Why Business Plan Is So Important

Doing business is not just about selling and getting the money. Business means something more than just money.

In this modern world of business, it means having a very comprehensive plan and processes from the start until the business ended.

Why having a comprehensive business plan is important?

Imagine that you’re riding a bike on a busy road without any specific goal and understanding the situation of the that road. What will you face along the way? There’ll nothing you can predicted during your trip.

Business plan means understanding the situation, opportunities, analyzing budget, and creating activities to support the business objectives.

What a “good business plan” will look like?

A good business plan will contents:

1. LOC (Local operation country) situation analysis: Analyzing all the situation related to country that your company operating is very important. This more on external situation understanding. This included all political issues, economic issue as well as traditional. These elements is very important and it will impact directly to your business. Thus, understanding these will help you have a very clear/good visibility on the future of your business.

2. People: People are very important for your business. This doesn’t mean that you need only have a very good sales, or even manager to run your business is okay. This mean you have to understand the paying behavior as well as their income as well. You cannot be succeed in your business if you are selling a very premium products in a very poor social. Understanding their paying behavior as well as their income will help you to introduce the products right place, right people and right needs.

3. Product or Service: Just like what I have said, people and product is so important. Understand the people and their paying behaviors, help you to introduce right products with right price so that you business can grow just right to what you already predicted. ” Do not sell Rolls-Roys cars to a homeless man”. Currently, the world is changing from purely selling product features, to including customer services. People are not just buying what they needs, but they also looking for a very good service as well. You need to have a very good service.

4. Marketing: Business is supporting by plenty of marketing plan and activities. Advertising and promotion will help boost your business forwards. You might need marketing people to help you achieve this goal.

5. Legal Issue: Doing business in a right way is very important to reduce or secure yourself from any possible risks. So, you better make your business legal, running it legal and win in the legal ways.

6. Financial: This is very important part of a business plan. All the activities, plans and goals will not achieve if you don’t have enough finance to support. You need to have a very clear view of any cost of each individual projects that you have planned and profit of each projects will bring for you. Financial plan should have been done along the way during you’re creating your business plan.

 

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Harvard Business School- “Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation”

This morning, while searching for some tips to get the recognition the boss during the first quarter, I found this topics which is very interesting and very true to the reality on Harvard Business School.

To share with all of you, I would like to “re-post” that topic again in purpose to gain your attentions. Pleas enjoy your reading.

Three key goals of people at work
To maintain the enthusiasm employees bring to their jobs initially, management must understand the three sets of goals that the great majority of workers seek from their work—and then satisfy those goals:

  • Equity: To be respected and to be treated fairly in areas such as pay, benefits, and job security.
  • Achievement: To be proud of one’s job, accomplishments, and employer.
  • Camaraderie: To have good, productive relationships with fellow employees.

To maintain an enthusiastic workforce, management must meet all three goals. Indeed, employees who work for companies where just one of these factors is missing are three times less enthusiastic than workers at companies where all elements are present.

One goal cannot be substituted for another. Improved recognition cannot replace better pay, money cannot substitute for taking pride in a job well done, and pride alone will not pay the mortgage.

What individual managers can do
Satisfying the three goals depends both on organizational policies and on the everyday practices of individual managers. If the company has a solid approach to talent management, a bad manager can undermine it in his unit. On the flip side, smart and empathetic managers can overcome a great deal of corporate mismanagement while creating enthusiasm and commitment within their units. While individual managers can’t control all leadership decisions, they can still have a profound influence on employee motivation.

The most important thing is to provide employees with a sense of security, one in which they do not fear that their jobs will be in jeopardy if their performance is not perfect and one in which layoffs are considered an extreme last resort, not just another option for dealing with hard times.

But security is just the beginning. When handled properly, each of the following eight practices will play a key role in supporting your employees’ goals for achievement, equity, and camaraderie, and will enable them to retain the enthusiasm they brought to their roles in the first place.

Achievement related
1. Instill an inspiring purpose. A critical condition for employee enthusiasm is a clear, credible, and inspiring organizational purpose: in effect, a “reason for being” that translates for workers into a “reason for being there” that goes above and beyond money.

Every manager should be able to expressly state a strong purpose for his unit. What follows is one purpose statement we especially admire. It was developed by a three-person benefits group in a midsize firm.

Benefits are about people. It’s not whether you have the forms filled in or whether the checks are written. It’s whether the people are cared for when they’re sick, helped when they’re in trouble.

This statement is particularly impressive because it was composed in a small company devoid of high-powered executive attention and professional wordsmiths. It was created in the type of department normally known for its fixation on bureaucratic rules and procedures. It is a statement truly from the heart, with the focus in the right place: on the ends—people—rather than the means—completing forms.

Stating a mission is a powerful tool. But equally important is the manager’s ability to explain and communicate to subordinates the reason behind the mission. Can the manager of stockroom workers do better than telling her staff that their mission is to keep the room stocked? Can she communicate the importance of the job, the people who are relying on the stockroom being properly maintained, both inside and outside the company? The importance for even goods that might be considered prosaic to be where they need to be when they need to be there? That manager will go a long way toward providing a sense of purpose.

Stating a mission is a powerful tool. But equally important is the manager’s ability to explain and communicate to subordinates the reason behind the mission. Can the manager of stockroom workers do better than telling her staff that their mission is to keep the room stocked? Can she communicate the importance of the job, the people who are relying on the stockroom being properly maintained, both inside and outside the company? The importance for even goods that might be considered prosaic to be where they need to be when they need to be there? That manager will go a long way toward providing a sense of purpose.

2. Provide recognition. Managers should be certain that all employee contributions, both large and small, are recognized. The motto of many managers seems to be, “Why would I need to thank someone for doing something he’s paid to do?” Workers repeatedly tell us, and with great feeling, how much they appreciate a compliment. They also report how distressed they are when managers don’t take the time to thank them for a job well done yet are quick to criticize them for making mistakes.

Receiving recognition for achievements is one of the most fundamental human needs. Rather than making employees complacent, recognition reinforces their accomplishments, helping ensure there will be more of them.

A pat on the back, simply saying “good going,” a dinner for two, a note about their good work to senior executives, some schedule flexibility, a paid day off, or even a flower on a desk with a thank-you note are a few of the hundreds of ways managers can show their appreciation for good work. It works wonders if this is sincere, sensitively done, and undergirded by fair and competitive pay—and not considered a substitute for it.

3. Be an expediter for your employees. Incorporating a command-and-control style is a sure-fire path to demotivation. Instead, redefine your primary role as serving as your employees’ expediter: It is your job to facilitate getting their jobs done. Your reports are, in this sense, your “customers.” Your role as an expediter involves a range of activities, including serving as a linchpin to other business units and managerial levels to represent their best interests and ensure your people get what they need to succeed.

How do you know, beyond what’s obvious, what is most important to your employees for getting their jobs done? Ask them! “Lunch and schmooze” sessions with employees are particularly helpful for doing this. And if, for whatever reason, you can’t immediately address a particular need or request, be open about it and then let your workers know how you’re progressing at resolving their problems. This is a great way to build trust.

4. Coach your employees for improvement. A major reason so many managers do not assist subordinates in improving their performance is, simply, that they don’t know how to do this without irritating or discouraging them. A few basic principles will improve this substantially.

First and foremost, employees whose overall performance is satisfactory should be made aware of that. It is easier for employees to accept, and welcome, feedback for improvement if they know management is basically pleased with what they do and is helping them do it even better.

Space limitations prevent a full treatment of the subject of giving meaningful feedback, of which recognition is a central part, but these key points should be the basis of any feedback plan:

  • Performance feedback is not the same as an annual appraisal. Give actual performance feedback as close in time to the occurrence as possible. Use the formal annual appraisal to summarize the year, not surprise the worker with past wrongs.
  • Recognize that workers want to know when they have done poorly. Don’t succumb to the fear of giving appropriate criticism; your workers need to know when they are not performing well. At the same time, don’t forget to give positive feedback. It is, after all, your goal to create a team that warrants praise.
  • Comments concerning desired improvements should be specific, factual, unemotional, and directed at performance rather than at employees personally. Avoid making overall evaluative remarks (such as, “That work was shoddy”) or comments about employees’ personalities or motives (such as, “You’ve been careless”). Instead, provide specific, concrete details about what you feel needs to be improved and how.
  • Keep the feedback relevant to the employee’s role. Don’t let your comments wander to anything not directly tied to the tasks at hand.
  • Listen to employees for their views of problems. Employees’ experience and observations often are helpful in determining how performance issues can be best dealt with, including how you can be most helpful.
  • Remember the reason you’re giving feedback—you want to improve performance, not prove your superiority. So keep it real, and focus on what is actually doable without demanding the impossible.
  • Follow up and reinforce. Praise improvement or engage in course correction—while praising the effort—as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t offer feedback about something you know nothing about. Get someone who knows the situation to look at it.

Equity related
5. Communicate fully. One of the most counterproductive rules in business is to distribute information on the basis of “need to know.” It is usually a way of severely, unnecessarily, and destructively restricting the flow of information in an organization.

Workers’ frustration with an absence of adequate communication is one of the most negative findings we see expressed on employee attitude surveys. What employees need to do their jobs and what makes them feel respected and included dictate that very few restrictions be placed by managers on the flow of information. Hold nothing back of interest to employees except those very few items that are absolutely confidential.

Good communication requires managers to be attuned to what employees want and need to know; the best way to do this is to ask them! Most managers must discipline themselves to communicate regularly. Often it’s not a natural instinct. Schedule regular employee meetings that have no purpose other than two-way communication. Meetings among management should conclude with a specific plan for communicating the results of the meetings to employees. And tell it like it is. Many employees are quite skeptical about management’s motives and can quickly see through “spin.” Get continual feedback on how well you and the company are communicating. One of the biggest communication problems is the assumption that a message has been understood. Follow-up often finds that messages are unclear or misunderstood.

Companies and managers that communicate in the ways we describe reap large gains in employee morale. Full and open communication not only helps employees do their jobs but also is a powerful sign of respect.

6. Face up to poor performance. Identify and deal decisively with the 5 percent of your employees who don’t want to work. Most people want to work and be proud of what they do (the achievement need). But there are employees who are, in effect, “allergic” to work—they’ll do just about anything to avoid it. They are unmotivated, and a disciplinary approach—including dismissal—is about the only way they can be managed. It will raise the morale and performance of other team members to see an obstacle to their performance removed.

Camaraderie related
7. Promote teamwork. Most work requires a team effort in order to be done effectively. Research shows repeatedly that the quality of a group’s efforts in areas such as problem solving is usually superior to that of individuals working on their own. In addition, most workers get a motivation boost from working in teams.

Whenever possible, managers should organize employees into self-managed teams, with the teams having authority over matters such as quality control, scheduling, and many work methods. Such teams require less management and normally result in a healthy reduction in management layers and costs.

Creating teams has as much to do with camaraderie as core competences. A manager needs to carefully assess who works best with whom. At the same time, it is important to create the opportunity for cross-learning and diversity of ideas, methods, and approaches. Be clear with the new team about its role, how it will operate, and your expectations for its output.

Related to all three factors
8. Listen and involve. Employees are a rich source of information about how to do a job and how to do it better. This principle has been demonstrated time and again with all kinds of employees—from hourly workers doing the most routine tasks to high-ranking professionals. Managers who operate with a participative style reap enormous rewards in efficiency and work quality.

Participative managers continually announce their interest in employees’ ideas. They do not wait for these suggestions to materialize through formal upward communication or suggestion programs. They find opportunities to have direct conversations with individuals and groups about what can be done to improve effectiveness. They create an atmosphere where “the past is not good enough” and recognize employees for their innovativeness.

Participative managers, once they have defined task boundaries, give employees freedom to operate and make changes on their own commensurate with their knowledge and experience. Indeed, there may be no single motivational tactic more powerful than freeing competent people to do their jobs as they see fit.

 

What Shouldn’t Do To Your Staffs

The role of a manager just too many. Leading people is one of the second most important role after Leading business to success with the right direction and approaches. But also not so many managers who really know how to do for their staffs in order to motivate them, guide them and together succeed.

Here are some of the things that you, as a manager, shouldn’t do to your staffs:

1. Do not leave the whole cake to staff without clear and specific guideline — Guideline and direction are very important not just for individual, but for the whole business successes. To be succeed in a business, manager have to develop a specific project to fits their staff’s individual talent and guide them how to do it, and give them a very clear direction. If leave the whole cake [project] to them without specific guideline and direction, you won’t get anything back beside “firing” your staff and you’ll false in that typically project.

2. Do not “just wait” and “expect” the result if you don’t get involve — It doesn’t matter that you already guide your staffs to do what business should’ve been done, if you don’t and not willing to get involve with them you won’t be able to get any results. So, getting involve with them in that project, meet them and let them talk about what they’re facing will bring your successes.

3. Do not chase them while you didn’t push yourself into a limit — “Chasing” somehow can create a lot of problem and issues between you and your staffs. No one will like chasing. Push them to work real hard, and show them to result that they could potentially get from that project might create a lot of successes. Sit down with your staffs, find the problems and fix it together would much help you to get what you and the company wants.

4. Do not left your staffs behind — One a week or 2 times a month to sit down and have a friendly discussion by letting them talk and think about you, company and challenges will help you create more relationship with them, get close to them and those relationship will lead to success. There are so many managers who doesn’t much care about their staffs, they don’t even have face to face discussion with their staffs. No matter how busy you are, but face to face discussion with your staffs is really important. Remember — To make they love and respect you, you need to love, care and respect them first.

5. Do not expect that you understand everything about them — “Knowing” is another thing, but “understanding” your staffs is a critical KPI for each and every manager. Most of the managers thinks that they know and understand well about their staffs, but in fact, that’s just assumption that could lead to misunderstood. The result you will never know if you don’t actually understand about your staffs.

6. Do not throw mistakes or failures to your staffs even they did it worst — Success or failure of a project is coming from direction and guidance. If you don’t have specific, clear, measurable guidance and direction, your project could potentially false and that failure is not coming from your staffs, it’s definitely YOURS. As a manager, as succeed of a project is not only you who contributed it, but it is your team who did it best understand your direction and guidance. And also as a manager, you might need to pick all the comments and failures to convert it into opportunities to support the growth of the business and company.

7. Do not act like a “BOSS” but act like a “LEADER” — The word “Leader” and “Boss” still very blur in so many managers.

  • A Leader is a  person who manage and leader a group of people, getting involve, finding and solve the problem with the team toward success. They will not give an order to their team members, but they would lead them and show them the result.
  • A Boss is a top or the head of a company or business that might not get involve in day to day team activities, but they have a very clear and wide view of the business opportunities and clear understanding the situation. They will just only need to see the results and achieve the company’s objectives. The success or the failure of a company is understand their hands.

These seven “Do not” for managers are very important and these came from my real life experiences.

Remember — Before you point your fingers to anyone, no matter who they are, even your staffs, you need to triple think about yourself first.

What All Managers Should Not Missed

The growth of a business is coming from the contribution of all employees, not any individual contributions. Working as team is really important for the growth of the business.

Each and every companies has its own leader or manager who has huge responsibility and ability to grow the business to achieve the goal. To achieve the goal, a leader or manager need to remember this:

1. Celebration the success with all the employees — Sharing the success with team is the most important thing for any leaders or managers to get to know their staffs and be close with them and understand their concerns and fix those concerns properly. This is not just having fun with them, but it is about sharing.

2. Get to know your staffs and be closed with them — A comments or suggestion from staffs are very important to strengthen the business plan, and more importantly is to grow the business and achieve the ambition that already set.

3. Treat people fairly — Be fair and treat them as your treat yourself. Staffs are just like the wheels of a car, the moment the wheels are flatted, or broken, the car will cannot be moved.

4. Development plan for your staffs and business — This is very important for you to keep your staffs works for you for a long time period. People always has their own ambitious and that ambition will be feed by the plan that you have for them. Develop a specific plan for each and individual of them and build them based on their talents. They will never forget you and will keep themselves to work for you as long as they still breath.

5. Longer term vision — Business is feeding by Invest, harvest and repeat the process. To keep your business or company exist in the market, long term strategies are very important. Normally, 5 to 10 years plan is commonest.

These are just what I have learned from my 5-years working experiences and I believe that these would give you some ideas to build a better working environment as well as successful business.

Compliance – Is it good or bad?

There are so many companies that running their business both in non-compliance and compliance way. We used to and keeping hearing this “COMPLIANCE” concepts in our business as well as our everyday life, but not most of us are fully understand what this word means neither it’s good or bad, we don’t know.

 

Compliance

 

Compliance is about do everything right, responsibility and accountability of what we are doing. Everything we do we responsible for every result that it could possible bring. Before we do anything we have to ask ourselves and check these questions:

1. Is it legal? Is it allow to do?

2. Is it for social benefits or individual benefits?

3. Will somebody see of what we are doing is a bribe? Will it looks like bribery activities?

4. Will it impact whether good or bad to our organization?

5. Will it reflex to our value? Our organization’s value?

Compliance is not just about what we are saying about it but it is about what are doing it and the people around us see it. Compliance teach people to do things in a right way and differentiate from others.

Is it good for the business? 

Compliance is about building long-term business. It is good for long-term business and it will always good for each and individual staffs to learn and teach themselves to do things in the write way.

In high-risk market such Cambodia, compliance may create so many issues along the way, but this is right way to do business with integrity and transparency.

How people see about compliance? 

Currently, exactly, Cambodia market as well as Cambodian people, they are not much familiar with compliance things as well as deep understand about it. The way that an organization trying to push the compliance practice into the real life, their staffs will starting to doing something in on-compliance way because they want to survive in a hard and tough situation.

Most of Cambodian people, could potentially including me, not much see the value of compliance if the organization didn’t show them the real meaning of Compliance.

So how to make compliance become a real-life practice, not just in theory?

The only solution is embedded and immigrated all the concepts in to each and individual staffs from the beginning so that they will understand it and do it right way.

 

Compliance is very important to long-term business and it will never disappear at any step of the business circle.