I am an MBA student pursuing Time management. This is a reflective journal that I prepared after working with a group of students in preparing a strategic business plan. In this work, I reflect upon the strategic business plan that we developed as a group. The purpose of this reflective report is to help me reflect on my records and present my understanding and experiences that I gained during the whole period in which we undertook the project. As part of the project, we were supposed to make two presentations before the class and before the lecture. Reflecting upon this practice, it helped me gain confidence in addressing people. The report reflects what I achieved as an individual and as a member of the group. Reflecting on the experience while working on the project it helped gain important knowledge about my career and the responsibilities that I am likely to handle in the future. To be more specific the project helped me gain a better understanding of the strategic business plan.
Working as part of a group I gained important knowledge and skills needed in developing a strategic business plan. A business plan can be described as a formal document that outlines the goals of the business, explains why they are attainable and the strategies that will be adopted to achieve the goals (Finch, 2016). The business plan may also include background information about the organization. In our group, we wrote a business plan for Impresso Espresso Caf? which aims at becoming an essential daily necessity for local coffee lovers. The business will be strategically located in Canberra Centre which will provide it with exposure to the passing shoppers. The objective of the business is to provide a place that will enable the customers to escape daily stress of life and enjoy comfort with their families, friends, and colleagues. Reflecting on this strategic business plan, I learned the importance of a strategic plan to a business which includes, clarification of direction of the business and the vision of the business.Business plans can also be used in sourcing funding for the business, attracting potential investors, partners, employees, and suppliers among others, it also outlines the organizational structure of the business which is essential in managing the business (Ellis et al., 2016).
The following are the advantages of developing a strategic business plan that I was able to identify.
- A business plan enables the organization to stick to its strategies which would be impossible without the plan due to daily interruptions (Ward, 2016)
- A business plan enables a business to make informed predictions on factors like the potential market, costs, sales, and new products among others (Ward, 2016).
- A business plan is also essential in choosing business priorities which will lead to business growth, management, and financial growth.
- It is important to monitor the progress of a business a business plan help in keeping track on the milestones achieved by the business (Harvard Business School, 2007).
I also identified the following disadvantages of a business plan.
- Too much time may be spent on activities that may not benefit the organization. For an instant a lot of time than required can be used in gathering information thus delaying others activities.
- Lack of accountability and poor implementation- most of the strategic business plans fail due to lack of proper execution. Some of the organizations after developing business plans, they store them, and they fail to implement them. Reflecting on this I was able to understand that despite the many benefits of a strategic business plan it can have some disadvantages that managers and business owners should be aware of (Sakamiksha, 2016).
Developing a strategic business plan is faced with several limitations which are different depending on various contexts and application some of the limitation of strategic business planning for instance planning creates rigidity in some cases change to occur in the in an organization. However, having a set plan may limit the organization from making many changes since they may not be willing to alter their plans, planning may also hinder innovation since it provides specific procedures that should be followed in the activities of the organization, strategic planning may time-consuming and costly (Sakamiksha, 2016).
In the process of developing a strategic business plan, I also learned that stakeholders in business might have different views a perception about the long-term as well as the long-term goals of the business. In our group, every person had his or her view concerning the plan. Despite agreeing on the priorities given to certain ideas and activities we still had several ideas which were conflicting in terms of priority. According to Grant Thornton Ltd (2015), prioritization misalignment among the stakeholders affects every organization. However, are agreement has to be made by considering the best alternative among the proposed ones.
While working as a group, we faced some challenges which included difficulty in coordinating our activities; this is because the group members had different schedules to attend to. However, we were able to solve this counter this challenge by agreeing on specific times when every member of the group would be available. Another challenge that we encountered was the long distance that some of us had to travel to attend group discussion. To solve address this issue we could communicate early enough to ensure that everyone had enough time to travel to our meeting point. Reflecting on this experience, I was able to identify some of the challenges that I may face while working with a team and how to solve them.
From this activity, I managed to put theoretical knowledge learned in class into practice. I was able to develop better techniques of writing business plans which are essential in my career as a time manager. Reflecting on this experiences, I can conclude that I was able to gain awareness, appreciation, and empathy with the strategic business planning and plan development which was the main objective of the project.
Ellis, J., Nagel, R., & Wijsman, P. (2016). Envisioning The Way to Continued Success by The Bay: The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Organizational Strategic Business Planning Process. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation. Vol.2016, 340-352.
Finch, B. 2016. How to write a business plan. Kogan Page Publishers
Grant Thornton Ltd. 2015. Competing priorities: Are CAE and audit committee priorities in sync? Governance, Risk and Compliance survey.
Harvard Business School. 2007. Creating a business plan: Expert solution to everyday challenges. The United States.
Richard, L. 2017. The disadvantages of business planning. Chron Article. Available at: tp://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-business-planning-2541.html
Sakamiksha, S. 2016. Main limitations of planning in any organizations. Article Library. Available at:
Ward, J. 2016. Keeping the family business healthy: How to plan for continuing growth, profitability, and family leadership. Springer.