Icon Business Solutions
c/- Solution Dynamics Building
18 Canaveral Drive
P O Box 335-047
Browns Bay
North Shore City 0753
New Zealand
Ph  +64 9 912 1901

 Recent blog articles on my blog:  "Your Competitive Edge"


Are Business Plans a Waste of Time?


As a business advisor it may seem strange that I should ask that question at all.  Don’t all advisors/mentors/coaches stress the need to have a business plan and say things like, “fail to plan is a plan to fail”? 


In my opinion it comes down to the type of business plan that is produced and the length of time it takes to produce it.  Many business plans ARE a waste of time because they are too wordy, too “corporate”, don’t motivate staff and are not connected to the day-to-day operations of the business.  I read an article recently on writing a business plan (unfortunately I can’t remember where) and it said that a business plan could take between 400 and 500 hours to produce.  ARE YOU KIDDING!  Who in small business ownership world has a spare 500 hours to produce a business plan, and probably one that no one will look at again for another year!  Get real.  

To view the rest of this post visit my blog site at: yourcompetitiveedge.blogspot 



Create the Right Environment in Your Company

An owner/manager is a motivator and hence you need to ensure that you, and any supervisors or managers reporting to you, are motivating your staff to come to work every day.

To generate job satisfaction and an environment that will stimulate and encourage your team to attend work you will need to asses and apply the following where possible;


1.     Encourage internal promotion and select new recruits with care.  Hire for attitude and cultural fit first, skills second.

2.     Recognise and give regular feedback to your employees.  Understand the importance of their work and show your appreciation.

 To view the rest of this post visit my blog site at: yourcompetitiveedge.blogspot



Do Sweat The Small Stuff

As the old adage goes, “perception is reality”.  In the absence of facts or prior knowledge, what a person perceives about a business becomes reality in their mind, even if it not actually correct.

Business owners should keep this in mind when hiring and training staff and in all their interactions with customers.  It can be particularly important when the owner is focused on the technical delivery of the core business function and becomes detached from thinking from his customers’ mindset.  Many customers have a limited understanding of the technical aspects of what the business actually does because they do not have the specific knowledge or skills of the trade, or actually care about such things for that matter.  What they DO understand however, is how the business and staff PRESENT to them, and often in ways totally unrelated to the core function of the business.


 To view the rest of this post, visit my blog site at: yourcompetitiveedge.blogspot 


 Confessions of a Micro-Manager

I know that modern management books and HR people at seminars tell you that you should hand duties to your staff and let them get on with it.  Great in theory, but I hear from a lot of business owners that it doesn’t work.  “People never listen”, they say, or “They only do a half-arsed job and take twice as long as me”.  So what is going wrong?


A common scenario is that the owner is handing over control of some relatively important jobs and not following up like they should, often because it was a job that they didn’t like anyway and were glad to get rid of it.  It may not be a core production job (most owners like to keep those) but an equally important support job that is equally as critical to the success of the business.  Maybe invoicing, for example.  What often happens is the owner ABDICATES the job to another person rather than DELEGATING it.  There is a big difference and it is around the process used and the control retained by the “delegator”.


To view the rest of this post, visit my blog site at: yourcompetitiveedge.blogspot