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Strategic and Short-Term Planning

Strategic and Short-Term Planning

Introduction

Planning takes one of the most significant places in the development of any company. Success achievement is a primary target of every company. Companies strive to obtain competitive positions and be the first ones to provide customers with unique products and services. Strategic and short-term planning processes are two elements of the planning process helping to consider a company’s resources and opportunities. If a company fails to design an appropriate business plan, it will most likely fail in success achievement. In addition, it is necessary to coordinate the business plan with controlling function helping to evaluate mistakes and fix them at once. A company’s accommodation to the conditions of the business environment should also be one of the tools regulating plan’s implementation. In terms of business planning, it is necessary to consider each point of a company’s strengths and weaknesses. Comparison of both plans presented in the current report will become the core of the process of creating a mind map helping to understand the essence of financial regulation and systematic planning process. The following report reflects a detailed evaluation of the planning process by including theoretical aspects combined with examples of business plans. By the end of the report, it will be possible to draw a comprehensive understanding of business planning and its role in shaping a company’s evolution. In general, the presented information is important for the extension of the engineer’s competence and his understanding of the principles followed by any company (Beer & McMurrey, 2009).

Description of Pita Pal’s Plan

Pita Pal managed to prepare a comprehensive business plan meeting goals of the company willing to perform in the food industry with the high level of the competition. The plan includes a complex system of information referring to start-up requirements in financial resources, equipment, and personnel. Forecasting is one of the primary tools all over the plan, which help to see the essence of the company’s performance and have an overall vision of its profile. The plan also includes such details as the company’s ownership and the services, which it will provide. A detailed market analysis takes place in the plan reflecting the diversity of the company’s current competitors. Moreoveor, there is enough customer information and their groups helping to prepare for meeting needs of the most demanding target audience. Competition and buying patterns also play its role in shaping the essence of the business plan (Latimer, 2012). A flexible and logical structure of the plan helps to turn to the strategies and focus on the implementation principles including the competitive edge, marketing strategy, sales strategy, sales forecast, and milestones. All these points provide readers with information about the company’s direction of the performance. Goals, objectives, and the company’s vision penetrate the plan at different stages. However, it is hard to notice the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, the business plan has both weak and strong points, which motivate to make the following analysis reflected in the report. Finally, the plan concludes by mentioning the principles of management along with details on personnel. However, the one can mention some disadvantages of the management part, which reflects itself in a narrow description of the personnel’s performance. Forecasting is an important tool that helped to predict future salaries of employees. Besides, the support of financial plans makes it obvious that the company has a serious approach towards implementation of its goals. Potential investors should see the business idea and think of investing in the development of the company with the perspective of its growth in the chain of food services stores.

Description of Jasmine Teahouse’s Plan

The plan of Jasmine Teahouse also has a complex nature since it includes the diversity of points in the description of the direction of its performance. It starts from the inclusion of the company’s mission, objectives, and key success factors. The company also plans to perform in the food industry and provide its customers with different sorts of tea and chocolates (Software, 2015). A broad list of keys to success helps to see the beneficial consequences of the company’s performance. In addition, the plan mentions that the company does not have any direct competitor, which is an encouraging part ensuring that the company is most likely to have success. Start-up also needs take place in the plan. It is obvious that at the beginning of the performance, the company does not need too many investments and contributions in order to start generating profits. The basic equipment mentioned in the plan will be enough for the development of a profitable business. The main peculiarity of the plan is that it has a separate section dedicated to products and services, which it will offer to its potential customers. A detailed plan of products and services allows seeing that the company can offer the common products in a new way. Tea, pastries, chocolates, coffee, and tea baskets are the primary products in the list, which will become the primary sources of profits at the earliest stages of the company’s performance. Market segmentation is the next part of the plan, which has a significant meaning. The company did enough work to create a detailed and informative section in the plan reflecting the structure of the market. Target audience, analysis of each segment, and competition, moreover, buying patterns reflect valuable information motivating the company to continue its development. A complex system of strategy and implementation follow the plan in its next section. Marketing and sales strategies represent one of the core elements building the plan’s efficiency. The strong support of financial resources and management structure reflect the sense of business idea and the necessity of its implementation.

Strong and Weak Points of Pita Pal’s Plan

First, it is necessary to mention the strongest points of the Pita Pal’s plan, which will promote its success. The company selected the locals and students as a target auience, which is already a reliable source for the company working in the food industry. It is a segment of the society, which will always formulate a significant part of customers. Orientation on tastes and preferences of students will help the company to keep up-to-date at all aspects of its performance including technological support and transformations in services, which it can offer. The key success factors selected by the company also have its efficiency. Strict financial controls meet needs of the company to follow rules of the competition. In addition, financial regulation of Pita Pal’s performance will ensure the company’s ability to include changes and transformations in its activity. Another strong point of the plan is that it includes an effective management. Proper managerial decisions and meeting needs of the company’s performance mentioned in the business plan allow achieving goals according to the milestones. In general, a plan has enough content reflecting market analysis and the selected path of goals achievement (Software, 2015). Also, the company is aware of the fact that a food industry requires at least two years of the performance in order to generate profits and increase productivity. Otherwise, it will be impossible to grow and develop in the future.

Weak points of the plan also have its place, which should be mentioned. First of all, it is obvious that the company used an appropriate approach towards short-term planning. However, it failed to establish a long-term strategy meeting needs of the company aimed to become a primary leader in the food industry. Secondly, the plan is perfect on the evaluation of the company’s current position. However, it does not focus on the company’s future position and competitiveness. In addition, there is no mentioning of the possible areas of the company’s improvement and development, which should have a systematic nature in order to keep the company competitive. Unfortunately, competition is not a driving force of the business plan, which should be one of the motivators leading to the continuous evolution and update of the strategy. Another weak point refers to the absence of the investments inclusion in the company’s activity, which can lead to the enhanced financial support. In terms of tough competition, especially with McDonalds, it could be an important aspect pushing the company towards success. Finally, the plan does not include any goal or objective aimed to promote the partnership. In addition, the business plan does not include any extension of its services as a source of further integration in the leading positions of the food industry. Profitability is a primary target of the business plan while growth takes the last place.

Strong and Weak Points of Jasmine Teahouse’s Plan

There are many strong points in Jasmine’s Teahouse plan. The plan mentions many details reflecting business requirements, directions of the performance, and the company’s goals. One of the strongest points is that the company has a list of key success factors, which are most likely to lead it towards goals achievement. The company has an outstanding peculiarity focusing on the fact that it does not have any direct competitors in the local area. It means that the external environment promotes the boost of business in the selected region. In addition, it attracts investors, partners, and customers willing to enjoy the services of the company. Market segmentation represents a significant part of the business plan. It includes much information on the market of tea, chocolate, and other market peculiarities. It helps to have an overview of the company’s long-term and short-term strategies aimed to achieve success. Details are as important as the support of statistical data on the target audience, which will be the source of profits. Additionally, details are insurable enough to attract investors, partners, and suppliers willing to cooperate with the company. All these facts mean that business has a unique origin making it attractive and reliable. In general, the plan is informative; however, there are some disadvantages, which require consideration before implementing the plan.

One of the weakest points of the plan is that it does not have enough information on the personnel. It plans to have only four employees for the first three years of the performance, which makes it impossible to accomplish needs of the business according to its ambitions and terms of the market. For example, if the company had more employees, it could break their responsibilities in simple tasks, which they could easily achieve and speed up the process of the company’s development. Work breakdown could also become a part of the plan; however, the company neglected creating a structure allowing seeing the reflection of the tasks of each employee.

Recommendations

If both companies are willing to improve business plans, it is important to include the following changes and improvements. First, both plans require revision of its long-term plans. Companies should specify their goals, create a detailed plan of actions including objectives and goals of the performance, and extend the pace of improvement along with the company’s growth. The main target of efficient business planning is that it should convince several stakeholders at the same time. First, it should convince the company’s owner that business idea is original, which proves that the whole future performance has sense. If an entrepreneur is not sure that an idea is unique, it will be impossible to achieve success regardless of the business plan’s complexity.

Another advice focuses on the need to attract the potential investors and partners by means of the business plan. If it does not contain clear goals, milestones, and objectives coordinated with a company’s mission, it is most likely that there will be no financial support from the external environment. Moreover, clarity in the establishment of goals and objectives should promote understanding of the business plan among employees. It is necessary to make a plan as detailed as possible in order to outline all aspects of the company’s aspirations. Employees should also be aware of their responsibilities and duties,, which will allow them to develop within the company. The development and evolution should become the mandatory aspects of the planning process. Finally, companies working in the food industry, especially those focusing on students, should create a diverse marketing campaign attracting new customers with the help of colorful advertising techniques. The companies should extend their ideas on the marketing strategies in order to be compatible and unique in their services.  

Challenges

Considering possible challenges, it is obvious that both plans need to have a systematic approach in order to improve them and promote a company’s success. One of the most difficult tasks to ensure business growth is by including partners and investors in a company’s business plan. If a company is new in business, it can be hard to attract investors and prove that in the nearest future, a company will bring enough profits to meet interests of investors and partners. Another challenge also refers to the financial aspect of business planning. If a company decides to improve the plan and include growth as another target, it can face difficulties in the distribution of the financial resources. Forecasting can be a difficult task at the earliest stages of a company’s performance. If there are any deviations from the forecasted indicators, a company should be ready to transform its plans and accommodate to the newest terms and conditions of the external environment.

The next difficulty refers to the implementation strategy of the business plan. In some cases, the behavior of a company’s employees is unpredictable. If employees face difficulties in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, they may lose an overall ability to perform with high efficiency (Clark & Seward, 2000). Lack of change management techniques can result in inability to follow an overall strategy. In general, lack of experience can promote incompetence in the diversity of management areas leading to the imbalanced implementation of the plan. All these challenges should make a company aware of the possible difficulties, which it can face on the way to success.

Five Lessons of Business Planning

The discussed plans and recommendations become effective theoretical aspects leading to the establishment of core concepts and methods of business planning promoting the success of a company’s activity. The report helped to generate five lessons of business planning, which would be one of the most accessible ways of minimizing threats and consequences of mistakes. At the beginning of a company’s performance, it is hard not to make mistakes. It is important to evaluate them in time and design an appropriate technique reducing them. Accommodation and transformation of a company are the mandatory aspects of successful business planning.

The first lesson learnt refers to the understanding of a company’s primary idea pushing it towards implementation of its plans. Each entrepreneur, regardless of his or her experience, should consider time, finances, and efforts taken in order to achieve goals. The logical flow of information and consequent decision-making process promote wise decisions and further improvement of a company leading it to success. A business plan is a guide to the establishment of the business strategy supporting a company’s core competences, values, and performance objectives. In addition, a company should consider its further transformation and improvements starting from generating a flexible business plan.

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The second lesson of business planning refers to a company’s peculiarities, which make it a specific business entity striving to follow its strategy and achieve the set of goals. Communication of a company’s objectives, a detailed description of personnel with its duties and responsibilities, marketing strategies, the current and future aspects of a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace are the mandatory tools of business planning. Without these elements, it is impossible to generate an effective planning process considering all peculiarities of a company’s sphere of activity. Finally, these features lead to the establishment of the specific accommodation principles allowing creating an appropriate background for further activity.

The third lesson learnt, thanks to the evaluation of two business plans, refers to the idea of the situation analysis. It is a mandatory element helping to assess a company’s position on the market place by considering its strong and weak points. In addition, effective business plans contribute to the overall evolution of a company with its continuous upgrade according to the terms of the external and internal environments (Bartol, Tein, Matthews, Sharma, & Martin, 2010). SWOT analysis is one of the basic tools helping to assess a company’s points of the performance. Without a detailed analysis, it is impossible to meet needs of a company.

The fourth lesson of business planning refers to the design of the actions meeting clear goals and objectives. A clear vision of the performance and the whole list of aspirations promotes an enhanced understanding of the business plan by all employees. Simple tasks completing a complex system of plans lead to the improved efficiency of plans implementation. As a result, employees perform according to their field of competence and meet requirements of business planning. In addition, clear objectives help to set measurable goals, which, in its turn, lead to the simplicity of tracking the progress of the plan’s implementation.

Finally, the fifth lesson of business planning has a connection to the fourth lesson. It says that the selected strategies and tactics of achieving goals should meet the primary target of the business plan. Furthermore, a company should take care of designing a flexible strategy, which can quickly transform according to the changes in a highly competitive environment. Strategies should have a broad field of influence, which can minimize a negative influence of a company’s weaknesses, or even reduce them. Tactics, in its turn, are the tools of operational management, which employees should follow in order to perform according to the terms of the strategy.

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