The value of a strategic plan and the basics of putting one together were the focus for the latest Women in Business Regional Network dinner held in Strathalbyn on February 26.
There were many new faces plus new members among the group that met in the Angas Room at the Strathalbyn Library, with fantastic catering provided by The Boulevard Café at Encounter Bay.
As well as some notes provided at a previous function by Gloria Parkin from Hamper Warehouse, the group was given a template to prepare a basic business strategic plan.
A business plan can be used to not only enhance your chances of getting finance and a potential purchaser in the future, but also to reduce stress through planning to deal with threats and also embracing opportunities one step at a time.
Although many in the room were able to easily reflect on their weaknesses when it came to a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), they were encouraged to look more closely and were able to find strengths in what they offered personally and within their businesses.
Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey outlined her own experiences, pointing out that having a strategic plan can help create a focus, particularly if you are constantly thinking of ideas or concerns.
“Having a plan and writing it down means your mind is freer to get on with the day to day tasks or even to relax,” she said.
“We can often get overwhelmed in our business life, and face many personal and family demands upon our time, that we can feel like we’re drowning and not making progress.
“A strategic plan, if developed and used properly can help us to get our head clear and to make progress and have the chance to acknowledge that progress.”
Carolyn also suggested a strategic plan concept could also be applied outside of the business environment and challenged those present to consider writing a personal strategic plan too using the same structure.
Amid concerns expressed by some that they didn’t have time to prepare their plans, time management was identified as a topic to be discussed at a future meeting of the network.
The next Strathalbyn dinner for the Women in Business Regional Network will be held at the Victoria Hotel from 5.30pm on Tuesday, April 9. The guest speaker will be Mary-Lou Griffiths who will be speaking about HR Basics including staffing and contractor matters.