Business planning focus in the Riverland

The need to have a business plan and how to put together a basic strategic plan were on the agenda for the latest Women in Business Regional Network dinner held at Berri Hotel.

Discussion covered the need to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to businesses and attendees were encouraged to look within the network or their friendship circles for feedback from others to help put their plans together.

Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey said not having a business plan was like going to the supermarket without a shopping list: you have to think much more than you need to, you end up spending time and money on things you don’t need and you forget to pursue what you do need.

“Although many of us may have our business plans in our heads it’s important to get it down on paper (or in the cloud) so we can free our minds and devote energy to achieving the goals we’d like to achieve,” Carolyn explained.

“Not only can a business plan help cut down on stress and make for better quality decision making, a plan is also vital if you need to seek finance for your business or you are looking to sell.”

Carolyn said business people often became so caught up in the day-to-day running of their businesses that they missed seeing some great opportunities.

“I recommend businesses who have staff involve them in the planning process as staff often have some great ideas and it’s a smart move to get them onboard and give them some ownership in the future of the business,” Carolyn explained.

“And it’s vital that the business plan is a fluid document because new opportunities and threats will come along and it’s also a great feeling to be able to tick off your achievements as they happen.”

The strategic planning subject also led to some robust discussion among the women on some of the local challenges facing businesses, including considering opportunities for greater collaboration and the need to be more regional rather than town parochial when considering promotions and marketing.

The network will be returning next month to hold a dinner at the Berri Hotel on Thursday, August 22 when the topic will be apps to make your work and personal life easier. 

A luncheon will be held the following day at the Waikerie Hotel which will look at cost-effective marketing options.