Business Plan SOP

A comprehensive, easy to use 188 page manual containing scores of worksheets and notes. The contents follow the business plan outline, and have been rigorously tested during years of training throughout the world. The Ibis business plan manual is delivered in Word format, so that users can complete the worksheets and transfer them into the body of their own business plan.

Mentoring is the involvement of senior more experienced individuals with those that are less experienced, in which there is no line responsibility.

It has four important applications:

In the early days of the integration of an employee into the firm;
The support of team activity within the enterprise;
Skills transfer in business start ups;
Skills transfer in established businesses

Because of its importance, it should be incorporated into any business plan outline for an established company or as part of a start up business plan outline.

Employee integration

The mentor should be a central part of the induction process in dealing with administrative problems and uncertainties and bringing the individual more fully into the firm. It is often useful that the mentor should be part of the recruitment panel with the responsibility to identify whether the individual has appropriate emotional intelligence – line members of the panel tend to concentrate on task components.

Research suggests that the correct use of the mentor has a number of consequences:

It reduces labour turnover;
It significantly speeds early improvements in labour productivity;
It improves shared values and lowers cultural barriers;
It reduces disciplinary problems

The correct choice of the mentor is obviously important, but it can be used as a part of succession planning to identify those individuals that are able to lead and motivate.

Team support

The appointment of a mentor for major projects within the enterprise has been seen to have significant advantages:

It allows the team access to individuals with greater project management expertise;
It assists with the internal marketing of ideas and implementation plans;
It provides a Devil’s Disciple to review plan details and outcomes

Start up enterprises

Mentoring for start up enterprises has been shown to significantly improve survival rates and returns on investment. Mentors bring expertise in areas that the management team is often lacking, especially in:

Corporate governance;
Business monitoring and reviewing;
Business planning;
Contingency planning;
Survival and recovery;
Exit planning

The importance of mentoring is further support for the value of clustering for the start up or early stage enterprise, as individuals with experience of the specific sector will be far more available than elsewhere.

Established businesses

Mentoring in established businesses will have advantages in some additional areas to those identified for the start up or early stage operation. They include:

Significant investment in higher risk strategies (market development, product development and diversification) where skills are missing in the enterprise;
Operational procedures (for example cost cutting, standard operating procedures the development of knowledge centers and in change management);
Target setting (especially in the development of key performance indicators, bonus systems and the balanced scorecard)

More information on how an enterprise can incorporate mentoring as part of the Ibis plan development and implementation programme can be found at Advantage Ibis