15 Oct Business Planning – planning for the next big idea!
Spotted – an advert on TVNZ 1 for gardening gloves with a difference – some clever person had come up with idea of attaching moulded claws to one of the gloves for digging in the garden, to assist with planting – how clever!
- How often do we see something like this, and say to ourselves “That’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that?”
- How often do we hear of self-made millionaires that came up with a simple idea and the rest was history?
- How often do you think of a great idea, let it rattle around in the head for a while, and then forget about it – because of home or work pressures, or perhaps someone told you it wouldn’t work, and you believed them?
There are many reasons why that one great idea goes nowhere:
- Too hard to do;
- Others think it’s crazy;
- It’s too expensive;
- “why do it? Somebody else will copy it and flood the market.”
- A fear of failure;
- A myriad of other excuses;
- Or simply, you don’t have a planning process.
Someone once said “No-one plans to fail, so why fail to plan? Plan your work and then work your plan.”
That might sound a bit trite, so here is a simple, yet effective, planning tool for your next great business idea. It uses two easy to remember acronyms called the TRENDS STEEPLE analysis. It’s a practical tool to get your idea into order from your emotive and random thoughts, to clarify and evaluate its application in a systematic process, to identify if it’s practical, and more importantly, if its feasible.
Identification of the business opportunity
T = To
R = Read
E = Every
N = New
D = Development
S = Strategically
A good example of this is the aging population of New Zealand. The statistics are showing that this demographic of our population is going to increase exponentially over the next few years, in fact it’s already here. As a result, aged care facilities are being built all over NZ and there is no end in sight to this development.
Another trend is the movement away from plastic bags in supermarket,s due to a greater awareness of environmental concerns. If you are in the business of making paper bags, I would say you are enjoying this change (see what I mean?)
The Steeple Evaluation
In this 2nd stage, you ask yourself “how can the following points impact or benefit my idea, and what do I have to consider to make it feasible?” It’s important that you include others to brainstorm the points and that you write these down on large pieces of paper to incubate the different points identified.
What are the positive and negative impacts of the idea?
S = Social and cultural implications and considerations
T = Technical implications and considerations
E = Environmental implications and considerations
E = Employment implications and considerations
P = Political implications and considerations
L = Legal implications and considerations
E = Economic and financial implications and considerations
Then consider the potential internal, external and commercial factors that may impact on the current business operations.
- Can this idea be developed into a strategic opportunity for the business?
- Do we have the ability and capability to implement this idea?
- If yes, what else has to considered in the preliminary planning?
If you apply this process to the aged care example, then you will see how it can be applied for your advantage.
This is when you allow all your great ideas to swirl around in your sub-conscience and for you to revisit your pinboard notes on a regular basis. Take time to walk away from it – this is when the insight stage happens and usually at 2 – 3am in the morning.
Be prepared to alter your ideas and thinking, as this is a living process and will make the difference between the idea becoming a fizzer or reality.
The SWOT analysis
Now comes the crunch time when you really start the evaluation stage with a SWOT analysis. This where you critically consider the:
S = The strengths of the idea
W = The weaknesses of the idea
O = The opportunities of the idea
T = The threats of the idea to you personally and something that could cause failure of the idea.
All your ideas must be documented and following this, should be another incubation stage.
And lastly, this should be completed with a feasibility stage, that includes financial implications, while planning objectives, time frames, and accountability.
Good luck with this to make your ideas become reality and as a spring board to the future!
If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Hasmate today.