Plan to succeed

Kirsten Taylor-Martin
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There is an age-old saying: fail to plan, then plan to fail. While this is a bold statement and might not be the reality for all, we do see that – anecdotally – family businesses with plans are more likely to thrive. Having a solid plan the whole family helps to develop and evolve not only means businesses are more robust in the present, but also in a solid and sure position for future growth and opportunities.

According to the Family Business Survey 2021, only 56 per cent of family businesses have a documented strategic and/or business plan. This survey was conducted jointly by Grant Thornton and Family Business Australia and Family Business New Zealand.

Therefore, for family businesses without a plan – but looking to develop one – how do you go about it?

The bones of a plan

A plan should not only map out where you are today – but also where you want to be in the future. This future focus will allow you to better foresee and tackle the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

The exercise of shaping a plan should involve the whole family and key members of the business. This will allow you to bring different views of where the business is now, see where people are aligned and where they are not.

Developing a plan

Our team has taken the learnings of strategic conversations with our clients and built a methodology that helps a business develop a plan. We call it 6-Box – focusing attention on the six critical success factors for business survival and growth:

  • Strategic ambitions
  • Financing growth
  • Optimise operations
  • Engage leadership and talent
  • Maximise shareholder value
  • Manage risk and reputation

After working through these themes, family businesses may find themselves with a long to-do list. However, this list can then be sorted into realistic and priority focuses. When it comes to a plan, it is better to do two things well, than many and not see them through.

Working with clients

Our team works with clients on developing their plans, and regularly run 6-Box workshops for their businesses. With informed questioning and visual aids, we help articulate your ambitions, prioritise areas of focus and develop a clear action plan. Our investment in technology means we can work alongside you remotely regardless of where you are based or how you prefer to work.

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