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Planning and goal setting

As a Business Manager, it is part of your job to plan for the future of your business, and set goals and objectives that you would like to see your business achieve. Effective goal setting will help you to plan and control your business more efficiently, improving your chances of success and profitability.

A valuable method used to help you manage your business, employees and the planning process to assist you in the achievement of your goals, is the Management By Objectives approach.

— Management by objectives

Traditionally, job descriptions for employees have focused on the functions or activities related to specific roles within a business or company. This can be of particular use when training new members of staff and laying out their daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

The Management By Objectives (MBO) approach, however, encourages your employees to set goals for themselves, which will ultimately help to achieve the overall objectives of the business.

To help you plan your business more effectively, and to convey those plans clearly and concisely to your employees, it is important to get your team thinking of the results that they were hired to achieve for your business, rather than simply the functions they are expected to perform.

Having a team that is dedicated to achieving a set of goals designed to help improve your business will be much more beneficial to your business than having a staff that is simply going through the motions.

Using the Management by Objectives approach in your business means getting your staff more involved by asking them to set their own work goals, that will ultimately help the business to achieve its overall objectives.

— Defining your business

In order to properly plan your business’s goals and objectives for the future, you must first understand and be able to define what your business is. If you are just starting out and do not yet have a business plan, ask yourself, what business am I in? Think about what kind of product or service you are offering, what industry your business fits into, and where it will be located in the marketplace, when compared to your competitors, i.e. high-end or budget products, etc.

Clarifying what your business is will be a crucial step in the planning process. This definition will help you to position yourself when devising marketing and product development strategies, deciding what materials, equipments and assets will be needed to run your business, and what your business’s financial and personnel requirements will be.

— Setting Goals

There are two main types of goals that you should focus on when planning for your business’s future success, long-term and short-term. The long-term goals, which you should set yourself, are they are going to be the most important on a large scale, and will help you to determine the direction your business is going to take, how it is going to grow and where it will be in five to ten years.

Long-term goals

Focus on specific areas of your business that you would like to improve, expand or simply develop, and indicate how you want them to have changed in your allotted time period. If you are starting a new business, try to set goals that you would like to achieve within five years of operation. If you are new to the marketplace, you are less likely to be able to predict what you can achieve and how the marketplace is likely to change over a longer period.

When setting these goals, try to include all of your managers, asking them to help decide what the business’s objectives should be. You are going to need their interest and cooperation to help you to achieve these goals, and they are likely to show a greater commitment if they have a hand in formulating the plan.

Some areas to consider when setting your long term goals are:

Short-term goals

Setting short-term goals, especially when you are just starting out in business, will help you to manage the progress of your staff and encourage them to work towards their long-term objectives as they achieve each of their short-term goals.

It is a good idea to ask your staff to set these goals for themselves to get them involved in the process and thinking about they can help to improve your business. Short-term goals should be achievable within a shorter time frame, possibly weekly, monthly or bi-annually.

All goals should support the overall objectives that you have set for your business and help you and your staff work toward achieving them.

— Types of goals

Regular work goals

These goals relate to the major functions of each of your managers, and at the next level the functions of every member of your staff. They should help your staff to focus on managing the operations of their departments more efficiently, improving the quality of the product or service that your business offers, and expanding the area of your business that they are in charge of.

Problem-solving goals

Ask your managers to define the problems that they experience while carrying out the operations of their departments, and to set goals that will help them to solve these problems and to avoid them in the future.

Innovative goals

To keep up with current trends in the marketplace and continue to contend with competitors, it is important in many industries to set goals for innovative practices, whether they relate to developing new products or to more efficient production methods, better management procedures or more effective customer service.

Development goals

These goals should include the continued training of staff, encouraging the acquisition of new skills and growth of individual employees to help them improve their performance and achieve their goals.

— Devising a work plan

To implement the Management By Objective approach in your workplace, you will need to draw up a work plan that will allow each of your managers, and each member of their staff to effectively set their goals, in order to make them clearly defined and more easily achievable.

The following should be taken into consideration when putting your work plan into practice:

To ensure that this management process is working for your business and your staff, it is important to regularly review the progress that your employees are making toward achieving their goals, and monitor how their performance is helping you to achieve your business’s goals.

— Following up

It is possible that, after implementing this approach to management in your business, you will find that it is not working for your business. There are several reasons why this may be the case, the most common of which are not involving upper management in the process of setting and monitoring goals and progression, inadequate or unachievable corporate objectives or not putting proper preparation into installing the planning process. If the MBO approach has not yielded the results you wanted for your business, consider why and how you can fix these problems before deciding that it will not work for you.
No matter what approach you use to help plan for the future of your business and the development of your staff, it is important to find a planning process that works for you and will yield the results that you want for your business. Planning and goal setting will provide clear targets for you and your staff to achieve, and will ultimately help your business to develop, grow and become more successful.

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Innovation Stems From Collaboration – So How Can Your Business Get Involved?

Posted on October 18, 2021 by admin

Innovation is one of the pinnacles of good business practice. However, sometimes innovation isn’t a process that can be achieved by one person alone. In business, some of the best ideas and practices that your business might achieve could occur through collaboration.

Most businesses will have understood the impact and importance of internal collaboration between team members and already put into place tools to help promote this. However, what exactly does effective business collaboration look like?

Business collaboration is the leveraging of internal and external connections in order to generate ideas, find solutions and achieve common goals for your business. It can be done internally (through collaboration with your team), or externally (through the combined efforts of multiple businesses).

Many businesses are already seeing the benefits of remote collaboration within their teams, especially with regards to the time being saved and the increase in productivity.

Businesses may also find that learning opportunities are presented to their employees and team members through the interaction and collaboration with other businesses that could benefit them, with additional knowledge and skillsets gained throughout the process.

Even with many restrictions remaining in place that limit travel on both domestic and international scales, businesses are able to confer with remote workers and businesses through the assistance of digital technologies, thus enabling collaborative efforts to continue

As restrictions ease and businesses are able to engage with one another once again in face-to-face settings, remote collaboration tools can be used to facilitate inter-business collaboration from the ease of anywhere.

These include:

These tools allow businesses to work uninterrupted with individuals, clients and other businesses, as the distance between is no longer a major inhibiting factor to operations (if operations can be conducted away from the site). It can also potentially promote global interconnectedness for the business, as collaboration does not have to occur at a local or domestic level.

Your business might not collaborate with other businesses in exactly the same way as a business in the same industry. It’s important to know what might be the right form of collaboration for your business to benefit from it – and doing that will depend on what you may want to get out of it, and how long you may want it to last.

Alliance

This is known as the traditional type of business collaboration, usually involving two or three companies temporarily working together. They are able to reach a common goal by combining their resources and knowledge, which can be effective for businesses with knowledge/resource gaps that another business could temporarily fill.

Co-Opetition

Competitors can be great collaborators if used appropriately. Co-opettion involves collaborating with competitors so that businesses can share resources, avoid duplication of their work and generate new customers for all parties involved.

Portfolio

When one large business manages a broad collaboration with multiple smaller, external partners, this is known as portfolio collaboration. The main, central business sets the rules for the collaboration and maintains it, offering many of the benefits of an alliance but in a long-term form that generates more connections between businesses.

Community 

Simply put, community collaboration uses one of the greatest resources that a business may have at its disposal – the community. Essentially, businesses collaborate with individuals or other businesses that are within their community. This can be done via both the business community (e.g local business partnerships) AND the customer community (e.g. social media influencers).

Network

If a business knows of other businesses with similar goals and values that they want to uphold, they may instigate network collaboration. This style of collaboration means that the businesses may not necessarily be in competition with one another but, with shared interests can collaborate on mutually beneficial projects with access to one another’s resources and customer base.

Your business may choose to collaborate with other businesses through:

The rapidly changing and digitally-inclined business world means that businesses that don’t prioritise collaboration – both internally and externally – are likely to fall behind. Making the most of collaboration solutions and tools allows collaborations to be streamlined, which is beneficial to all involved.

If you are looking for advice on how to structure these collaborations or work out the best way to get involved with other businesses, you can plan out your way forward with our help. Start a conversation with us today.

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