Six steps to that small business game plan | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Six steps to that small business game plan

 
Why start a business? Are you looking to be a millionaire? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to be a change agent? Do you want to help society at large? Your reasons for starting something new could be either or all of the above. The point here being, you have to be clear as to what your aiming to achieve.

Determine business objectives                                                                                                                                                                              

You have to chart your course. This is very important. You could change directions early into the business or mid-way, depending on market dynamics. But you must have a definite goal at the very onset

Draft a business plan                                                                                                                                                                                                  

You can check the Internet for templates that help you draft your plan. You can even buy software that assists you in planning. Speak to your peers and industry veterans as you draft your plan. Not all plans need to be elaborate, running several pages because they vary from industry to industry. Details are key to planning.

Plot a strategy pyramid                                                                                                                                                                                    

Data, data and more data is central to planning. Details have to be backed by  ground research, about what exists out there in terms of opportunitiesl; where lies the gap and how you plan to plug the gap; how do you plan to take on competition etc.

For instance, marketing activities involves strategizing. A technology play involves strategizing. A strategy pyramid is a tool to help you with strategizing

Draft an organizational chart                                                                                                                                                                                  

It would be great if you can do this even before you start scouting for office space. By the time you have got to this stage, you know how the first year or first two years will pan out.

The chart, resembling a flow chart, does not just answer questions like ‘Who do you need to employ?’ or ‘Who will report into whom?’ It gives you an idea of how you need to allocate resources, physical, tech and financial.

Chalk out employee growth plans                                                                                                                                                                              

Create job tiers. Figure out your employee evaluation / appraisal system at an early stage.

You do not want to devise an appraisal system when push comes to shove, that is, a year into operations when everybody’s looking to you for clarity on the same. It is, we think, unprofessional.

It also puts the HR team in trouble. What if you took longer than you expected to devise the evaluation system? Time delays can frustrate employees.

You expect them to stick to targets right? It is the management’s responsibility to lead with example.

Hiring                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Hiring the right team can be easy and difficult. For some companies, it is easy at the startup stage but for others it gets easier when they are established.

Do ask yourself why you are an attractive employer?' Is it because,

a)    You pay slightly more than the industry average

b)    Of where your office is located

c)    You are doling out ESOPs and promise performance-linked bonuses