We normally talk of strategy, structure, systems, style, product, people, processes, procedures and technology as major anchors of any business, and it is a fact.
Every organisation has to continuously review and take stock of the performance of each of these as it evolves. Process and department-based performance targets have to be set and reviewed every now and then to see whether you are on track or not and take the necessary corrective action.
Do you have any set targets for 2021?
You cannot measure anything without standards, budgets or yardsticks. To then talk about measuring performance at the end of the year or a reading season is daydreaming.
A number of owners of small and medium enterprises think this applies to large corporates only.
Let me put the record straight — you will remain foreign to success if you do not plan in your business. Set targets that you will work with. These will assist in the alignment of your actions, attitude and behaviour towards the set targets. You can as well measure performance and take corrective action if outcomes are not aligned to expectations.
This simply means you were not that serious about the whole planning process. A business plan is normally reduced to figures and it has specific time lines and a clear roadmap that will be followed. A business is a composite.
All these components form key result areas as far as the success of the organisation is concerned and they must be planned for.
Every business is done in a certain market. So, the market – after the business idea conceptualisation and actualisation – becomes the second important discussion and implementation point. Have you ever thought in this context as you approached the end of last year and towards 2022, or you just dived in blindly, thinking things will just work out on their own?
For a start-up or someone who wishes to establish a business in a new area other than the one they are operating in, visible in your planning should be some market identification and penetration issues. If you are already in, the thrust is on how to increase your market share. We have companies in Zimbabwe such as Chicken Inn (Simbisa Brands), which went on a branch-opening spree this year in a bid to bolster its market position.
It opened branches in new places. It opened branches at N. Richards in Tynwald, N1 Hotel on Rotten Row (now Abdel Gamal Nasser Road) and some other key areas.
That was part of the company’s expansion strategy for the year and we saw it doing just that. Of what you had aimed to achieve as your market identification, penetration or growth, how far have you gone now?
Every market consumes products and services. Whichever of the two you offer in your business, there must be a plan either for a new product/service or maintaining the existing one while improving on the quality.
The type and quality of your products show the depth of your thinking and innovation prowess as it can be a very good distinctive factor in the market.
These factors can help spur business growth and an increase in market share.
Product and service differentiation mostly comes in through the way you choose to package it, over and above the internal qualities of the same. Quality matters for it speaks to the tastes and preferences of individuals.
This answers the question: How are you going to expose your products and services to the market? You must be intentional in coming up with a plan on marketing your products and services to your target market.
Planning and budgets are an integral part of any business and they form the basis for measuring performance. I will cover the last part of this discussion next week.
◆ Dr Kudzanai Vere is the CEO of the Institute Of Entrepreneurs Zimbabwe. He can be contacted on +263719592232, email: email@example.com. This article was first published here in the Sunday Mail.