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Survey Reveals Many Businesses Are Winging It

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Survey Reveals Many Businesses Are Winging It

A recent national survey of 27,000 small and medium businesses reveals that almost half (44 per cent) of the businesses surveyed do not have an annual budget to guide them, and a third operate without a 'clear vision' or mission statement.

The survey was run by business coaching organisation Action International and is the first of a number of surveys the organisation proposes to carry out in order to deepen its understanding of New Zealand business.

Action International general manager and business coach Martin Jimmink says the results point towards many New Zealand businesses underperforming in the absence of clearly written goals and budgets.

"As business coaches, every day we see business owners and managers working very hard at their core work but frustrated and often downhearted because they are not reaping rewards such as increased sales and profits, higher staff morale and more quality personal time. Usually, they are operating without a written vision or mission statement and with no annual budget."

Martin Jimmink says when business owners carry these tools in their head, they lose focus because they have little to benchmark their success against and their heads are full of the day-to-day running of the business. As well, by not sharing their visions and projections for the future with their team, they miss out on valuable input from their people.

Karen MacKenzie - managing director of Office Design Group on Auckland's North Shore – says though she always had the business's vision and budgets in her head during its first three years, it was not until North Shore-based Action International coach Calvin Sandford began working with her to increase the business's performance that she formalised her plans in writing. The result, she says, has been increased sales, productivity and profit - and a team that understands and feels part of the business's purpose and future.

"One of the first changes Calvin encouraged me to make was to get my plans down on paper. I consulted my team as part of the process and one of my team said that though she loved working at Office Design Group she was unclear of where the company was going. Now I think all of us – including me – are very clear about our projected goals. They have really brought us together as a team and have been key to our impressive growth in the past 18 months."

Perhaps most important of all, clarifying the business's plans and goals on paper has given Karen the confidence to make decisions based on fact rather than 'winging it'. Her recent decision to buy a building was made easier by her confidence in her business vision and the accuracy of her financial analysis and projections.

Calvin Sandford, who recently won Action's 'Most Consistent Results for Clients' Global Action Man Award at the organisation's international conference in New York, says today Karen regularly checks actual results with projected results and never loses sight of the vision and mission that underpin the business.

"Office Design Group is a wonderful example of a business that has developed from strength to strength in the past 18 months and much of that can be attributed to Karen developing clear goals and appropriate budgets."

The Action team can be contacted on 0800 Action.


ACTION INTERNATIONAL IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING FRANCHISES (#16 ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE, FEB. 2004) AND IS THE LARGEST BUSINESS COACHING COMPANY IN THE WORLD. THE COMPANY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1993 IN AUSTRALIA BY A YOUNG VISIONARY NAMED BRAD SUGARS. BRAD RECOGNISED EARLY ON THAT MOST OWNERS OF SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES WERE UNAWARE OF HOW TO EFFECTIVELY GROW THEIR BUSINESSES AND ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. HE DEVELOPED A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM TO ASSIST BUSINESS OWNERS IN ACHIEVING THEIR GOALS AND REALISING THEIR DREAMS, WITH DRAMATIC RESULTS. THE COMPANY BEGAN FRANCHISING IN 1997, AND NOW HAS 650+ FRANCHISEES (ACTION BUSINESS COACHES), WORKING IN 19 COUNTRIES AROUND THE GLOBE. THERE ARE 66 ACTION COACHES THROUGHOUT NEW ZEALAND.

ENDS

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