Business Planning

To be proactive, managers must plan. A good business plan provides an effective framework for managers to analyse the key issues and form plans that can be communicated with the necessary people.


A well-structured business plan is invaluable as a communication tool, upwards and downwards. It aids discussion and ownership. It allows the manager/team leader/supervisor to reflect fully and effectively. Poor business plans are difficult to read and understand. Such plans often lack valuable perspectives. Poor business planning is a waste of management time and is often counter-productive. In many instances there is no business plan. This results in a reactive situation where the ability to progress and change is reduced.

In this practical and stimulating course, participants will learn the key skills and models required to create effective plans.

Who Should Attend
Anyone who is responsible for the business elements of management.

2 Days

Business Planning – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • where and why to use Business Planning
  • how to create effective directional statements and avoid common errors
  • how to use proven tools to perform analysis and reach workable conclusions. Optional tools are also explored
  • how to convert conclusions into effective strategies, aims, objectives and forecasts
  • present and discuss the business plans they have created
  • how to modify the format to encompass other aspects and users
  • to monitor the plans success
  • how to increase the effectiveness of the document created


Business Planning – Course Outline

Business Planning
The planning process, Objective
The components of a good business plan

Setting The Direction
Mission Statement, Vision, Values

Analysis & Conclusions
Business climate
Organisation (S.W.O.T., Orientation, Competitive Stance)
Competitors (S.W.O.T., Segments, Strategies, Competitive Stance, Self-Perception)
Segmentation (Customer Profile, Innovation Curve, Directional Policy Matrix)
Product/Service (S.W.O.T., Life Cycle, Ansoff, Benefits, Boston Matrix)
Place (Options, Advantages, Intermediaries, Sales forces)
Price (Factors, Methods, Discrimination, Approaches, Changes)
Promotion (Options, Assessment)
Success factors, Force-Field Analysis

The Plan
Concepts, Strategy summary
Aims & Objectives
Financial Forecasts, Common Errors

Alternative Uses Of Business Plans
Consolidation of business units

Use of monthly/periodic reports
Common errors

Polishing The Business Plan
Profiling the readership
How to increase the understanding
How to increase the interest created in your plan
How to increase the readability
How to increase the ‘attractiveness’ of the document

Is Your Organisation Fit Or Sexy?

It can be neither but it can’t be both!

Fit Organisations

These are operationally effective.  They have a very definable, explainable business model that is scaleable and sustainable.  They obsess about optimising their model, looking for greater efficiencies and ways in using it to exploit further opportunities.

Fit organisations stay very focused.  They have ‘traded off’ their strategic options, choosing to do a few things brilliantly, rather than lots of things averagely.  They innovate more in their processes than through their products and services, it’s the way they do business rather than what they sell.

Fit organisations include Dell, Amazon, Zara.


Sexy Organisations

Those that have created aspirational brands that say something positive about the users association with them.  They have a very clear understanding of their brand essence and never do anything to compromise its market perception.

Sexy organisations focus on adding innovation to their offering.  They have ‘traded off’ their strategic options, choosing only to produce things that reinforce their brand – innovative, original, and distinctive.  How they do business is (relatively) less important to them that what they sell.

Sexy organisations include Apple, Tesla, Virgin Atlantic, BMW.


What characterises both types is the decisions they have made about their respective positioning.  They are clear about their distinctive competences and how to put them to effective use.  Many businesses try to do both, which effectively means the offer becomes confused so their customers become unsettled.  One of the things that characterises all the example organisations is the large number of loyal customers they have.

Go on, knock yourself out and make some strategic decisions!

If you would like a more structured and considered sort of help in how these ‘trade offs’ can be made we’d love to talk to you.

Delegation Skills

The effectiveness of a manager and the growth of the team often depend on the manager’s ability to delegate.

Delegation is not ‘dumping’ or merely allocating tasks. It is a skill that comparatively few managers/supervisors/team leaders process to a high level. Done well, delegation makes a significant difference to the motivation of the individual and productivity of the team. Good delegation also frees management time to allow pursuit of priority goals. This aids the career of the manager/team leader and the success of the team. The manager/team leader will not always be available due to holidays, internal meetings and sickness. The resilience of the team to cope with problems and opportunities is increased by the understanding and skill created by effective delegation. The growth of the organisation is often limited by the quality of new managers. Good delegation ensures new managers have a head-start in their roles.


This stimulating and practical course gives participants the skills and approach needed.

Who Should Attend
All Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders and professional staff who have people reporting to them officially or unofficially.

1/2 Day

Delegation Skills – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the role, value and meaning of effective delegation
    • how to identify appropriate tasks and people
    • how to manage the delegation process for significant projects and balance tasks between the team
    • how to perform the act of delegation for minor and significant tasks
    • how to follow-up on delegation.


Delegation Skills – Course Outline

What Is Delegation?
The role of delegation in developing a team
The role of delegation in increasing the effectiveness of the manager

Rules Of Delegation
What is, and is not, delegation
The differences between high and low quality delegation
Barriers to effective delegation
Causes of poor delegation

Delegation Opportunities
When to delegate
When not to delegate
Managing delegation
What cannot be delegated
What should not be delegated

The Act Of Delegation
Checking relevant factors
Briefing, reviews, coaching and support issues
Post-delegation activities

The Delegation Review Meeting
The manager as counsellor
Checking progress
How to offer advice without affecting ‘ownership’

The 7 Forces Of Change That Might Keep You Awake At Night

  1. Supply-side (rather than demand-side) economics

Unless you enjoy some form of protection (patents, regulation restricting supply etc) you will be in a market where supply is running ahead of demand. Too much ‘stuff’ is chasing too few customers.
Required Action – Make  your offer more distinctive, love your customers more that your competitors

  1. The cost of information acquisition is falling

Each year it costs less (in time and money) to learn more. Technology and the internet in particular is creating more para-experts than ever before.

Required Action – Create a thought leadership capability that you can use to maintain knowledge advantage from.


  1. Increasing customer power

The customer is in charge; because of the previous forces, because of legislation and rights the customer more than ever  before dictates market forces.

Required Action- Obsess about understanding customer, segment and market motivations, exploit the empowered customer by co-creating solutions together.


  1. The supplier/customer interface is more diverse

You will be dealing with customers through many different channels, in ways that cut across functions and hierarchies (neither of which customers recognise or are interested in.

Required Action – Build end-to-end customer processes that remove inefficiencies from your value chain and deliver ‘joined up’ solutions. 

  1. The costs absorbed at that interface are increasing

Its getting more expensive to do business and at a faster rate than price inflation.

Required Action – Cut non-performing assets, build new forms of chargeable value, focus on previous point.


  1. Management information is increasing exponentially

We need to be able to harvest, interpret and leverage customer/management information. Many organisations have more data than insight, more sterile reports than useful feedback.

Required Action – Sort out an MI strategy, link to IT and Knowledge Management. Get smart.

  1. Competition is intensifying, proliferating, fragmenting and consolidating

The world we operate in is a contradictory one. Competitors are also routes to joint ventures, shared investment and the source of our potential downfall.

Required Action – Compete and partner with them, try to bury them whilst working with them, look for new ‘over the horizon’ competitors that might do things way better than you ever have.


These forces of change need to be understood and pro-actively managed. They could keep you awake with excitement instead of fear.

How To Be A Good Technical Trainer

Technical training has certain advantages and challenges by comparison with other types of training. This course provides participants with the key skills needed. The duration is based on a group of 4-6. Larger groups will need a longer course.


Technical training is more than being knowledgeable. A good technical trainer can achieve better results, competence and customer loyalty, than someone who is more knowledgeable but who lacks training skills. Poor technical training results in a greater requirement for support afterwards and more errors than are acceptable. This affects the costs and profitability of the organisation in the short and long-term. Technical training has different requirements to general training skills.

This practical and intensive course gives participants the key skills they need.

Who Should Attend
Anyone involved in training internal or external staff in a technical subject.

2 Days


Technical Trainer – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • the stages in the training process and the difference between ‘technical’ training and other types of training
  • the components of the first stage in establishing the priority training needs
  • how to develop a basic training session and practise the key factors in delivery of a training session
  • some of the theories underpinning good training and practise other aspects of delivery.

Technical Trainer – Course Outline

Analysis of needs
Establishing priorities

Developing Training I
Setting objectives
Developing training modules
Training session structure
Training course – introduction
Training course – summary
Using visual aids

Delivery I
Question & answer sessions
Handling nervousness
Last minute checks

Underpinning Theories I
Information acquisition
How memory works
Conditioning process
Giving feedback

Develop Training II
Trainer guide/Lesson plan
Other visual aids
Concentration patterns
Methods – type and use

Delivery II
Asking questions
Participant positions
Room layout options
Environmental considerations
Group dynamics – functional behaviours
Group dynamics – dysfunctional behaviours
Problem participants
Points of polish

Underpinning Theories II
Alternative tuition approaches
Circle of competence
Evaluating training
Creating instructions