Unit IV. Departamento Económico - Administrativo

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1 Unit IV Departamento Económico - Administrativo

2 4. Strategic Planning. Strategic planning is the organizational process of development and analysis of a mission and vision, of goals and general tactics, as well as resource allocation. When developing strategic plans, administrators should adopt a focus that includes the entire organization. The general purpose of strategic planning is to effectively face the opportunities and threats in the environment, based on the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. 4.1 Concept. It is the formal, long-term planning process, which is used to define and achieve an organization s goals. It is the process of choosing an organization s goals, determining the policies and programs necessary for achieving the specific objectives that lead to these goals, and establishing the necessary methods for ensuring that the policies and strategic plans are put into practice. The organizational process for the development and analysis of the mission and vision, and of goals and general tactics for resource allocation. 4.2 Strategic Planning Process. 1. Establish objectives 2. Collect and analyze information 3. Evaluate the environment 4.Audit of company resources Consists of learning the organization s mission and vision; it includes knowing what kinds of business to avoid and what kinds to engage in. Identify the truly important sources of information for rapid access, as well as trustworthy information to help evaluate how feasible certain objectives are. Determine significant trends in key areas like sales, service, costs, inventory, production quality, etc. Environment includes factors like: competition, technological advances, and sociological and political influences. Competition is especially important for commercial businesses, and it includes the identification of company competitors, how many exist, their characteristics, and importance. Predictions about internal and external factors, as well as an analysis of company resources make up the foundation for the databases the administration uses to analyze opportunities and risks. This step forces the administration 70

3 to recognize that every organization, no matter how large or important it may be, is in some way limited by its resources and talents. 5.Establish alternatives 6. Evaluate and choose strategies Consists of developing and evaluating alternative strategies and choosing a group of these that is compatible on all levels and that allows the organization to take full advantage of its resources and the opportunities available in its environment. Strategic decisions should be chosen according to the risks they imply. Another aspect to evaluate is opportunity; even the best product can fail if it is introduced into the market at an inopportune moment. The strategy chosen should be consistent with the organization s mission and objectives. 4.3 Effective Business Strategy. An organization can adopt several different kinds of strategies: 1. Specializing. In a product or service. 2. Diversifying.- Expanding its operations to new and profitable markets. 3. Going International.- Extending activities to other countries. For example: multinational corporations. 4. Strategic Alliances.- An association formed in order to gain a worldwide competitive advantage. When international competition is so intense and costs of competing in an international market so high that few companies have the resources to compete on their own, and they join other companies. 71

4 In practice, companies follow combined strategies, especially in large businesses. The Japanese companies Sharp and Sanyo Electric announced that they would be forming a global alliance in the area of electronic consumer goods, and that they would be carrying out joint efforts in research, development and manufacturing of refrigerators, microwave ovens and washing machines. These two companies foresee the market growth of these products in China and the rest of Asia. They also plan to increase demand in Europe and the U.S., by introducing appliances that are compatible with new technology. Different strategies can have excellent results, even in times of financial crisis. In 1995, the Grupo Electra initiated money transfer service from the U.S. to Mexico, throughout its large network. The margin for the exchange rate differential (technically called spread) between buying and selling prices, as well as commission, allowed for a less expensive acquisition of dollars for buying many imported appliances outside of the country. A strategic alliance allowed Grupo Electra to successfully navigate one of the worst financial crises in the economy of Mexico, and to create Dinero en minutos! The television industry has also diversified, to include radio-tracking, and has expanded its activities to Central America through Electra stores, selling domestic appliances through its payment system, as it has traditionally done in Mexico. 72

5 What is the right strategy? If the enemy is: Solution Company Action 100 times stronger Evade Re-engineer your business, or you will lose. 50 times stronger Change your position Diversify (introduce products that your enemy does not handle). 10 times stronger Surround Implement aggressive promotion. 5 times stronger Attack Design an effective publicity campaign. 2 times stronger Divide Be a better salesman: open earlier, be friendlier, diversify supply, offer specific sales. Equal Plan Patiently observe the situation, and draw up new attack strategies. 73

6 4.4 Business Plan. Research has shown that, before opening a business, successful businessmen and women make more careful business plans than those who fail. One of the most useful elements they use is a business plan. Don Hellriegel, Administration. First Edition, Thomson Publishers Concept. Rafael Alcaraz describes a business plan as follows: A series of steps for creating and developing a project. A planning system for achieving specific goals. Organized gathering of information, in order to facilitate decision making. A specific guide to efficiently channel available resources. He also points out the following benefits of a business plan: It is a letter of introduction to possible financing sources. It minimizes natural uncertainty in a project, and, as a result, reduces the risk and probability of possible mistakes. Facilitates the gathering of necessary information, which guarantees agile, correct and sound decision-making. Helps determine the technical, economic and promotional feasibility of the project. A business plan is a tool that lets an entrepreneur carry out a planning process that helps select the right path for achieving the business s goals and objectives. A business plan also helps make ideas concrete, since it is a way to formally put them in writing and give them structure, transforming them into a guide for the entrepreneur s daily activities. Also, it defines the steps of development in a business plan, and guides us to ground our ideas and answer the questions involved in any creation process. It can be used as a measuring device; it is a foundation for comparing real results and, when necessary, for making corrective decisions. 74

7 Welsh and White recommend writing a business plan, because: Successful entrepreneurs use it to commit themselves to a plan or project. Investors require it. Bankers request it. Specialists recommend it. Suppliers and clients value it. Administrators need it. Consultants recommend it. Reason demands it. Fuente: Guías para supervisores.cameron C. Smith. Editorial Trillas Business Plan Components. Company concept Financial support Product description. Identification of market, possible clients, and descriptive financial information about demand. Definition of the competition and complete market analysis. Clearly articulated commercialization strategy. Company location, factory, establishment and service information. Management profile of the leading businessman/woman and key employees. Financial needs, intended capital sources, debt and personal stock positions. Documentation to support financial plans: Statement of projected profits and losses Statement of projected cash flow General projected balance sheet Sale quantity equilibrium point analysis. Complementary information Client surveys, market information, demand and sales forecasts. Supporting information about purchase of materials, suppliers, quotes and prices. Factory blueprints, physical condition, manufacturing requirements and equipment needs. Credit reports, bids, contracts and other documents that could be useful to investors. (Don Hellriegel, Administración. Primera Edición, Editorial Thomson. ) 75

8 4.4.3 Creation or Sale of a Business. Joaquín Rodríguez Valencia, in his book, Cómo administrar Pequeñas y Medianas empresas, states that: There are two possible alternatives, which must be analyzed in detail. 1. Decide whether or not it is necessary to start a new company. 2. Decide whether or not to buy a company already in operation. There are many factors to consider before making the right decision. The information necessary for deciding to start a new company or buy an already existing company, as well as the method for gathering this information is part of managing a business. How to Choose a Business Decide if you are truly interested in starting your own company: You will risk part of your personal assets. You will run the risk of causing some imbalance in your life, and you will have to spend a lot of time at work, instead of with your family and doing other enjoyable activities. There may be levels of stress that you did not experience as an employee. Decide on the type and location of the business: Once you have decided that you have the qualities of a successful businessman/woman and that you definitely want to start your own business, you should determine the kind of business that will adapt best to your needs, as well as where it will be located. Decide if you will start working full time or part time: Starting out working part time on your business has some interesting advantages, as well as some difficulties. Working part time would mean starting working on the business in your free time, while maintaining your regular job. In the majority of cases, the advantages of this approach outweigh the risks: You do not have to give up your main source of income, including retirement, health and social security benefits, as well as paid vacation time. Your full-time job need not suffer if there is a conflict of interest between the two disciplines, as long as you can separate your job and your new business in two completely different worlds. There does not have to be a conflict of interest with your current job, if you select a kind of business that will work as a secondary job, such as: 76

9 unique products, real estate, specialized food, electronic trade, direct marketing or family-owned operations. There are many advantages to family-owned businesses. Your family can take care of the business while you are at work. Its structure is already set up. You can teach your children the benefits of running a business. Nonetheless, it is necessary to take into account all of the obstacles to starting a business part-time: There is always the temptation to spend some of your time at your job to work on the new business. This kind of attitude is disloyal towards your employer, and should not arise under any circumstances. Another problem that can arise is that of having to compete with your employer, which, again, is an unethical attitude. Think about how you would feel about or deal with an employee who did that if you were in charge. Any kind of conflict that arises in your regular job can put both your new business and your job at risk. Excess of work and physical and psychological exhaustion can also be common problems for businessmen and women who also have steady jobs. Strategy for Selecting a Business. Choosing the wrong business is the most common error that new businessmen/women make. The following checklist will help you to make a choice: Take your time and wait until you find the right business for your needs. There is no penalty for letting an opportunity go. The selection process requires a lot of planning, and your experience and specialized knowledge are fundamental for achieving success. Do not get involved with businesses that might be too difficult. It is better to identify a small obstacle than to try to overcome one that is too large. Try to find a business with long-term economic potential. Follow Wayne Gretzky s advice: I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. 77

10 A major mistake can be that of omission, meaning that you can lose an opportunity that is right in front of your nose. Try to find a business that will grow in current and future markets. Many small minority companies no longer exist because the big chains offer the client more variety, often at a better price. Follow the advice of Warren Buffett, President of Berkshire-Hathaway, Inc. and the most successful business selection expert in the history of the U.S. Buffet looks for businesses that focus on a consumer monopoly by setting long-term price and growth forecasts. Avoid standard product businesses, whose competition is based entirely on price, and that must have the best price in order to survive. As Warren Buffet said: In a standard-product-oriented business, you are as smart as your dumbest competitor. The majority of service companies can set prices. Should you take a risk on a business that you are not familiar with, when you can choose one you do know? $$ In the event that you plan to manufacture a product, think about the advantages and disadvantages of subcontracting production with a low-cost supplier. In other words, run a hollow business. A hollow business is that which subcontracts production and packaging. Do not allow excess confidence keep you from carefully analyzing your business selection. Do not be afraid to research negative aspects; it is much better to know about them and face them from the start. Be realistic. Don t let yourself be tempted by large rewards. They will eventually come if you choose the right business and if you understand each aspect of the business before you start your company Main Elements of Business. 78

11 4.4.5 Business Plans. The main value of your business plan will be to create a written outline that evaluates all aspects of the economic feasibility of your commercial initiative, with description and analysis of your business perspectives. A business plan is an essential step that any sensible businessman should take, no matter how large or small the business. This step is often omitted. Business plans can vary greatly. Why should you make a business plan? Your business plan will be useful for various reasons. Here are some of the reasons why you should not overlook this valuable tool: First of all, it defines and focuses your objective, using the right information and analysis. You can use it as a sales tool for important relationships, including those with your lenders, investors and banks. You can use the plan to request other people s opinions and advice; you can get advice from those who work in the field you are interested in, and whose help will be invaluable. Too often, businessmen/women structure their company my way!, and do not take advantage of expert opinions, which can save them a lot of work. My way is a great song, but it can result in unnecessary complications in practice. Your business plan can expose omissions and/or weaknesses in your planning process. What you should avoid in a business plan. Restrict your long-term future projections (longterm is more than one year). It is better to establish short-term objectives and modify your business plan as your business grows. Often, long-term planning becomes irrelevant due to your businesses reality, which can be different from its original concept. Do not forget to determine which strategies you will use in the event of commercial adversity. Use simple language when explaining problems. Write in a style that is easy to read and understand. 79

12 Six steps to an excellent business plan. New business owners often have difficulties when writing a business plan. This discipline will help in many aspects, so: Do not overlook this planning tool! daf.umsa.bo/rrhh/ The following six steps will facilitate and guide you to organize a useful plan: 1. Write your basic business concept. 2. Gather all the information you can about feasibility and the specific points of your business concept. 3. Focus and fine tune your concept, based on the information you gather. 4. Highlight the specific business issues. It can be useful to focus on the what, where, why and how. 5. Give your plan a convincing format so that it not only gives perspectives and direction, but also becomes a valuable tool for managing commercial relationships that will be important to you. 6. Study model plans, look for examples. Verify that your plan includes the following necessary factors for creating a successful business: 80

13 1. A solid business concept. The most common error among businessmen and women is to not choose the right business from the start. The best way to learn about your possible business is to work for another person in this business before starting one of your own. There may be a big difference between your concept of a good business and the reality. 2. Undersand your market. A good way to make sure you know your market is to try to commercialize your product or service before you begin. Do you think you have a comet that will captívate comet watchers imagination? Then, manufacture a few models by hand and try to sell them first. 3. A solid, stable and growing industry. Remember that some of the greatest inventions of all time, like planes and automobiles, did not bear economic fruits for those who tried to sell these important developments. For example, the accumulated profits of airlines since Wilbur Wright flew the first plane are in the negative (airlines losses have surpassed their profits). Success comes from those who find inexpensive businesses, not necessarily with great inventions or developments for humanity. 4. Capable administration. Look for people you like and admire, who have ethical values, extra talents and who are smarter than you. Plan to hire people that have talents you do not have. Define your unique talent, and look for others who turn your weaknesses into strengths. 5. Proper financial control. Later, you will learn the importance of accounting, computer software and cash flow management training. Most businessmen and women do not have prior accounting knowledge and have to go back to school to acquire this kind of knowledge. Would you risk your savings on a game that you don t know how to win? People constantly make this mistake in business. 6. Consistent commercial focus. If you think about specific products or services, you will find that specialists will always outdo non-specialists. Focus on something that you can do so well that you will not have to compete with someone with a better price. 81

14 Glossary Mission.- An organization s purpose or reason for being. Vision.- An organization s fundamental aspirations and values, which are generally attractive to the minds and hearts of its members. Goal.-The objective to which a company is comitted; an organization s path or direction. Strategies.- An organization s main courses of action that it follows, in order to achieve its goals. Strategic alliances.- The combination of several companies material and human resources, which help achieve common goals. Diversification.- Variety of goods and services that an organization produces, and the number of different markets it caters to. Bibliography C1. Münch Galindo, Lourdes. Fundamentos de Administración. Quinta Edición, México, Editorial Trillas, C2. Hellriegel, Don. Administración. Primera Edición, Editorial Thomson, C3. Rodríguez Valencia, Joaquín. Administración de Pequeñas y Medianas Empresas. Quinta Edición, México, Editorial Thomson, C4. Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles. Editorial Porrúa. C5. Ferrel and Hirt. Introducción a los Negocios. Cuarta Edición. México C6. Franaquicias y Negocios. Impulsando emprendedores. Quién es quién en las Franquicias? México y Centroamérica

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