PLAN-PLAN-PLAN – #95

Our staff is back to work, and I am the only person starting my 9th week locked-down in my apartment. During this time, I fully got the feeling and pain of the small business owners during these tough times. If blog readers can help, we would appreciate any help and ideas that you could provide – use us (ISEWM) as a clearing point. Please call me  —– 847-477-9465. Many small to medium size companies suffered due to the effects of the pandemic.

We started early on the need for a plan in your firm, and provided a simple one-page outline for subjects and contents. Each function (Sales, Manufacturing, Marketing) and other key functions is to be invited to a leadership meeting for their function. Department heads only and bring – your business and support documents. Please be prepared to stay at least for a day-and-a-half. The following questions should be asked by the leader of the meeting. Each question should result in a wide discussion. This will be a meeting with no  limits and no boundaries with participants representing “THE BEST OF THE BEST”. With EACH VITAL AREA of the businesses being dependent on each other’s success, this meeting will determine the NEW path that the business will be traveling on for the near and foreseeable future.

  1. WHAT IS OUR DIGITAL STATUS?
  • WHAT CAN WE BUILD ON?
  • WHERE DO WE WANT TO GO?
  •  WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE?

As much as “boards” and “regulators” may want to be knowledgeable and controllable – that simply is not how it works. These people who only work 6 hours a month, try to influence decisions such as I am trying to pose. There is no doubt that you have the “BEST” people in the world making recommendations as to the direction of the firm. Is it any doubt why so many Plans show up vs. Strategies?  Because strategies most often require a deep understanding of the business. That’s why 70% of quota has NOT grown to be a success and we have accepted a mediocre performance as acceptable. The world is truly GLOBAL and while our international sales are not significant NOW – they could be in the future.

  1. WHO ARE OUR CUSTUMERS?

    –  SIZE, TRENDS, THEY ARE EXPERIENCING

    –  HOW DOES DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS AFFECT THEIR AND OUR CUSTOMERS?

    –  WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THEIR INDUSTRIES?

  • THE CUSOMER IS BOSS – YES__NO__
  • WHAT INNOVATIONS WILL BE NEEDED IN FUTURE YEARS TO MEET THEIR REQUIREMENTS?
  • WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE NEEDED INFRA- STRUCTURE OF THE BUSINESS?
  • HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE WEV’E TALKED FACE-TO-FACE WITH OUR CUSTOMERS?
  1. WHO ARE OUR COMPETITORS-SHARE OF MARKET THEM VS. US?
  1. NEW OPPORTUNITIES VS. EXISTING PRODUCTS.
  1. WHERE DO WE STAND ON PRODUCT LIFE – CYCLE CHART FOR ALL OUR PRODUCTS?
  1. DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS – NEEDS FOR THE FUTURE.  LONG TIME TO BUILD –WHERE IS THE COMPETITION GOING? – LONG TIME TO BUILD.
  1. MARKETS CAN SHIFT ON A DIME. THE ABILITY TO CHANGE WILL BE REWARDED. 

THESE 7 DISCUSSION POINTS WILL EASILY TAKE  UP TO TWO DAYS.  PLEASE OPEN UP THE SESSION BY INVITING YOUR SR. MANAGEMENT TEAM AND THEIR STAFFS TO BRING UP OTHER KEY SUBJECTS. HOWEVER, THE TOPICS WILL HAVE TO BE REVIEWED BY ALL THE REST OF THE MANAGERS ATTENDING THE UPCOMING MEETING, RECEIVE YOUR APPROVAL AND GET ON THE AGENDA. TREAT EACH RECOMMENDATION KINDLY AND WITH KID GLOVES – SCHEDULE FOR NEXT MEETING AGENDA.

NEXT STEPS – THE MANAGERS WILL LEAVE THE MEETING AND HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW KEY SUBJECTS. THEN CALL FOR A SIMILIAR MEETING WITH THEIR LEADERSHIP GROUPS AND MEET THE REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A MINIMUM OF ONE EMPLOYEE FROM AN OPERATIONAL GROUP IN ATTENDANCE. THEN AMONGST ALL YOUR LEADERSHIP GROUP PREPARE A ONE PAGE PLAN (BLOG #2), PLEASE SUBMIT THAT PLAN TO HR FROM YOUR GROUP. HR WILL FIND A WAY TO ROLL UP ALL PLANS AND SUBMIT THEM TO SR. MGMNT. THEY CAN REVIEW THE PLAN FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY – ADD & DELETE AND THEN SUBMIT TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

THIS PROCESS WILL TAKE A TWO TO THREE MONTHS TO COMPLETE IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE MAXIMIZING ALL AVAILABLE INPUTS. WHILE THIS MEETING WILL BE A KEY WEAPON IN THE ARSENAL. IT WILL GET EASIER AS YOU GO ALONG. A SCHEDULE OF HAVING SUCH A MEETING EVERY 6 – 18 MONTHS.

 PLEASE CALL ME AT 847-477-9465 SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

THE TOP LEADERSHIP MEETING WILL HAVE TO RESULT IN SOME MEANINGFUL PLANS, STRATEGIES OR WHATEVER WE MIGHT CALL THEM. WE JUST EXPERIENCED A TOTAL GLOBAL CHANGE – WHO WOULD HAVE TOUGHT IT COULD HAPPEN? BUT IT DID! WITHOUT A SERIES OF STRATEGIES THAT CAN BE MEASURED AND HAVE SOMEONE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEM, YOU WILL REQUIRE 6-12 MONTHS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HIT YOU AND MOST LIKELY YOU WILL BE HEADING TOWARDS BEING OUT OF BUSINESS OR FACING A SIGNIFICANT DOWNSIZING