Home » Starting Up » Business Plans » BusinessLink Newsletter No.28: June 21-27 2012

BusinessLink Newsletter No.28: June 21-27 2012



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BusinessLink Newsletter Issue No.28


Strategy: How to set goals for your business


By Phil Chichoni

“Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.”

-David Joseph Schwartz

What are the three most important goals for your business this year? How far off are you from achieving them, seeing that we are now half-way through the year?

I’ve noticed that many SME business owners do not have clearly defined goals for their businesses. They are not in control of their enterprises’ destinies and blame external factors if they do not succeed. This article will help you in the process of setting goals in the six fundamental areas of your business.

Now that you know where you stand, it’s time to decide where you want to go. We have already seen that vision is where you are headed as a company, while mission is what you do now. The next step is to set goals for your business.

Business goals must support the vision, mission and values of your organisation. You must set goals that are SMART. The following are the basic areas of a business where goals must be set:

a) Financial goals: in the end, it’s the bottom line that matters. Every business needs to make a profit; it must provide sufficient income to enhance the standard of living of the business owner and employees. A growing business must generate continuously growing profits. The profits are necessary for the maintenance of the business, replacement of ageing assets and financing future growth. Your goals should be specific in financial terms, such as net profit required and the level of sales to yield such profits. It will also be useful to set the expenses budget as they directly affect profit.

b) Products and services goals: your products and services are what customers pay for.

From your strategic analysis you already know where you stand in the market. The next step is to set goals with regards to your products: their quality relative to competitors’ and what the market needs and can afford. Quality of products and services may not be easily measured, but market research and customer feedback will tell you whether or not customers are happy. The goal should be to provide the highest quality commensurate with the market.

c) Operational goals: what are the goals regarding operational levels, efficiency, speed, costs of production? How can we make use of technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs? What value can we add so that our products do not become commodities? What activities and procedures can we eliminate?

d) Sustainability goals: the aim of building a business and growing it is to ensure that it survives beyond the owner and the current generation of employees. Some serial entrepreneurs build businesses and sell them off for a profit. For this to happen, the business must have systems in place that will enable operations to run smoothly without the owner’s constant intervention. What systems do you need to set up? And what controls are necessary for the system to function smoothly? One thing for sure is that a business that is entirely dependent on the skills or performance of the owner will be difficult to sell or to survive after the owner retires.

e) Personnel goals: people are the most important asset of your business. What are your goals regarding people in the fulfilment of your business vision? How many people are required to grow the business and what skills do they need? How are they going to acquire those skills? You should craft your personnel goals into a long term personnel plan.

f) Marketing goals: the aim of marketing is to make customers aware of your products and services so that they can buy. Marketing should make it easier for your products to sell. What goals do you want to achieve with your marketing? How will these be achieved? How will you get and stay closer to customers so as to continuously satisfy them?

Your goals should all support your business vision and mission. Sometimes goals conflict. For example, you may need to hire a marketing manager. That will have the immediate effect of increasing expenses and reducing profit. But it will impact positively on customer service. How do you decide the course of action?

You need to construct a decision-making matrix. Decide on your three most important goals. Then whenever you need to make a decision, look at the three goals and look at what impact the decision will have on each of them. Whichever goal is most important at that time will weigh more than the others. The decision making matrix will assist management to make day-to day decisions faster.

Now when you have your goals clearly defined, they need to be implemented.

For more insights in developing strategies for success in your business, please see my book “Developing  a Three Strategic Plan to grow your Business”, available from Innov8 book or email marketing@smebusinesslink.com to order a copy.


Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning consultant, author and entrepreneur. Contact on chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

Earn great commission through referring customers to a BusinessLink Community expert

Do you know a friend, relative or associate who needs the following services:

  • Business Plan Writing
  • Strategic Plan development coaching
  • Company registration, shelf company, change of directors etc
  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Graphic design, business cards, company profiles, brochures etc
  • Website design and hosting

Please email the information to marketing@smebusinesslink.com or call us on 0777 774 007

How over-promising on what you deliver can destroy your reputation

By Brendan and Sally Palmer

One of the most frustrating and aggravating things in business is when someone “Over promises and Under Delivers”.  What this means is that they promise you something today, for example, and they don’t deliver today and when they do deliver, it is not as good as the thing they promised.

Any one of your customers that feels like you have under-delivered will be angry, frustrated and will lose confidence in you and your business.

It is very important that you and your employees all practice the motto “Under promise and Over Deliver”. By doing this, you will always surprise your customer and they will be happy and will trust and respect your business.


5 ways to under promise and over deliver…
1. Quote slightly more than you intend to charge so that your customers are pleasantly surprised when they get your bill and it is less than what they were expecting. Never charge more than your quote!!
2. Always add on a couple of days when you promise delivery of your product or service or when you promise a response, and then deliver early.  This will please your customer and show them how efficient you are.
3. Never agree to do something for your customer that you can’t do or provide properly.  Rather just say…”Sorry we cant do that” or “We don’t actually do that but I’m willing to research it and get back to you about it”
4. Always stick to what you tell your customers you will do.  Don’t ever say….”We will send you a quote by 3pm” if you are not 100% committed to getting them their quote by 3pm.  Don’t ever make promises to your customers that you can’t keep.
5. Always be truthful and honest with your customers and never be afraid to admit that you have made a mistake.  They will respect you and trust you for it.
We hope this serves you…
Have a great week. Until next week….
Be Cool, Be Great and Be Alive

Brendan and Sally

“Brendan and Sally Palmer, Sabre Business World.  Sign up for free weekly
business tips at


Supervision Training Courses

All About People HR Consultants in conjunction with SME BUSINESS LINK will be holding a two day Effective Supervision workshop. If you need to find out how you can improve your supervisory skills, this is the workshop for you!
Contact us for bookings.


DATES COURSE CONTENT COST /DAY (incl of course material, certificates of attendance) WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
–           Defining and Understanding the role of a supervisor.-           Traits of a good supervisor

–           10 keys to effective supervision

–           How to be a good supervisor

–           How to manage performance

–           Developing assertiveness

–           Dealing with pressure

–           What not to do

$50.00 SupervisorsProspective supervisors
–  Effective planning- importance of planning-   S.M.A.R.T. Planning

–   Goal setting: characteristics and steps of      goal setting

–  PDCA Cycle- Plan, Do, Check, Act

– Time Management

–           The Communication Process-           Barriers to communication and how to overcome them

–           How to manage the grapevine in an organization

  –           What do people want from their jobs?-           Understanding what motivates employees

–           Motivation Theories

–           Inspiring employees, rewarding good behavior and stopping bad behavior

–           Basic reasons why employees do not perform well

–           Effective team building

–           Definition of and importance of performance management-           Difference between performance appraisals and performance management

–           Types and Frequency of performance appraisals

–           Defining and clarifying role expectations

–           Managing employee performance

Please note that the above mentioned dates are flexible. We can book you on any other date that is suitable for your staff. For bookings and information, please contact Buhle- 0773 974 669 or aapconsultant.hr@mail.com                          *Cost exclusive of venue and equipment hire.


Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd is giving a special gift to entrepreneurs who take up the monthly SME Accounting Package:  Free Pastel Accounting Software, plus installation and training of your staff on using the program, all valued at $$400.

This is in addition to the usual solutions, which consist of:

  1. Production of your monthly management accounts
  2. Monthly and quarterly tax returns (PAYE, VAT, QPD, annual corporate tax computation)
  3. Annual financial statements
  4. Payroll and payslips, including NSSA and Zimdef levy
  5. Analysis of your financial performance and professional advice
  6. Your own dedicated accountant to attend to your queries by phone or email

The cost is $170 per month for VAT Registered companies and $120 for non- VAT registered companies. Please call Phil on 0777 774 007 for more information.


Other entrepreneurs want to hear your stories, your achievements, your products, services, promotions or specials. Please email me at chichonip@smebusinesslink.com.

Let others know about your business, your products and your services.

List you profile on the BusinessLink Community website and in this newsletter.

Contact Phil on 0777 774 007 or email chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

Vacancies / Student Attachments Wanted and Available

We have several requests for attachment places by students at universities and colleges in a variety of fields.

If you have places for attachments, please let us know which fields you are looking by email to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com and we will send you suitable CVs.

Business Plan Writing Classes

Are you struggling to put your idea into a bankable business plan? Do you want to start a business but don’t know where and how to start?

Then  you need to attend one of the BusinessLink business plan writing classes designed to equip you with knowledge and practical application to help you develop a business plan that works.

Classes are scheduled for the following dates:

Saturday 23 June 2012: 0830-1230

Wednesday 27 June 2012: 1400-1700

Saturday 30 June 2012: 0830-1230

Classes are held subject to the minimum number of participants signing up. Please book early so we can plan adequately by calling Christine on 0772 854 301

Cost is $20 which covers the course, training materials, handouts, light meals and refreshments as well as the Business Planning Simplified CD.

Business Strategy Planning Sessions

Is your business lacking direction or not performing to your satisfaction? Do you need to develop a strategic plan for the rest of the year and beyond? Was your last strategic plan not the best you could have done?

The BusinessLink Team is arranging off-site, intensive strategic planning sessions to help high performance entrepreneurs and their teams develop working plans that will take their business to the next level.

If you wish to take part in these two-day sessions, please send me an email with your preferred dates during the month of July.  (weekdays or weekends).

Each session will ideally consist of three firms with teams of between one to four people. We can also structure sessions to meet your particular requirements.

Please send your email to me on chichonip@smebusinesslink.com.


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