It is almost a caricature. The executives go away on a strategy planning weekend. They have a successful think tank and come back fired up with great strategies and enormous enthusiasm. Then the day-to-day tasks demand attention and three months later nothing has changed. The idea may still be discussed in management meetings but this is becoming embarrassing. Why did it all go wrong?
It is easier to think about how to grasp opportunities and solve problems than it is to implement plans. A central problem of implementing new strategy is that it usually relies on people who already have busy jobs with little time or energy to execute additional tasks.
The planning session seldom takes this into account so strategy implementation remains project-based and dependent on spare time availability within the management team. Nothing changes and the company drifts on as it always has.
The style of many entrepreneurs may be another cause of failure to implement strategy. The phrase ‘working in your business instead of on your business’ is almost universal.
Entrepreneurs naturally fix problems, manage people daily, sell, manage the finances, pacify irate customers and liaise with suppliers because they have always done so, and are now good at these tasks. They work long hours doing things what others would be less effective at doing. Working in the business becomes a comfort zone, and the area they gravitate to when there are problems.
Moving at least some focus to strategic and development issues is a must if the business is to avoid becoming self-limiting, and most business owners accept this. One way to do this is to delegate responsibility for just one function, then have the strength to manage only the agreed outputs, not the process.
This is difficult; you have to allow them to make mistakes and never take over unless asked or if a real disaster looms. Deliberately use the time saved to focus on strategy and general management. Then repeat with another function and save more time. It gets easier the more you do this.
Assumptions and perceptions
Starting the planning session from wrong assumptions, especially where you perceive the business and its competitors to be now, can doom new strategies before they are born. Starting with the assumption that what you are doing is almost right and must only be improved on is risky, especially if your assumptions about competitor strengths, customer needs and satisfaction levels are flawed.
In the absence of hard research or deliberate fact gathering there is a high risk of this being the case. If this sounds hard to believe test your own knowledge now with questions like:
- Exactly how big is the total marketplace?
- What is the market share of all the major competitors, and how many salespeople do they have?
- What trends of product mix, debtors, total sales and cash flow do we track?
- Why do customers buy from us rather than select from the many choices on offer?
- What percentage of my customers are also customers of competitors?
- Why does anyone buy from each major competitor?
In each case support your answers with hard evidence, or acknowledge they come from assumptions or gut feel. If most of your answers are supported by evidence I congratulate you; you are in a good position to develop strategies to improve on what you are doing. To the others, I suggest you do some homework before tweaking anything.
Then have a review of existing strategy, measuring outcomes versus plans and identifying causes for under- or over-achievement. New strategies built on this foundation are likely to be better than the big dreams which so often emerge from strategy sessions. An outside facilitator can help to keep things on track.
A World Of Opportunity Awaits With Peli Peli
Business ownership has always been the entrepreneur’s way of shaping their future. If you’ve always wanted to experience life in the US, this is your chance.
Global media has been reporting that the chances of non-American citizens being granted access to move to the US are getting slimmer with the new administration. However, there is still one channel of access that allows people the opportunity to relocate that hasn’t been amended by the presidency.
The EB-5 Visa programme was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a programme initially enacted as a pilot in 1992, and regularly re-authorised since then, investors may also qualify for EB-5 classification by investing through regional centres designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
The question most commonly asked by foreign investors is where to start selecting a relatively low-risk company to invest their money into. One such entity that has been granted designation under the EB-5 programme is the restaurant group Peli Peli.
Peli Peli is a South African cuisine restaurant that has gained incredible traction in the competitive American restaurant industry. They currently have six successful branches opened in the Texas area. Peli Peli Vintage park, which opened in 2009, generated revenue of $5,3 million in 2016.
Peli Peli Galleria opened in 2015, and had $5,2 million revenue in 2016. Peli Peli Kitchen, their first fast casual concept, opened in October 2016 and reported revenue of $2 million in 2017. Peli Deli, a downtown fast food casual lunch concept and Peli Peli Cinco Ranch, which opened in February and July 2017, respectively, are both showing incredible growth to match their predecessors.
At least two more locations will be opening in 2018, and as all new Peli Peli locations have historically generated positive cash flow within the first year, the company expects to increase its revenue exponentially.
The power team behind the brand
The restaurant chain has garnered popularity, and won a multitude of awards, including Best Service & Best Atmosphere — Readers’ Choice Award (Houston Press) and 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winner for the Top 100 American Fare Restaurants in the United States (OpenTable). Peli Peli is also rated in the top ten in Houston, Texas (which boasts over 12 000 restaurants) on both Tripadvisor and Yelp.
The Peli Peli trio who own the business are Chef Paul Friedman, Thomas Nguyen and Aiki Tran. These three dynamic businessmen have their own share of accolades to speak of. Chef Paul, who is a born and bred Joburger, has been a contestant on Cutthroat Kitchen for multiple episodes on the Food Network. He won the People’s Choice Award and was placed third as a judge in the Gumbo Smackdown 2014. He received the 2013 Chef of Chef Awards in the 9th Annual Houston Wine and Food week, as well as being the 2013 Cadillac Culinary Master. He was also one of 60 Houston Chefs to be listed in the book Best Chefs America.
Thomas Nguyen, who is Chief of Marketing for Peli Peli, graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and was a former litigation attorney. He was the Houston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award recipient in 2015 and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Gulf Coast finalist in 2016 and 2017. He was Entrepreneur of the Year — Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce and is also a freelance writer for the Houston Press.
Peli Peli’s CEO, Aiki Tran, has over 12 years of experience in restaurant technology and won the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year award — Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce. He was responsible for streamlining the technology infrastructure for franchises such as Popeyes and Wings, Pizza N Things. He also became the number one reseller of Aldelo and Dineware POS systems in Texas, with installations in over 200 restaurants.
Joining their ranks is South African Ryan Stewart. Having owned 16 restaurants throughout the country, he is also the CEO and co-founder of the Mozambik restaurant chain. Ryan has 17 years’ experience in the industry and is being brought on board by Peli Peli to assist in their revenue and store location growth.
Your path to the US
With the combined talent, brainpower and experience of these four businessmen, it’s no wonder Peli Peli is achieving success. The investment required to qualify for an EB-5 Visa through Peli Peli is an amount of $500 000 and is structured as an equity investment at risk. It entitles the foreign investor to permanent residency, and within two years of living in the United States, a green card for the investor and his/her dependents.
For more information on how
You can be a part of the EB-5 Visa programme through Peli Peli.
4 Ways To Find Your Own Business Style
The only way to develop a business style is step-by-step over time.
Finding a style in finance will define how you react to changes and how you approach new situations. It’s as important in business as it is in stock trading. Developing a business style and developing a stock trading system are extremely similar pursuits.
But I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to do. It will take time and you do have to be willing to work at it.
Here are my four ways of finding your own business style.
1. Get rid of your expectations
You can’t force anything to work. It’s necessary for you to be flexible when it comes to finding a business style. Begin by letting go of any expectations you have before trying a new style.
Prior to attempting a new style, you have to be willing to go into it with no expectations. You never know what you’re going to find.
2. Track your movements
Some things are going to work and some things aren’t going to work. I always tell my students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge that they should keep records of the things they’re doing. Keep these records as detailed as possible because attempting trial and error can quickly lead you in circles.
Don’t fall into the trap (as I did in the beginning) of trying the same thing multiple times because you never tracked the results.
I keep large spreadsheets with notes of the various styles and systems I’ve tried in business. Business mistakes can be costly, so you need to do everything you can to avoid making them.
3. Look at what others are doing
I refuse to believe that someone is doing something truly unique. The moment someone makes a breakthrough in business there are a hundred people replicating the same things. And that can be a powerful tool. Consider what others are doing and see whether you can learn something.
It’s why I also advocate finding a mentor to help you out. They’ll be able to help you out and you’ll benefit from their enhanced experiences in business.
Again, track what you’re taking from other people so you know whether something is working.
4. Refine what you do
Rarely will anything in business work the first time. However, your first attempts will give you a good benchmark as to what you need to do next.
You should never be satisfied with what you have, even if it’s working. Always work on improving your business style. I believe this is the most important thing because it also teaches you how to adapt to changing conditions over time.
Last Word – Constantly Growing
There’s no step-by-step guide for how to develop a business style. The only way to do it is to obey the fundamentals and then develop everything over time.
Even though the process is long, you’re guaranteed to learn a lot of lessons and gain from a huge number of experiences over time.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
6 Questions You Should Be Asking When Coaching
Top athletes have coaches because they’re winners. Business leaders should be the same.
Whether you’re a CEO looking for a mentor, coaching your management team, or structuring a coaching programme for your managers to implement, there are six questions that can help anyone get better at anything.
Dr Marshall Goldsmith is a best-selling author and world-renowned business educator and coach. He has coached top CEOs, including Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company.
The key to a successful coaching programme is simple dialogue and establishing responsibility. The person being coached must understand and agree that success lies in their hands. They must take responsibility for their actions.
Once every few months, have a direct coaching session. Ask (or answer for yourself) these six questions:
- Where are we going?
- Where are you going?
- What are you doing well?
- Do you have suggestions for my improvement?
- How can I help you?
- So you have suggestions for me?
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