Key Learning Outcomes
- Recognise that a well-constructed work plan is the first step in turning ideas into action.
- Learn to build a work plan that outlines what is going to be done and how your goals are going to be achieved.
- Use the case study business to gather ideas on enhancing your work plan.
- Implement your work plan with the aim of increasing your business’s success.
This section outlines how you are going to achieve the goals specified in your business plan. We find the easiest way to do this is to go back through all the information you have gathered to date and start to make a list or mind map of all your thoughts and ideas. Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that you will find helpful in many areas of business, if you are not familiar with it you may like to read our article on mind mapping before getting started on your work plan.
You will see that activities or tasks will naturally fit into several headings or groups. By doing this, you can start prioritising the tasks and easily identify those that have quick win potential. A quick win is something that will have a high impact on the business and is relatively easy to implement. Look for the article in this section of the website for more information.
Once your list is completed it is essential to read through each of your goals to ensure that you have activities or tasks in your plan that contribute towards the achievement of each goal. Also, go back through your research and ensure that you have addressed any issues identified in your gap analysis and that you are taking advantage of the opportunities uncovered in the SWOT analysis.
If you find that you have a goal that does not have any related actions in your work plan, then you need to assess whether the goal is achievable and relevant. If it is, you will need to determine what you need to implement in order to fulfil this objective.
The best way to illustrate the concept in this instance is to look at the work plan of our case study business, The Best Beauty Salon. As previously outlined in the goal setting article, the business’s goals are as follows:[wlm_ismember]
- To increase market share in the secondary market area from 2.1% of all female residents to 5% in 12 months.
- To increase the average annual spend per client by 15% within six months through the introduction of additional multi-treatment packages.
- To commence a targeted nurture program to convert non-regular customers into clients. Target to re-book 12 past clients for a treatment within 60 days.
- To increase market share from 3.2% of male residents in the prime market area to 10% within 12 months through the introduction and promotion of a range of specific male-oriented packages.
- Increase the average profit margin of all treatments through increasing the average number of treatment hours booked per week, from the current 90 (44% capacity) to 132 (65% capacity) within six months.
- Increase the profitability of body treatments from 12.3% to 25% within six months through increasing the number of treatments performed each month. Commence a targeted marketing program offering an introductory program to existing and new clients.
- Reduce the number of the business owner’s treatment hours from an average of 35 per week to 25 per week through the promotion of individual therapists as experts in each field.
- Build team skills in re-booking old clients and up-selling treatment packages through weekly training.
When designing the work plan, the owner of The Best Beauty Salon assessed each goal, compiled a list of activities and grouped them under some key headings. Once this was done each activity was fleshed out to clearly outline what was required and how it could be achieved.
- Identify all clients who have not been into the salon in the past 90 days. Commence a targeted nurture program in batches. Twenty ‘we miss you’ letters to be sent each week offering a 15% discount for booking within 30 days. Follow-up telephone calls within seven days to secure bookings.
- Use a monthly newsletter to promote off-peak specials and new products.
- Introduce and promote therapists in a monthly newsletter as specialists in each treatment. When clients are booking, always offer the specialist therapist in the first instance in order to move bookings away from the owner. Use such dialogue as “I would like to book you with Jane; she is our body treatment specialist”.
- Commence a targeted letter program to promote VIP-only offers.
- Development of new treatment packages to encourage more regular and increased spend per client.
- Discounts offered for frequent facials through the pre-purchase of three- and six-month packages. Buy three facials and get a deluxe pedicure free. Buy six facials and get your sixth treatment free.
- Create add-on/upgrade packages. Offer complementary treatments at a discounted rate. “Upgrade your facial to include a deluxe pedicure for only $25 (valued at $45)”.
- Development of male-specific facial and massage treatment packages. Utilise treatment room 4 which has a less feminine feel and has the shower facility, to increase the occupancy rate.
- Create off-peak specials to increase booking hours – 15% discount for facial and massage bookings between 2pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
- Increase awareness to the secondary market area through direct mail promotion. Promotional flyer program twice per month for 12 months. Flyers will be designed to increase brand awareness through monthly offers for new clients.
- Promotion of ‘mere male’ program through monthly direct mail promotion to the prime market area.
- Increased use of Facebook and the business’s website to promote new products and specials.
- Promote benefits of body treatments through success stories and testimonials.
- Form partnerships with local boutiques and hairdressers to promote benefits of the body treatments for special occasions. Offer partnership discount to clients for body, facial or massage treatments.
- Implement weekly team meeting to include dialogue training.
- Promote team expertise by having one team member present on a topic at each meeting.
- Monitor the progress of goals and objectives on a monthly basis and communicate the results in a team meeting to gain buy-in.
This list can now be broken down further into a 30-, 60- or 90-day action plan. This action plan would not form part of the business plan but rather will be an outcome of the plan. We explain how to compile the action plan in another learning article. If you work in a team we recommend that you spread the workload among the team members and gain buy-in from the team to meet the goals and objectives.
As you can see the business plan is now taking shape. The final steps are to complete the milestone schedule, which will help when looking to complete your action plan, and also look at the critical risks.[/wlm_ismember]
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