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Catch Robert Jewell on Impact Radio every Monday at 18h00: Business Financial Mastery.


Issue 73
20th February 2020
Does your business have a solid strategy and business plan?

This is the 5th part of our a4e Business Financial Mastery Educational Campaign and today we thank Tim Holmes for his input. Tim is the head of sales of the Sirdar Group, Africa’s leading educator, appointer and guide of high-performance boards for privately held and family companies.

We posed three questions to our educational campaign participants: ‘Have you formulated a strategy for your business?’ ‘Do you have a detailed business plan to implement that strategy’ and ‘do you have clear, short and long-term goals for your business?’

What is a business strategy?

A business strategy is based on what we call a promise – why you’re in business. A vision is when you mentally envisage what you want the business to look like, in say three to five years’ time. The mission is how you’re going to get there – what are the products and services you’re going to deliver that will take you towards that vision? But the unique thing is the promise – why are you in business? What is unique about the way you do business? What holds it all together regardless of what product or service you offer?

What is the difference between a strategy and a plan?

The plan is what you have after the strategy. So, the strategy is really understanding what your business is all about. What is your promise to the market? Microsoft’s promise was a computer on every desktop. BMW, is ‘pure driving pleasure’ – so everything about their products has to pass on that message that it’s about the driving experience. The plan is putting the strategy into action.


Strategy is about defining the future

Essential questions for the Entrepreneur to ask to devise an effective strategy are: What is your strategy for the next five years? What is your market doing? Where’s the customer base going to come from? Are we in the right location? Have we got the right product? This makes you much better prepared for the hard times – and opportunities that might come in the future.

Essentials of strategy setting and business planning

What you need to do is to self-reflect, come back to a foundation and sometimes rebuild that foundation, in order to go to the next level. Ask yourself ‘What is the difference that makes you unique?’ ‘What do you do slightly different from your competitors? ‘What do you do slightly different from anyone else in the market that you’re working in?’ The more you differentiate yourself from your competitors and the market, the more likely you are to succeed.

Know your story
It’s important for you, your staff and suppliers to buy into what you’re all about and where you’re going. Look back and reflect on: ‘What has shaped us to this point? ‘What is currently shaping us and what will shape us in the future?’ That’s really the bedrock of building a strategy!

Be aware of what will shape you in the future. Why do you do what you do? What drives and compels you? What are your values? Those personal values will be driving the rest of your company. Do you put business or family first? Or do you put learning first? What are those things that you value? When you build this understanding of where you come from, where you’re going and what’s actually impacting the way the business operates, you can start an action plan, a proper strategy and a vision for the future.

Finding your niche

If you’re operating in a competitive market, producing the same as everyone else, then the only place you can compete is on price. If you’re the lowest priced company it’s difficult to have the best service and quality. Be clear on what you are good at and what you’re unapologetically bad at, because it focuses you. You find your niche by understanding what the drivers are, where you have come from, what shaped you to this point and what has made you succeed.

Find out more about Tim at or phone the office – (021) 276-0540.

Are you a business owner, are you worried and stressed out because your books are not in order or not up to date? 

At Accounting for Entrepreneurs, we have the perfect solution for you, with our simple, elegant and affordable online business accounting packages, we do the accounting you either can’t or don’t want to do.

SMS “accounting” to 082 575 4379 and a professional accountant will call you back to help you get your books sorted in no time.

Listen again on Monday 24th February 2020 @ 18h00 to Impact Radio 103FM, when my guest will be Brian Walsh from Real Entrepreneur. We will be focusing on using productivity and order to grow your business!