By: Abhishek Date, 27th December 2013
While we engage in the holiday cheer in anticipation of Christmas and the New Year, executives are pounding their heads over what is arguably the toughest task of the year, budgeting and planning for the upcoming year. While planning is an arduous process, it is an essential task towards organizational success. As Redman would put it, “It (strategic planning) means the difference between being a struggling non-profit and an innovative, cause-drive organisation changing the world.” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2013)
One major misconception amongst managers is that planning is an internal exercise, based on current company figures and adding a premium onto that constitutes sufficient planning for the next year. In 1978, Henry Mintzverg introduced the concept of emergent strategy - a method of planning that requires managers to adopt contingency planning – that is, to plan for unforeseen circumstances (Harvard Business Review, 2013). It may seem like common sense but ironically many managers do not do so. Managers tend to overestimate their ability to predict the future and plan for it in a precise manner. Most use the idea that a strategy emerges as events happen, justifying that such events are unpredictable and volatile and it does not make sense to prepare for it.
In retrospect, top level executives would now agree that strategic planning should involve knowledge of emerging trends in the market space. Although most companies include macroeconomic factors in their planning, this is insufficient. Knowledge about your competitors, vendors as well as government initiatives for the upcoming year are also vital in making strategic plans succeed. Not to forget technological advances affecting your sector, as improving productivity goes a long way in reducing costs and saving time.
One way to gather such information is to attend Trends Seminars for your industry. Seminars not only help in networking with your vendors but also your competitors and various industrial associations. A typical trends seminar would include topics like for example, a Franchise Trends seminar:
• Trends and Opportunities for Franchisors in 2014
• New technologies and its impact on Franchise Management
• Emerging Franchise Models in Asia &
• Changing Consumer Preferences and its impact on businesses
The Franchise industry is set to be booming this year, according to Entrepreneur.com (Duncan, 2013) despite the challenges faced by increasing costs and political unrest in the Asian market. In Singapore, the franchise industry is still a small yet booming one, with new players bringing in brands like Tim Ho Wan and Krispy Kreme to much fanfare. However, proper planning by franchise management is essential to ensure that they do not fizzle and burn out like the bubble tea craze. Help your company be better prepared to overcome and foresee potential challenges before it happens.
One seminar you should not miss is Trends in Franchising.
If you’re in the Franchising Industry, here’s the link to one of such Seminars happening in January.
Abhishek is a Senior Consultant at Astreem Consulting, a consultancy firm specializing in helping businesses grow through Branding and Marketing, Business Matching and Franchise Development. He overlooks effective project management, business development and radical branding programs for Astreem. His past experiences include consulting for banks in India, Middle East and North Africa at Oracle and aligning business competencies and defining performance targets for companies.
For more information, visit: http://www.astreem.com/event/trends-in-franchising-seminar-2014.html