Category Archives: Business Planning

How Trump & Brexit Affect Irish Business Independent.ie Podcast

With the political world in chaos from Trump to Brexit to a potential Frexit, how can businesses deal with increasing uncertainty? How can businesses plan for success regardless of the external factors?

These were just some of the topics for discussion on Independent.ie podcast which featured our own MD Paul Fagan. To listen to the interview in full please listen here:

Does your business have a comprehensive and actionable business plan for the first quarter of 2017? If you’d like to block out a day to create a 90 day plan with the help of 6 business coaches to get 2017 off to a great start, you may be interested in our Business Planning Workshop this Tuesday Jan 10th, there’s still a few spots left!

Click here for more info or to register or call us on 01-891 6220.

How To Achieve Your Key Goals Before Year End

Goal Setting For The Final QuarterSummer is over…the kids are back to school… it’s time to get re-focused and back to business to ensure you achieve your key goals before year end….

To guarantee your success, make sure to take time out of your business this September to review year-to-date performance and develop your plan for the final quarter of the year.

Here are our 5 top tips to help you with your Q4 plan:

1. Plan time to plan!

  • Schedule one full day every 90 days to focus on developing a clear plan for your business each quarter.  Quarterly rather than annual planning is always recommended as it keeps you focused on key outcomes, and allows enough time to test and measure new strategies and make any necessary changes.
  • Pop the date in your diary and invite any key members of your team. This way you have all the key information at hand, get buy in from your senior team, and know that you are all striving towards a common goal!
  • We always recommend getting out of your regular work environment so there will be no distractions.

2. Review Previous Performance

  • Review year-to-date financial and strategy performance versus prior year performance.
  •  This provides you with an insight to what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change!

3. Make Any Necessary Changes

  • Based on the previous quarters results, review how your approach can be improved to generate greater productivity and results over the next quarter.
  • If a strategy is not yielding results don’t be afraid to scrap it and try something new!

4. Don’t Forget Your Personal Goals

  • Set out your key business goals for the quarter ahead but don’t forget your personal goals too so you can achieve the work / life balance your deserve.

5. Set Realistic Timelines

  • Once you have established your quarterly goals, be sure to allocate an owner and time frame for completion.
  • Be sure to enter them into your calendar so they are not forgotten in the day-to-day running of the business.

Having a quarterly business plan is essential to keep you focused and on track with targets. We hope these tips help you to achieve your goals by year-end.

If you would like some help to develop your final quarter plan, why not join us at our upcoming GrowthCLUB Quarterly Business Planning Workshop, Thursday 22nd September in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. Click here for more information and to register your place or call us on 01 891 6220.

Or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

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Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning


ActionCOACH Goal Posts - Quarterly Planning

Don’t lose sight of the goal posts this summer – stay on target with regular Quarterly Business Planning…

So we have reached the halfway mark of 2016 – where did that time go? And more importantly, how has business been for you so far this year?

Are your numbers where they should be, or where you expected them to be? With 6 months gone, are you on track to hit your sales and revenue targets for 2016?

Now that we are officially into the summer season, it can be easy to lose focus of your goals or targets, what with managing staff holidays, and depending on the industry that you are in, perhaps dealing increased footfall.

However it’s important not to lose sight of your over-arching business objectives. Without regular quarterly planning (summer included), another 3 months could easily slip by and you could be slipping further away from achieving your year-end personal and business goals and targets.

Half way through the year is the perfect time to take stock of how business is performing against what you had set out at the start of the year. There is still plenty of time to course-correct.

If you are not on target, take the time to assess what went wrong and what you can do to get back on track. If you are performing better than expected – what went right and can you keep doing it?

Here are 10 top tips to keep you on target with your goals with your quarterly business plan this summer:

 

  1. Review Your Numbers – compare total Income, Gross Profit, Net Profit for the quarter just passed, against the previous quarter, and against the same period last year.  What’s the change year over year? Get even more specific – break it down by product / service….
  2. Based on the figures, and what you wanted to achieve this year, what’s your financial targets for the quarter ahead?
  3. What should you stop doing? What should you start doing? What should you do more of?
  4. Write down 3-5 goals that you need to accomplish in the next 13 weeks.
  5. Get specific – rewrite each of these goals into the SMART format – Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Results focused. Time based.
  6. Break it down – Write out each task that needs to be completed to accomplish each goal. Tasks should be low level, reasonable, and should be able to be achieved in a week or less.
  7. Share your plan with your team, or even better – get them involved!
  8. Assign a completion date to each task.
  9. Assign a team member to take ownership and accountability of the completion of each task.
  10. Schedule regular team meetings to review progress of your goals over the next 13 weeks. With continued focus – they run a much higher chance of being achieved!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It can be if you take the time out of the day-to-day to do it, and are disciplined enough to see it through.

If you need a day out of your business to work on developing your plan with one of our expert Business Coaches, join us next Thursday 30th June at our full day Quarterly Business Planning Workshop. Just click here for more details, or give us a call on 01 891 6220.

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Take Your Business From GOOD To GREAT

Would you like to be the best in your industry? Can you take your business from Good to GREAT?

The book Good To Great by Jim Collins is an essential read for any entrepreneur and business owner. It outlines the organisational changes required to move from performing at industry average level to becoming industry leader.

This short video that we have come across by Callibrain provides a great visual summary of the key take-way’s from the book. We recommend you check it out in order to help you make some key changes to take your business from good to great:

If you would like some help putting your plan together to transform from good to great, we invite you to join us at our upcoming Quarterly Business Planning Workshop taking place Thursday 14th April in Dublin. Please click here for more information or to sign up today.

Quarterly Business Planning Workshop for Irish SME Business Owners and Management Teams

What Is The Purpose Of Business?

Have you ever asked yourself:  Why am I doing this? What’s it all for? If you are a Business Owner there is no doubt that at some stage of your career as an entrepreneur, those questions have crossed your mind. But what exactly is the purpose of business?

If asked this question, any random group would say: “To make money of course”. In this short video, Brad Sugars, Founder and Chairperson of ActionCOACH Business Coaching explains the subtle difference in the purpose of business versus the purpose of having your own business;

  1. The Purpose Of Business – is to Profitably Create Raving Fans.
  2. The Purpose Of Having Your Own Business – is to Create Excess Income For Investment.

Peter Drucker famously wrote in The Practice of Management that the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. However, as Brad explains says in this video:

“the raving fan is important in business. But the raving fan without profit is of no benefit.”

To learn more, watch this short video clip:

If you would like to generate more profit in your business, why not join us at our upcoming Quarterly Business Planning Workshop taking place Thursday 14th April. Click here for more information or to register your place, or give us a call on 01 891 6220.

Quarterly Business Planning Workshop for Irish SME Business Owners and Management Teams
Quarterly Business Planning Workshop for Irish SME Business Owners and Management Teams

Philly McMahon on Making Business Fit

Sunday Business Post journalist Emmet Ryan recently interviewed GAA star, entrepreneur, and client of ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland Philly McMahon.

In the interview Philly discusses how with the help of a Business Coach, he has become a huge success both on the football field and in the world of business. Check out the full interview here:

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Click here to Read Article and if you would like to speak to one of our Business Coaches to understand more about how Business Coaching could help you develop and grow your business further please fill in your details below or give us a call on 01 891 6220.






Top 5 New Years Resolutions for Business Owners

New Years Resolutions for business owners

As it’s the start of the New Year, you have probably already made some personal New Year resolutions like going to the gym more or eating healthier, which we hope you are sticking to so far! Now is also the ideal time to not only assess your personal life, but your professional life too.

It’s important to look to the year ahead and decide on some resolutions and goals for what you’d like to accomplish in your business. It’s a common fact most resolutions are forgotten about by the time we hit February as it is hard to keep up the enthusiasm for months on end but it’s not impossible. This year try to pick one or two worthy resolutions and stick with them.

Regardless of the type of business, here are five New Year’s resolutions every business owner should make to help you strike a better work-life balance, so you can achieve a truly satisfying and successful year ahead:

  1. Automate or Delegate Routine Time-Sapping Tasks

There are so many things to do as a business owner and it’s easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them. Then we wonder why we’re so tired and frazzled and have no time to do anything else like actually work on building our business or enjoying the fruits of our labour.

Put a value on your own time, and always look for opportunities to delegate or automate recurring tasks or low-value activities. The best use of your time as a business owner is not troubleshooting, being the number one contact for your customers or getting bogged down in admin, but is in seeing new business opportunities, providing leadership to your team and mapping out the future of the business. Give your team the tools and processes, then watch them shine and see how much time you gain for more valuable activities.

  1. Create a Default Diary & Plan For Fun

During the day-to-day running of a business, it’s too easy to get distracted with unnecessary tasks. By creating a default diary your time will be better-managed to focus on the important, valuable tasks, and you will get more quality work done in the available time.

When setting out your default diary for the year ahead, make sure to also plan in time for fun! Put some time in the calendar for what is important to you –  e.g. Holidays, Children’s Birthdays, Sports events etc.  You didn’t get into business to work all the hours that god sends. Make sure to reward yourself for a job well done. It will keep you more focused and passionate about what you do.  All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster!

  1. Learn Something New

Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life. To grow and develop your business, you need to constantly grow and develop yourself! Depending on what you choose to learn, you will also meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues or friends. This will also help you in achieving a healthy work-life balance.

  1. Go Meet More People

Join a good local networking or business group. There is nothing like talking to fellow business people to spark new ideas, refine old ones, and make valuable business contacts. It is a great way to spread the message about your business and gain valuable insights into how to move your business forward.

  1. Review and Plan Regularly

Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing business. Every business needs specific goals to strive towards, and without a clear roadmap, how are you or your team expected to achieve the desired outcome for your business.

Regular business planning lets you take stock of what is working in your business, what strategies are not working and what needs to change.  It also helps you to set new directions or adjust old goals. Learn to set aside time in your new default diary every quarter to review, adjust and look forward. This will help you not only to avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, but will also help you feel more focused and relaxed.

We hope these few ideas help when choosing your professional New Years resolutions for 2016. Everyone knows keeping up these resolutions is hard work but if you can even just apply one or two it will make life easier and business more successful.

If you would like to learn more about how you can plan for 2016, join us on Thursday 14th January, at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop, when we will help you develop your winning plan for 2016. Click here to avail of our early bird special offer.

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Why You Need A Plan in Place for 2016

Business Plan for 2016

Happy New Year! 2016 has arrived and with that it’s time to review your wins from last year, make your resolutions, and set out your plan to take your business to where you want it to be by the end of 2016.

Businesses around the country are finally starting to feel the effects of our economies return to growth. When setting out your plan for this year, we cannot stress how important it is to ensure that you are ready to take advantage of the recovery, and have the resources available to capitalise on the opportunities it will bring your way.

If you are unsure of where to start, or need a more structured environment outside the office to develop your plan, you can give your business a head start and join us at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop Thursday 14th January. Click here for more information.

If you are putting off creating a business plan and think it’s too hard or unnecessary, here are some key benefits to business planning which may help you change your mind:

1. A Business Plan will keep you on strategy

Goals cannot be achieved without a clearly defined strategy. However, it can be hard to stick to strategy once we get back into the daily routine and interruptions of running a business. Use your business plan to help summarise the main points of your strategy as a reminder to help you stay on track for achieving your end goals.

2. Your Business objectives will be clear

Every business and its team members need set objectives to strive towards in order to grow and develop. Use your plan to define and manage specific measurable objectives like number of leads, sales conversions, margins or new product launches. Define your success in objective terms.

3. Your educated guesses will be better

Use your plan to refine your educated guesses and carry out some more detailed research and analysis about things like potential market, sales, costs of sales, sales drivers, lead processing and business processes.

4. Priorities will make more sense

Aside from the strategy, there are also priorities for other factors of your business like growth, management and financial health to consider. Use your plan to set the groundwork for these, and then to revise as the business evolves.

5. You’ll understand interdependencies

Use a plan to keep track of what needs to happen and in what order. For example, if you have to time a product release to match a testing schedule or marketing to match a release, your business plan can be invaluable in keeping you organised and on track.

6. Set milestones to keep you on track

Use a business plan to keep track of dates and deadlines in one place. This is valuable even for the one-person business and vital for teams. Celebrating milestones achieved will bring momentum to you and your team and a desire to achieve again.

7. It will help you delegate

If working less hours is one of your resolutions for 2016, your business plan is the ideal place to set out your key objectives, delegate responsibility and clarify who on your team is responsible for what. Every important task should have one person in charge.

8. Managing team members and tracking results will be easy

Including your team in your business plan will help ensure everyone in the business is working towards a common goal. Each individual will know their role in achieving this goal and can be held accountable for it.

9. You can better plan and manage cash flow

No business can afford to mismanage cash. A cash flow plan is a great way to tie together estimates on sales, costs, expenses, assets you need to buy and debts you have to pay.

10. Course corrections will keep your business on track for success

Having a business plan gives you a way to be proactive — not reactive — about business. Don’t wait for things to happen. Plan them. Follow up by tracking the results and making course corrections along the way to keep you on track.

Once you have your plan in place you will have a clear picture of your business and direction it is going to take in 2016. Make sure to review it regularly and make adjustments as necessary, and then watch your business take off in 2016.

Join us on Thursday 14th January, at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop, when we will help you develop your winning plan for 2016. Click here to avail of our early bird special offer.

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Plan For Success In 2016

Plan For Success in 2016

With the Christmas break just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the New Year ahead! What goals are you setting for yourself and your business in 2016, and how do you plan on achieving these goals?

You may set out personal goals like wanting to go on your dream holiday, buy a new car, get fit and healthy or have more free time off to spend with family and friends.

Similarly, in business we all want to do better. You may set goals for 2016 in relation to higher sales targets, increased profits, improved efficiencies, or for example moving to a new larger premises. Do you have a plan in place to help you achieve these goals?

A dream/goal without a plan is just a wish. Having lots of great ideas and goals, but no clearly defined and written plan to make the most important ones happen is detrimental. Make sure you take some time out of the office in the new year to develop your plan.

Here are some tips to help you plan for success in 2016:

Evaluate your 2015 plan

enquête

Review your success over the last year and identify the challenges you encountered.

Take a look at what really worked and what perhaps didn’t work so well to help avoid making the same mistakes in 2016.

Set your 2016 goals

SMART-goals

Set your annual and quarterly goals for the year ahead. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.

Execute your plan

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Identify the strategies you need to employ to achieve these goals. Select the team members most suitable to take ownership for particular project goals. Remember if you try to achieve too many goals at once, you divide your focus, and the quality and effort will be reduced.

Review, Plan & Repeat

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Throughout the year try to get into the habit of regularly reviewing and planning e.g. Quarterly Business Planning. This will help you to adapt your plan when necessary to achieve the overall goal. Include your team in the planning process as it will help ensure everyone in the business is working towards your common goal, and each individual knows their role in achieving this goal.

Once you have a plan in place you will have control of your business and direction it is going. This is when your business will really take off!

So let’s get planning for 2016. What big goals have you set to make 2016 your most successful yet?

Join us on Thursday 14th January, at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop, when we will help you develop your winning plan for 2016. Click here to avail of our early bird special offer.

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Top 5 Business Survival Tips For Christmas

5 Top Business Survival Tips For Christmas

It’s the 1st of December and the festive season is officially upon us. This time of year can be especially hectic leading up to Christmas and the New Year for many businesses. With a bit of forward planning you can make sure your business gets through the festive season unscathed and is ready to hit the ground running in 2016.

Here are a few survival tips to make sure this is both an enjoyable and prosperous time for you and your business.

Top 5 Business Survival Tips For Christmas

 

1. Manage Cashflow

Keep track of your business cashflow cycle – factor in expenses such as holiday pay, Christmas parties and client entertainment and try to put off any expenses that can wait until the New Year. Chase your outstanding debtors for the year and make sure all jobs and projects are completed and invoiced before Christmas.

2. Monitor Stock

If you’re a retail business or any product-based business trading over the holiday season, then you need to check that your stock levels are adequate to cover you. There is nothing worse than running low on items that are high in demand or having to source merchandise over the holiday period.

 3. Check Equipment

Make sure all your equipment maintenance is up-to-date in advance to minimise the chance of breakdowns while you’re away (and avoid you having to rush back to the office ahead of time). You also need an IT contingency plan with a tech guru on hand just in case there are any issues with your hardware or software.

 4. Plan for Some R&R

If you want to take time off over the Christmas period but business needs to keep running, make sure you take time to speak to your team so that you can feel confident it will be business as usual in your absence. Delegate daily operational tasks to key staff that you know you can rely on. 

5. Keep Everything Spick and Span

As the saying goes – tidy desk tidy mind – so before your business closes for Christmas make sure everything is spotless to survive you not being there and make it a great place to return to in the New Year!

Finally, remember to keep customers and staff engaged in the countdown to Christmas by promoting a festive environment in your business. You’ll find that most people will appreciate a bit of Christmas cheer when trying to survive the silly season!

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