The word “execution” might conjure up visions of death for some, but sound business execution actually means to give significant life and growth to your business through appropriate actions.
So what is the right way to go about it?
Your business plan indicates and describes what and how you hope to do business, but you have to implement these plans.
Appropriate actions are those that give life to your plan, and build your brand at the same time.
What are these appropriate actions?
- You will need to seek the advice of an accountant to register your company, register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for all the statutory requirements, and set up an administrative and accounting system that will provide accurate and timeous reporting to measure your business’ progress and help with future decisions;
- You will need to secure your preferred business premises;
- You will need to hire skilled staff;
- You will need to implement your marketing plan to inform the market and attract the clients you want to do business with;
- You will need to action every one of the strategies and plans you identified and wrote about in your plan.
Building your brand
Building your brand means doing business in a way that displays your business (and own) values in such a way that your clients and potential clients are able to recognise your business for those values.
Your values should relate to all aspects of your business. They are directly linked to your vision and mission, and dictate how you go about interacting with the different parties in your business.
Some examples of these values are integrity, friendliness and service. Terence Knott-Craig of The Springboard Academy believes that these values are minimum requirements for a business and should be obvious in every business activity.
Leaving someone feeling better than before your interaction with them, truly caring about each person in your business, and demonstrating a genuine caring attitude in all work relationships will help to build a brand that is inviting and engaging.
Who are the “persons” you interact with in your business?
Shareholders, staff, customers, suppliers and authorities; how you treat each of these parties will create a brand for your business.
Shareholders: Giving life to the vision they have for the business, and regular reporting on the performance of their investment, will demonstrate that their role in the business is valued.
Staff: When staff are invited to participate in the planning process (within the confines of the mandate from the directors), they are more likely to feel aligned to the values of the company. When they are fairly rewarded for their efforts, they will also feel valued.
Customers: The purpose of business is to satisfy the needs of the customers. When these needs are satisfied in a way that positively impacts their lives, your business will have created the belief that you care about the people behind the money.
When you are honest and accurate in your marketing message, when you help customers make purchases that benefit them without necessarily costing more, you develop relationships of trust.
Be sure that your customers know and understand all the terms of the transaction. This will enable you to be firm and understanding when dealing with any awkward situations.
Suppliers: When placing an order with a supplier, make sure that you are clear about what exactly you want, the price and the terms of the transaction. Ensure that you pay on time. And avoid buying on credit whenever possible; it only makes you a prisoner of the debt.
Authorities: Know what the law requires of you and your business, and comply fully. Know what is expected with regard to all types of taxes, and always pay on time. Know what is required by the agencies that regulate companies and business, and comply accordingly.
Remember that you always need to meet your commitment to others before you pay yourself a salary.
If for any reason you are not able to meet your commitments, engage with the other parties and come to respective, implementable arrangements.
How do you know what is “implementable”?
Part of the good execution of your business plan is ensuring that you have an up-to-date record-keeping system in place, and can produce reports to help you make informed decisions about your business’ health, and enter into “implementable” agreements with others.
Look out for The Springboard Academy’s next blog post about measuring, which will introduce you to a few tools to assist you in assessing and foreseeing business health indications.