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A sound business plan ensures that all key decision-makers have a solid understanding of the business, common fact base, and agree on important assumptions. * Is your business just surviving or is it prospering? * Do you out perform your competitors or blame the weather, the �fact� they�re giving it away or your suppliers/bad luck/anybody you can think of when you lose a deal? * Would you get married without planning the day?( I dare you!) �In a buoyant market even the slow and infirm will survive. They will see only glory days ahead and have forgotten the despair of past losses. And so they continue as they are. The bland leading the blind. But the smart will plan and put a robust structure in place that out performs the market, with skills, values and vision which allow them to devour their inefficient competitors and emerge a stronger company for the experience� Planning is simply a means to an end, with the aim being to influence the future by acting in advance. A good (even cunning) plan ensures that all key decisionmakers have a solid understanding of the business, common fact base, and agree on important assumptions. Even a good plan does not guarantee success, but it does improve the odds when well done. As far as business planning is concerned which of the following descriptions fits your business best? 1. Little or no formal planning - intuition 2. Financial Planning: budget based, strategy follows budget 3. Forecast-Based Planning: budget extrapolation with adjustment 4. Planning: strategic issue focus; in-depth analysis of market, competitors and self 5. Strategic Management: widespread strategic contribution, debate, thinking. Strategic planning and management as an integrated process Copernicus will work with you to bring you rapidly to level 5. Delivering * * * * * * Vision, Value, Mission statements Objectives External/internal situational audit Summary portfolio positioning Evaluation of - assumptions - Options / alternatives - Issues / challenges Strategy selection: - Portfolio of market / business positions - Capability (functional) development - Resource allocation Attack plans and programmes Expected financial results and contingencies Control, review and reward mechanisms Increased shareholder value
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About the Author: Colin Fell has a 25 year track record of building successful international businesses. Educated in Manchester, London and New York he has worked extensively across Europe, particularly Scandinavia, USA and the Middle East. The driving force behind Copernicus Consulting - he had the vision to identify that there was a gap in the market for an international consultancy focused on the SME sector capable of guiding businesses to international trade success. For more information please visit: http://www.copernicus-consulting.com