Planning is one aspect of managing a business – and a business can have many different plans, including, business plans, strategic plans, sales & marketing plans, forecasting plans, human resource plans and operations plans.

Beyond the plans are the skills needed by individuals to maintain and execute the plans, ultimately leading the business towards meeting its overall objectives.

Apart from our packaged Growing Your Business services, we provide a range of workshops and tailored 1-2-1 services aimed at helping individuals and groups to fulfill their roles. In essence, these services equip individuals and teams to perform their roles towards successfully Minding Your Business.

These services can be brought together as a bespoke package if required.

BUSINESS PLANNING

 

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Whether you are a startup, in the development phase or an established business with a history of growth, your business can be more successful if you develop, maintain and apply a robust business plan. This plan answers the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of your business – who are the owners, targetted customers, competitors, what are products, services, market size

The plan, which must be adaptable, will provide your internal and external stakeholders with an understanding of your growth ambitions. Financiers value a well-thought, structured, and maintained achievable business plan which covers all areas of your business

ICON will help you prepare a well structured plan which identifies your business vision, missions and objectives. We will examine your products, services, markets, human resources, finances, strengths and opportunities needed to meet those objectives.

BUSINESS STRATEGY

 

What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this, you can call strategy.

William E Rothschild

The quote above succinctly describes the differences between your business plan and your strategic plan.

ICON will help you identify the steps, or strategies, that your business can use to meet, if not exceed, its objectives. The strategic plan can focus on the entire business or specific areas of the business, such as sales, marketing, market entry, client satisfaction and client retention amongst others. Many of our clients have multiple strategic plans addressing various parts of their business.

Key Areas to

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Stop Selling. Start helping

Zig Ziglar

If Marketing is getting your potential customers to ‘Know, Like, Trust’ you, then Sales is the process of understanding your customers needs, and helping them choose, adapt, utilise and ultimately pay for your products and services. The plans and strategies for established businesses will differ from those for startup businesses.

ICON advocates that the best strategic marketing plans are best developed by the clients, who have a wealth of product and service experience. We assist you in facilitating and formalising the sales and marketing plans in relation to the overall business objectives. Our strategies aim to further developing and strengthening your brand.

Taking your team through understanding your business ambitions, we adopt a Customer centric approach to developing the sales and marketing strategies – what do the customers know of you, your products, your services. We will work with you to develop your sales processes, systems and help develop your sales team.

Evaluating the market place and its potential for your business, we also help you analyse your customer portfolio and analyse your competitors too. How you approach the market is imortant and we can help you determine the appropriate digital and traditional mediums through which to market your business.

Customer feedback is important. ICON will assist you in establishing the appropriate measurable customer service benchmarking methods.

About half my time is spent on business operation type stuff.

Mark Zuckerberg

Not to be confused with Production Operations, Business Operations looks at the interaction of the various internal functions of the business, working collectively to help the business achieve its overall objectives. In large organisations these are usually well defined with departments such as Finance, IT, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, Human Resources, R&D, Production, Manufacturing to name but a few.

For small to medium size businesses these may not be well defined with individuals operating in multiple roles and even more so for sole owner businesses. These businesses typical grow organically acting, reacting and adapting to internal and external events that shape the business. The astute business manager will seek to structure and organise the business to be proactive, efficient and able to manage any ‘curve’ ball that the orgnaistion meet.

ICON assists businesses to determine the most appropriate organisational structure for their business which supports the overall business objectives. This is not merely developing an organisation hierarchy but also examining the flow of information and decision making needed between the various business functions towards efficiently achieving the business goals.

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.

Adam Smith

Production Management is the function within your business that converts the various resources in your business into the products and services for the target market and customers. In large businesses this will be a dedicated department or function. For small to medium sized businesses this may be a blurred line between several roles.

With our customer centric view, ICON can assist your business by developing or documenting your production operations and supply chain processes enabling you to determine efficiencies and inadequacies which could affect your ability to deliver your products and services to customer expectations and to your ultimate business ambitions.

Whilst ICON can introduce Agile and Scrum processes to your product/service development, we also work with specialists in in Lean, Kanban and Kaizan processes on your behalf.

We have successfully helped organisations obtain appropriate grant funding towards their manufacturing and production functions based upon well-structured business and strategic growth plans.

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Benjamin Franklin

Many SME businesses work with accountants and bookkeepers to help manage their ‘books’. Having an good understanding of your business’ finances is a skill many business owners and senior managers need to acquire to aid them in key decision making for the day to running of the business and for planning for the future.

ICON can help individuals with introducing measures and aid in the understanding of key financial statements and ratios. We also  develop manageable historical, current and forecasted cashflow, spend and sales projections – helping business owners and senior managers understand the impact of their financial decisions, no matter how small, upon the business.

We work with affiliate partners to gain the most of your available cash in the bank and to obtain external finance from various sources including local, government, specialist grant funding, crowdfunding or alternative lending where appropriate.

Information technology is at the core of how you do your business and how your business model itself evolves.

Satya Nadella | CEO Microsoft

ICON’s history with IT, the integration of IT with Business Solutions and IT Outsourcing enables us to give your business the opportunity to leverage business growth with scalable IT solutions.

The interdependence of business functions from purchasing to customer delivery involves the flow and use of information and data predominately captured, processed and stored with integrated Information Technology. From sole laptops to IT solutions supporting complex business operations and mobile workforce, ICON will develop or review your IT strategy ensuring it is aligned with your business ambitions.

ICON recognises that data is the fuel for business. We will help develop data analysis solutions that simplify the view of data within your organisation, enabling executives and managers to make informed business decisions and help you target the right markets and customers.

The capture, retention and security of data within business is under more scrutiny than ever before. Cyber crime is increasing and now included in the official crime figures. Regulators are becoming more strict on how businesses manage data and access to data.

ICON can review your data management policies and with strategic partners help implement robust policies to accredited national standards.

Between 60% to 80% of business costs are associated with employment costs. Yet many businesses support that investment with development of their employees.

ICON’s experience is that employee development contributes to lower employee turnover, increased margins and customer satisfaction. With a vast repository of experience and material to draw upon, we deliver tailored training for individuals or groups covering:

Business Administration | Career/Personal Development | Communication Skills | Creativity Approaches | Customer Service | Decision Making Skills | Leadership Skills | Project Management | Problem Solving | Stress Management | Structured Sales Processes | Team Management | Team Building Courses |Time Management

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

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