Series  |  Briefs  |  Quick tips  |  Basics  |  Other
Retail  |  Marketing  |  Products & Pricing  |  Other

Plan, Organise, Motivate, Control

Posted On - 11/03/2016 08:51:28

The four functions of management - you may call it something else. But whatever, if you're going to run your business – if you're going to manage it – it starts with planningThe four functions of management - you may call them something else. But whatever, if you're going to run your business – if you're going to manage it – it starts with planning.

Planning is about the future. About thinking through what you want to happen so you can work towards it and make it so.

Sure, it can be guess work, but simply turning up every day and picking up where you left off just completes jobs – it takes you nowhere. Healthy businesses look to their futures. They run themselves...

Why "Better Business"?

This is the last of five blogs in a series called "Better Business". It's based on the workshop "Better Business" we ran at our 2015 Open Day. The workshop confronted the wisdom of running a business off bank statements and relying on word-of-mouth for marketing. Because not only are these flawed ways to run a business, they're the wrong ways to do the two most important things in business.

But here's the real risk: if you never get to grips with doing them right you'll never learn how. And if you find you're desperate for customers or can't pay your bills it'll be too late to learn them then. You'll be stuck, possibly even sunk. Maybe they'll never happen: maybe everything will be OK like it always has been. That doesn't make what you've been doing right, it just means things haven't yet gone wrong. The question is are you prepared to take the risk? Are you happy to, quite literally, bet the farm on the chickens not coming home?

We want you to be as successful as you can be. This blog series sets out what we had to say on these issues and how to run a "Better Business". The five blogs in it are:

  1. Out of Control?
  2. By the Book?
  3. No Customers? No Business!
  4. Money, Money, Money
  5. Plan, Organise, Motivate, Control (this blog)

Do the right thing

In "By the Book?" we talked about everything the book tells you to do when running your business. There was a lot - too much for any small business to take sensibly. That was the point of the blog. But we didn't leave it there - we boiled it all down so you could cut the c*** and focus on the two things you must. Business is all about creating and keeping customers, so that was one. The other? That was about the very beating heart of your business - managing money.

Winning new business

In "No Customers? No Business!" we talked all about this. About how the sweet spot is reaching out to genuinely brand new customers. So you're growing your customer base and not only selling more to those you already have.

In that blog we discussed the need for marketing plans. And in particular we spoke about the measures to gauge success. Things like: #'s new customers/month; average £ spend/sale; product/service profitability; and % sales conversions. Run your business knowing these and you will be in control. Yours will be a healthy business. See "No Customers? No Business!" for more.


In "Money, Money, Money", we talked about financial management. It was a straightforward conversation about a simple tool. But it was also a direct conversation about an absolute must. Money is too important to half-do: it's the life-blood of business. It feeds your family, pays your staff, and maybe even creates your retirement. You have to get it right.

It's impossible to run a business with any confidence off a bank statement. They simply aren't reality. More, they give you no forward visibility. A bank statement cannot help you plan. The right – the only – tool to use is a cash-flow forecast. A spreadsheet forecasting (and recording) what cash will move where when. Run your business using one of these and you will be in control. Yours will be a healthy business. See "Money, Money, Money" for more.

Stop surviving. Start thriving

Like we said at the outset, simply turning up each day and picking up where you left off just completes jobs. All it is, is surviving.

But you're running a business. Something that provides for you not just now, but into the future. So what? Why can't you simply carry on head-down? Because you won't get anywhere. You won't create anything.You won't have anything to show for the years of effort you put in.

The future matters. You can choose to let it decide which version of it you get or do something to make it happen how you want - it's your call. But when you make it don't put your business needlessly at risk. Work towards - build - a better one. One that can and does drum up the business it wants. And one that knows where every penny of its hard earned cash will go and has already. Doing this isn't anything like as hard as you may think - it's just different. You just need to get-the-habit. Make that choice today - read through "Better Business". And if you'd like to discuss anything whatsoever about your business just reach out. Our details are below.

Please tell us why you dislike this blog article?
Display Name:
Email Address:
Post comment?
I accept the terms and conditions set out here
Post Cancel
Also in this series
  1. Plan, Organise, Motivate, Control
  2. Money, Money, Money…
  3. No Customers? No Business!
  4. By the Book?
  5. Out of Control?
February 2018 (1)
January 2018 (2)
December 2017 (2)
November 2017 (4)
Earlier (301)
Contact Us
Like what you've read? Then why not sign up to the Shop Talk newsletter?

Have ideas or want to discuss them further? Don't understand what's been written and need some explanation? If you want to talk, for whatever reason, we're happy to as well.

The best ways to find us are by email or by mobile:

01977 282 300 & choose option 5

Alternatively please call 01977 282 359 to speak to a member of our ShopTalk team

You have already signed up to the Shop Talk mailing list

Shop Talk: The only blog for small independent IT retailers and businesses

It's FREE. Join the Shop Talk community and get advice on how to build a better business.

Contact Name: *
Email Address: (privacy policy) *
What's your greatest Business Challenge?
New to Target?
Interested in our TRADE ONLY deals?
Yes No *
Please type the characters from the image shown



You will receive a confirmation email, please click on the link to confirm your email address.


You have now been added to the Shop Talk blog news mailing list.