Discover the Secrets to Maximizing Efficiency and Success for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses


In the intricate tapestry of nature, the flight of geese offers a remarkable lesson in teamwork, strategy, and efficiency. For small to medium-sized business leaders, this avian marvel provides valuable insights into effective business planning and alignment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of geese in flight and unveil the strategies that can elevate your business to new heights.

Why Geese are Great Business Planners:

Much like successful businesses, geese are exceptional planners. Their migratory journey, spanning thousands of miles, is a testament to their strategic prowess. Every aspect of their flight is meticulously calculated – from route selection to timing. Small to medium-sized business leaders can learn from this precision, understanding the importance of detailed business planning for sustained growth and success.

Maximizing Efficiency through Formation:

Research has shown that geese flying in formation are an astounding 72% more efficient than when flying solo. This principle can be directly applied to business operations. When teams are aligned and working in harmony, the collective effort results in significantly higher efficiency and productivity. This serves as a powerful reminder for SMB leaders to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork.

The Power of Alignment:

Geese showcase exceptional alignment in flight. Each bird maintains a specific position relative to the others, reducing air resistance and conserving energy. In the business world, alignment translates to a shared vision, clear communication, and a unified approach to goals. When every member of the team understands their role and works towards a common objective, the business can achieve remarkable efficiency and success.

Is your flock flying in formation?


As small to medium-sized business leaders, the flight of geese offers an invaluable lesson in effective business planning and alignment. By taking inspiration from these avian marvels, businesses can soar to new heights of efficiency and success. So, ask yourself: Is your flock flying in formation? Embrace the lessons from the sky, and watch your business reach new horizons.


How Collaborative Planning Fosters a Stronger Workforce and Reduces Turnover

In the fast-paced world of business, employee retention is a key metric of success. Retaining talented individuals not only saves resources but also contributes to a more stable and productive work environment. But how can you keep your best employees engaged and committed for the long term? The answer might lie in the simple yet powerful concept of teamwork and collaborative planning.

The Importance of Employee Retention

Before we dive into the benefits of collaborative planning, let’s first understand why employee retention is so crucial. High turnover rates can be costly and disruptive to any organization. The expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, along with the loss of institutional knowledge, can take a toll on productivity and profitability. Moreover, a revolving door of employees can negatively impact workplace morale and cohesion.

The Power of Collaborative Planning

Now, let’s explore how collaborative planning can help address the challenge of employee retention.

  1. Fostering a Sense of Ownership:
  • When employees are involved in the planning process, they feel a sense of ownership over their work and the direction of the company. This feeling of being part of something bigger can significantly boost job satisfaction.
  1. Building Stronger Relationships:
  • Collaborative planning encourages communication and teamwork among employees. It brings people from various departments together to share ideas and insights. This interaction strengthens workplace relationships, creating a more cohesive and supportive team.
  1. Aligning Goals and Expectations:
  • Planning together ensures that everyone understands the company’s goals and their role in achieving them. This alignment reduces misunderstandings and helps employees see how their contributions directly impact the organization’s success.
  1. Empowering Problem-Solving:
  • When teams plan together, they become more adept at problem-solving. They learn to identify challenges early and work together to find solutions. This not only enhances productivity but also fosters a culture of innovation.
  1. Recognizing Individual Contributions:
  • Collaborative planning allows leaders to recognize and reward individual contributions. Acknowledging employees’ efforts and achievements can boost morale and motivation.
  1. Providing Growth Opportunities:
  • Planning sessions often reveal opportunities for skill development and career growth. Employees who see a clear path for advancement are more likely to stay with an organization.

Consider the following real-life examples of companies that have embraced collaborative planning to improve employee retention:

Conclusion: Start Planning Together Today

In today’s competitive job market, retaining top talent is a strategic imperative. Collaborative planning not only helps organizations achieve their goals more effectively but also creates a workplace where employees feel valued and engaged. By planning together, you can foster a stronger, more cohesive team that’s not only productive but also committed for the long haul. So, start planning together today and watch your team thrive and stay together.

Remember, teams that plan together truly do stay together.

Have you experienced the benefits of collaborative planning in your workplace? Share your thoughts and success stories in the comments below.

Why does your company exist? (from your customer’s perspective) We are seeing a lot of attention being paid in recent years to this idea of knowing your “Why” or the Purpose of your business, for good reason. Discovering the answer to this question can have a profound effect on the success of your business. It provides context for so many other strategic decisions as you grow your business, a foundation piece for your business plan. On the surface, “why” seems like a simple question, yet many businesses leaders struggle to find a strong, compelling, and succinct answer to this question. The key to getting to a clear Purpose statement is to focus on your customer’s perspective.

Start with this question: At a core level, what is the most significant value or benefit you provide to your customers? Imagine you are the owner of a company that sells lighthouses. What might be the Purpose of your business?

Something like: Our company purpose is to protect the lives and property of our customers at sea. With this purpose in mind, the company has the foundation to build out and improve its products and services over time. Eg. Life boats, life jackets. GPS systems, charts, etc all flow from this strong purpose statement. Brainstorm a list of ideas with your team. Mix and combine ideas until you have a good starting point. Review and tweak over time! For more information on defining your company’s purpose, please visit #leaders #success

I love my business plan. And it loves me back.

I have a written plan for my business. It is organized, relatively short, succinct, coherent, complete. I take good care of it. I keep it current, change it frequently, and take it with me wherever I go.

My business plan loves me back. Let me count the ways!

It keeps me focussed on my highest priorities.

I get a warm feeling each quarter when my team and I meet to review our progress and set new targets. The energy and excitement at these meetings is intoxicating.

I take it with me twice a year to show it to my bank manager. She loves it too. She even shows it to her boss. They like having us as a customer and are looking forward to lending us more money when we need it.

All our employees love it. They helped to write it, it’s their baby. They know what the other departments are working on which makes everyone’s job easier.

We show it to our new employees. They are really impressed and want to know more about how they can help us meet our goals. They tell me that their friends often ask them why they are so excited about working at our company and want to know how to get a job here.

I show I to my spouse. She doesn’t understand all of it, but she likes it too. She notices that I’m much less stressed now and seem to have more time for her and the family. She is excited that we already have three vacations scheduled this year.

I show it to our business partners. Our suppliers and distributors really, really like it. We’ve become very efficient at finding new opportunities where we can improve our products and services, and better ways to connect with our customers. I notice that they now have a written plan for their business. It is starting to feel like, together, we are unstoppable.

I show it to our marketing consultants. They love it too. It helps them make insightful changes to our web site, and other marketing material. With the core business descriptions clearly outlined in our plan, they can focus more of their time on the creative side, which is what they do best.

Did I mention that we’ve made record profits the last three years in a row?

I love my business plan!

If you want more information on how you can create a written plan for your business, please visit

#business #planning #team #love #happyvalentinesday

If you’re ready to take your business plan to the next level, you’ll want to keep reading. The first step for writing a planning document for your business is designing the structure for your plan. With a clear and coherent structure, the task of planning is much easier. You simply fill in the content and Presto! you have a working plan for your business. And the structure can be reused each time you need to make a change to your plans.
To help you get started, we designed a universal structure that will fit any business, large or small, at any stage of its growth, from start-up to preparing for sale.
Here is an outline of the Plan Genie 5-Step Structure. This will help you document where you are today, where you intend to take your company, and how you will get there. Let’s dive into the structure and take actionable steps!
Step 1 – Plan Summary
This is a short, 1-2 page, document that contains the following information
– Your Unique Business Proposition – What makes your company remarkable?
– Your Purpose – “Why” does your company exist, as seen from the customer’s perspective?
– Your long-term goals (3 years)
– Your short-term goals (1 year)
– A list of major action items that you intend to pursue that will help you accomplish your goals (strategy)
Step 2 – Values/Culture
Another short document that identifies and clarifies how you expect everyone in the
company to behave and exercise judgment when dealing with non-routine challenges that arise.
Step 3 – Where you are now
Four important pieces of information that explain your current picture and help you identify changes going forward:
– Description of your target market
– Description of the products and services that you offer, with pricing.
– Description of your current partners, alliances, and influencers
– Description of your major competitors
Step 4 – Departmental Action Plans
This document contains a list of 90-day action plans/projects that covers up to 8 sections of your business:
– Marketing
– Sales
– Operations/service delivery
– People, (attraction, selection retention)
– Technology
– Partners, Alliances, Influencers
– Finance and Administration
– Community and Environment
Step 5 – Organization Structure
Two diagrams: your current organization chart, and a future chart that shows the changes in resources needed to execute the action plans laid out in Step 4.
Once you have captured this information on your initial draft, it is easy to review and update. It’s truly the structuring and planning that have a lasting impact on achieving your business goals. Now that you’re ready to move your business forward, consider passing on the gems by sharing this article with another leader. For more information on documenting a plan for your business, please visit our website
 #business #growth #community #culture #strategy
In an article published by The Globe and Mail, author Jon Umstead proposes that running your business from a documented plan will increase your odds of success by 30-50%. He further states that business leaders who learn how to be better planners not only improve their own business and personal success, but they can collectively change economic growth throughout the country. This article is worth a read. See the link at the end.

When I first read this article several years ago, it deeply resonated with me. I knew from my own business experience and from chairing a CEO peer group, that documented plans, along with a commitment to an ongoing planning process, really work. I’m now on a quest to help business leaders everywhere be more successful through better planning.

Here are three things to consider when business planning:

Structure the plan

This is where you’ll plant the seed for your business. Once you have a clear picture of what information to include in the plan, and what isn’t necessary, this work can go quickly. With a solid structure, it’s simply a matter of adding content. And content can be easily changed and revised over time using the same structure.

Document the plan

Plans kept in your head, or another person’s head aren’t helpful. Allow yourself to free your mental real estate by writing out your ideas. Only when you distill your ideas into a document can these ideas be understood and added to by others.

Commit to the plan

Even well-structured and fully documented plans grow stale quickly. Every business leader quickly learns that effective planning is a continuous process. It requires discipline to stick to a review schedule with so many competing demands on your time. Take a break, check on your progress, celebrate your achievements, and reset priorities for the next quarter.

Over the past few years, we developed a structure for planning in business that makes this task relatively easy for any size business at any stage of growth. We are also compiling resources about planning on our website If you have any great tools that you have used successfully, or insights, or questions on this topic, I would love to hear from you.

If you are already on the planning “bandwagon”, please share this message with others. Let’s get the economy going again.

 #business #experience #growth #share #businessleaders #change

Frequently confronted with the argument that you don’t have time to plan, we don’t believe this for a moment.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, every day. This is not to say you aren’t busy, it’s to say that we know if you make time for planning, it is time well spent and invested. We challenge you to implement the practice of planning.

We adhere to the principle that there is power, or “magic”, in the act of writing our plans down. The magic is the clarity the act of planning provides and the “aha” experiences you have when you write your plans, you give them life. Running your business from a plan is a shift from a passive to active stance for your business.

We named ourselves Plan Genie because we know we all have those “3 wishes” for our business and while we can’t grant wishes, we can help teach and support you to make your own wishes come true in your business.

Planning is a catalyst for learning, growth and clarity in every aspect of your life. Why don’t more businesses plan? It’s a mystery.

To use the analogy of a grocery list. While a business plan is more complicated than a weekly shopping list, it is in essence the same principle and not that much more difficult to get into the habit of. How much more effectively do you use your time when you go to the store with a list. When you have a current written plan you start to see what’s both working and not working in your business. You get grounded and inspired.

Now, while we have so much uncertainty is a good time to get back to the basics of planning.


Malaysian Radio Interview

Soon Heng Lim interviews Brian on business planning

According to Small Business Trends, only one in 10 businesses have an active plan. According to surveys, 90% of all business owners who set goals are successful. Yet less than 10% of SMEs have one. Business owners know they need a business plan to make their company stronger and fitter, but they will put it off for as long as possible. Brian and Soon Heng Lim discuss business and the importance of planning.

just testing