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Business Tips – Planning to Succeed – Part 2

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Following on from last time, let’s look at some of the other guidelines that can be used by SMME’s to plan for the success of their business.

Organizational Chart

Contrary to popular belief, an organizational chart is not just about knowing which staff report into which departments or which individuals head up the various departments. Having a proper organizational chart makes it that much easier for business owners to see or visualize the company with all its various divisions and compartments.

This in turn makes it easier to put strategy and infrastructure in place and it will also allow business owners to respond to changing markets, trends and opportunity, a lot faster and more effectively. Having a plan or chart clearly visible has a great impact – much more than something that is merely a thought or an idea and that is kept only in the mind.

The organizational chart also means that intensions are clear and well defined and this makes it a lot easier to communicate these intentions to your staff.

Positional Contracts

Although all the staff need to have their own contracts – having contracts that are specific to a position is always a good thing. Apart from the fact that the staff member concerned will be under no misconception about what their role in the company is, the business owner also gets to define that particular role and make their expectations clear.

The easiest way for me (and I suspect that this is standard practice) is to start at the top of the organizational chart and work your way downwards.

Remember of course to have the list of requirements for each task readily at hand and make sure that your expectations and requirements are clear.


KPI’s of course are “Key Performance Indicators” and they are how the performance of the staff member is to be measured. Remember the old adage “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it?” Well here’s the thing – it’s true and the best way to set those measurements and implement them is in the KPI’s or job descriptions. That way, as the business owner, your intention is made clear from the start and the consequences of not meeting your expectation is also documented.

Just make sure though, that when you hire someone for a position that they are capable of performing the required task or you will be responsible for setting them up for failure. The days of hiring someone because they had cute dimples or because they had long gorgeous legs and then dismissing them at some stage because you discovered that the work was not being done, are no longer here. You, as the business owner also have a responsibility for ensuring that the person you hire is qualified or capable of doing the work.

How-to Manuals

It is of the utmost importance – most especially if you have staff – to document ‘how to’. Ensuring that your staff all complete tasks in the same way will ensure that things get done properly and consistently and will also provide you with something to measure their performance by.

Actually if the truth be told, even if you don’t have staff, having checklists for yourself for all the tasks that you perform will ensure that you don’t forget to do things when you are interrupted by the phone or a client.

Documenting your ‘how-to’ will also remove all sorts of emotional issues like (but not limited to) “but I thought you meant” or “I thought I would do it like this today” or my personal favorite “But I always do it like this!” Instructions that are simple and clear provide the groundwork for work that is correctly and timeously performed, leaving little room for error and oversight.

So, there you have it – the basic plans that you should have in place as you venture out into the world of Business Owner.

Don’t forget to check your plans and goals on a regular basis though – not only to see that you are still going in the right direction, but also to ‘tick off’ your accomplishments as and when you realize them. Then of course there are always the little ‘tweaks’ that need to be done as you change direction due to market trends and legislational requirements.

Good luck on your new venture and don’t forget to have fun along the way.