of our lives there.” The ability to have a vision of what you personally perceive as success is a key element in your business venture and your personal life. Where are you going and what will in look like when you get there? A meaningful vision not only provides direction, but it helps people find meaning in their work and a reason to excel.… Read the rest
It is a very rare association or non-profit who has not developed and written a Strategic Plan. If they have not, they should. It is also not unusual that, after a relatively short period of time, the work put into creating that plan is forgotten and results expected are not achieved. At the core of the Strategic Plan is the Vision for the organization. Let’s consider ways to move the organization towards that Vision and overcome some of the obstacles along the way.
A business plan is a working document through which you set your goals and trace progress towards increased success. There may come the opportunity to present that plan to investors or a financial institution. Listed below are a list of tips to make that presentation more effective.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
This program, originally announced in the Quill last month is also available to organizations and groups. It is ideally suited for groups of six to eight people from one company or organization. It would provide the organizational leadership, such as department heads, an organized forum during which they could review their 2015 accomplishment and set their goals for 2016. Our program for the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce will include representative from a number of diversified business and is described in the last month’s article.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
RLS Focused Solutions, in conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, is offering an opportunity to help you achieve a more successful 2016. The workshop will be offered on Friday January 15th. They will be held at the Chamber Conference. Room It will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude no later than 2:00 PM. A working lunch from the Purple Onion will be included.… Read the rest
I am often asked the same two questions. Do I need a business plan? What should I include in my business plan? I am going to answer these questions when writing this article. Do I require a business plan? For most businesses the answer to this question would be yes. For the majority of new businesses and ones which require investment by way of a loan or a business partner, a business plan is a must.… Read the rest
Many of us have spent countless hours thinking about and documenting plans for either our business or non-profit organization. There is a sense of satisfaction with the completion of the final draft that is shared by all involved. Far too often that document is filed or left in a desk drawer to be revised in a year’s time. Many have even reported that they gave up on the planning process because it just didn’t work. I often remember the president of a very well-managed company once stating that the team had become expert on writing business plans, but not real good on making them a reality.
There are many important steps to consider when developing a business plan for your company, but the first step is to fully understand the main uses of a business-plan. The four main uses of a business-plan are as follows:
A Business Plan is a written document that you can use in your search for external financing.
A Business Plan is a tactical planning and management tool for your business.
A Business Plan is a document showing the capacity of your team to control and manage all the aspects of the company.
A Business Plan brings you new ideas to refine your project by checking and estimating the induced hypothesis.
How Does it Drive Non-Profit Organizational Success?
Having worked with and been a part of a number of non-profit boards of directors, we have observed a range of involvement, producing a wide range of results. Some boards were highly organized and had very little involvement with the day-to-day activities of the organization. Others were more loosely organized but served functional roles, like fund raising, within the non-profit. To better understand the effect boards have on the success of organizations, we joined with Springboard Internationalto conduct interviews the CEOs and Board Chairs. These leaders represented local, regional and national organizations. The complete results of this work is available in a white paper entitled, A Conversation about Board Engagement on our website: http://plangoals.com/offer/.… Read the rest
While employment is a surefire way of securing your future, there are always those who believe that entrepreneurship should be a priority not only among those who are already established in life but also for students who have just finished their studies. Other people believe that getting involved with a profitable business is still the way to go if one wants to be financially successful in the future.
People who immediately go into business without any plan at all are the ones who end up with nothing at all, in terms of their capital or investment. This is because they have joined a war without carrying any weapon at all.… Read the rest
Several weeks ago, we were invited to conduct a three-hour seminar for the IndependentGarage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC). The subject of the seminar was Business Model Generation, a topic which shows the participants a method to look at their current business operation and discover ways to bring it more in-line with their customer needs.
This Association is made up of the local auto shops that make repairs and service cars and trucks. One’s first impression when considering the group is that they are composed of very good technicians, who pay little attention to business development. In fact, those in the workshop represented a very skilled and savvy group of entrepreneurial business people.
Yes, it’s time to start thinking about plans for the coming year. Many of the most successful businesses in our area use this period of time to develop next year’s plan for growth and success. In fact, several travel to workshops as far away as Chicago for guidance on developing their plan.
A business planning session is an opportunity to spend time on your business not in your business. It is not just something that big companies use, but has been used across the county by small business including; non-profits, landscapers, retailers, restaurants, realtors, print shops, insurance brokers, churches, independent sales representatives, and HVAC Companies.
Questions for Evaluation and Improving Your Business
As we enter the new year of 2015 it is time to reflect on where your business is going and how are you going to achieve those objectives. A number of significant events have taken place in our environment that may be forcing you to look at your business much differently than you did a year ago. Take some time to reflect on the following questions and honestly evaluate where you are, where you are going, and how you plan to get there.… Read the rest
There are many important steps to consider when developing a Business Plan for your company, but the first step is to fully understand the main uses of a business plan. The four main uses of a business-plan are as follows:
• A Business Plan is a written document that you can use in your search for external financing.
• A Business Plan is a tactical planning and management tool for your business.
• A Business Plan is a document showing the capacity of your team to control and manage all the aspects of the company.
• A Business Plan brings you new ideas to refine your business.… Read the rest
A Worthy Goal for Small Businesses – Sustainability
Sustainability, from an organizational perspective, should include an increase in productivity, and/or reduction of consumed resources without compromising product or service quality, competitiveness, or profitability. It is a business strategy that all size companies will need to adapt if we want to improve our environment. “It just makes sense to pay attention to the environmental impact of our economic practices and try to ensure that our communities are healthy, pleasant places to live.” – Susan Ward… Read the rest
A recent survey published by Boston Consulting Group and MIT revealed that there is no single, established definition for sustainability. Some companies engaged in sustainability focus solely on environmental issues while others include economic, stakeholder, and governmental issues. The study also revealed that although companies differ in their definition,sustainability is a force to be reckoned with and is a concept that is here to stay. (The Business of Sustainability, 2009, Boston Consulting Group)… Read the rest
It is quite common that an association will have an annual retreat with their Board of Director. One of the primary workshop subjects for that retreat is the review and revision of the association’s Strategic Plan. Another might be a review of board governance. Let us consider a third, Business Model Generation.… Read the rest