Avoid Business Failure



Businesses fail because they don't plan. There are certain things that should always be planned for; and systematic proven ways to plan. Develop a better capacity to plan, and in turn, develop a better capacity to manage business.


Why Do this?

  • To produce a well structured business plan
  • To preparing for a career in business
  • Professional development for business managers
  • To reduce risk and increase profit

Learn to identify and manage Risks for improved business success

  • Review and Improve current business operations; or prepare to start a new enterprise
  • Self paced, flexible 100 hour course -focus on whatever type of business in relevant to you


Why are Business Plans Needed?

A business plan can serve many purposes and should be of greatest use to us when you are:

  • Starting your business
  • Expanding your business
  • Developing new products
  • Obtaining finance
  • Making management decisions
  • Maintaining control



There are 11 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Business Planning - The business plan, strategic and operational planning, feasibility studies, the executive summary.
  2. Focus and Direction - Deciding on direction, visualising future business directions, vision and mission statements
  3. Legal and Administrative Requirements - Legal structure of a business, business names, taxation, regulations, licenses and permits, types of business ownership
  4. Developing Objectives and Strategies - Setting goals and objectives, SWOT and GAP analysis, strategies for achieving objectives
  5. Planning for Growth - Planned as opposed to runaway growth, subcontracting, franchising, licensing, the growth plan
  6. Risk Management and Contingencies - Approaches to risk management, identifying business risks
  7. Systems - System components, the quality audit, bench marking, business plans as a mechanism of control
  8. Marketing Plans - The definition of marketing, marketing requirements, the marketing process, market research, implications of unplanned marketing
  9. Operation Plans - Control of business operations, writing an operation plan
  10. Human Resource Plans - The value of human resources, occupational health and safety, skills and competencies of different staff
  11. Financial Plans - The importance of financial planning, establishment costs and start up capital, cash flow forecasts, profit and loss statements

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Learn what a business plan is, and it main components
  • Learn the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement
  • Learn about the legal and administrative requirements of a business
  • Learn the importance of a business name
  • Learn the importance of setting goals and objectives in a business setting
  • Describe strategies for coping with growth
  • Describe different types of business risks
  • Learn about the marketing process
  • Learn about operations planning
  • Learn the importance of human resources
  • Learn the purpose of financial planning

What Does the Course Cover?

Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Interview a business owner regarding their business plan
  • Visualise the state of a current business in 12 months time
  • Contact a Government Department to determine the relevant licenses, permits, approvals and registrations necessary to set up a business
  • Interview current business owners to determine their strategies and objectives for the next year
  • Identify aspects of a business that would need attention in high growth periods
  • Identify risks to a proposed business
  • Investigate mechanisms for protection of intellectual copyright
  • Investigate the potential of a business currently for sale
  • Evaluate the operations of a current business
  • Develop an operations plan for a newly conceived business proposal
  • Identify potential hazards of a proposed business
  • Identify expenses relevant to setting up a proposed business

100 Hours (Nominal Duration).


Tips for Better Business Planning

Set Goals and Objectives to establish outcomes you wish to achieve, first in a broad sense (goals) and then more specifically, in measurable terms (objectives).  Objectives are the targets which must be achieved in order to fulfill the corporate aims. These will vary greatly according to ownership, size, industry etc.; however, some objectives are at the core of the majority of businesses.

Examples of objectives include:

  • Plan and Control Growth.    Growth can be either deliberate and well planned, or explosive and unplanned. Growth can also be deadly for some businesses if they are not prepared or organized. The company may expand and not have the manpower or space to incorporate the expansion. This can lead to broken contracts, faulty materials, or bad press for the business.  For businesses that experience ‘runaway’ growth, although initially successful, without the proper strategies in place, there is a potential for serious complications. That is why in planning for growth it is best to have routes or maps for all possible outcomes in the future. If the company is prepared and have alternate and diverse measures in place for expansion and growth, the company can be saved not only headaches, but also can be used as an insurance policy for a better future outcome.   Although growth is often a key corporate objective, it does not come without its pitfalls. There are three main problems linked to growth, especially when it is unplanned or rapid:
  • Manage Risk.   Risk management is the decision-making process involving considerations of political, social, economic and engineering factors with relevant risk assessments relating to a potential hazard so as to develop, analyse and compare regulatory options and to select the optimal regulatory response for safety from that hazard.   Essentially risk management is the combination of three steps: risk evaluation; emission and exposure control; risk monitoring. Management can adopt a variety of positions when handling risk. These can range from doing nothing, to attempting to cover just about every possible calamity that could occur.  

Following are some common ways of approaching risk management:


Dealing with Change in Business

Running a business is a day to day task. Things change every day of the week, and the manager of a business needs to react to those changes accordingly.


Customers Change

The customers or clients change. What they want to buy from you is never going to be the same tomorrow as it is today. Items and services can come into fashion and go out of fashion. Even basic things like food can go in and out of fashion. Think about something simple like milk – years ago, you had milk! Now we have skimmed milk, semi skimmed milk, goat’s milk, organic milk, pure milk and so on. A person who was only able to supply “milk” may not attract all of the potential customers they could if they do not keep up with the trends on the different types of milk that customers want.

Another example, a publisher publishes books on technology since the 1950s, but does not update their books. Is someone really going to buy a book about using computers from the 1970s, that would take no account of the internet and the massive changes in technology?

Different services and products are required over time. For a business to survive, they must change with the trends. It is not always easy to recognize new trends. Some business people are able to see trends coming and change the services and products they offer in advance. Others may even start trends, whilst others are playing catch up, amending their services after the realize that there is a new trend. Look at mobile phones. When they first came out, they were like carrying a brick around and only the wealthiest people were able to afford them. Today, most people in the Western world have a mobile/cell phone. We can have different phones, different covers, different cases. A phone that suits a teenage girl, will not necessarily suit a fifty year old woman and vice versa. So there are now fashions in phones, that businesses who offer phones needs to take account of.


Deliveries Change

In the past, people would go to a shop or farm or other sale outlet to buy their goods. OR they would have them delivered –
For example, the milk man might bring their milk. The bread man would bring their bread. Some grocery stores would also deliver products.

For other products, they would often be delivered in the post or via a courier. For example, if we phoned a book store and ordered a book, the book would be posted to us. Customers could buy clothes and other items from catalogues, which were then posted to the customer.

But much of this has now changed. Of course, there are still shops, there is still the milk man. We can still get our products delivered to our homes. But the way we do this is different. Now, we probably go to an online food shop and order our groceries to be delivered at a certain time. We may still order clothes from a catalogue, but the catalogue store may also have a website we can order from.

But not all products are actually physical now. We do not have to go into a bookstore (if we don’t want to) and buy a book, we can download it and have an electronic copy of the book – an eBook - on our computer, iPad, Kindle etc. We don’t necessarily need to go to a game shop to buy a computer game, we can download computer games straight onto our PC or games console. We don’t need to physically buy software for our computer, we can often download that as well. All of these are in electronic form, so do not require a courier or postal service for the customer to access them.

We do not need to wait for our bank statement to be delivered. Many of us can access our bank statement online. And if we have a question, we do not necessarily have to go into a bank, we can telephone the bank or insurance company etc to get help.

Of course, not all products and services can be made in electronic form, we can really have a load of bread to eat, we need the bread’s physical presence. And some people will still want the physical goods – they will want to buy the computer game, they will want to buy the paperback book. But the changes in how products and services are offered does mean that the way we deliver them has changed.

Any business must take account of how their services and products are delivered and offered.


Staff Change

Our staff change as well. You might employ the same people, but their moods, attitudes and health are also constantly changing. Also, if you employ new staff, what you require of them may change. And what they offer may change. At one time you may have employed apprentices straight from school, now you may require people to have certain qualifications. They may require you to offer them training. They may require a certain salary and so on. All of this needs to be taken account of. Businesses never stand still.

They can grow or shrink or disappear altogether. Some grow too fast, and become unmanageable, then collapse due to unforeseen and poorly managed situations. Some just are not big enough to survive or to give the owner enough income. Saying that, with the advent of the internet, many businesses are not the sole income of a person. For example, they may have a full time job, but run a children’s clothes online shop on the side, sorting out orders and so on at weekends and in the evening. The shop may not bring in enough income for the person to only do that, but it may be something they enjoy.

Operating a business involves managing various aspects of the businesses activities (elements) including:

Managing People: The interaction between staff and clients, staff and other staff, etc.

Managing the Law: All laws that affect a business must be complied with. This can be increasingly different given the more global nature of business today. Laws from different countries need to be complied with.

Managing Money: the money received must exceed the money spent.