We start today’s post with a query, “Which do you think is harder – Starting a business or keeping it afloat?”
When we pose this question to business owners, we get the same response every single time. Every single person agrees that starting a company is just the first step. Keeping it in business is where the real challenge lies. According to a report by Forbes, 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within 18 months of operation. That’s a whopping 80% crash rate.
Why does it happen? What’s the reason for so many small business owners to fail? Do they lack the required funding or don’t they have the necessary business acumen?
The Key to Small Business Survival and Success :
Very often, small businesses start on a modest budget. This is why – entrepreneurs and start-up owners have to make the very best of the resources available to succeed. Resource planning and management are the cornerstones on which you build the pillars of your business growth.
What constitutes Resource Planning?
During this phase, business owners identify all the resources required to meet the deliverables of a project. Here, resource denotes all that you need for the successful completion of a project – team members, the specific responsibilities and roles of each member, the time required from each member and the equipment and tools.
Once you have identified the resources needed, the next step involves coming up with a detailed plan of what needs to be completed and when. The strategy includes – how many team members you need for the task, for how long, and who will report to whom, etc.
Why is Resource Planning Essential to Fuel your Business Growth?
Let’s take a look at how resource panning essential to fuel your business,
1. Manage Resources Efficiently without Overworking or Under-working Employees :
When it comes to startups and small businesses, hiring specialists to handle different tasks is out of the question, as it can become expensive. This is the reason why several business owners juggle a lot of roles – accounting, marketing, sales, inventory management, customer support, etc.
It doesn’t get better when you get onboard other team members. Business owners have to ensure that the people they have hired have enough tasks to do while ensuring that they don’t end up overworking them.
This is why resource planning is a lifesaver. It helps business owners get the most out of the resources in hand. Whether you have two employees or a hundred employees, with resource management, you can ensure that everyone is utilizing their time efficiently.
Resource planning becomes immensely helpful as small businesses begin to expand. It ensures that you’re assigning the right tasks to the right people, to get the best results. Only when you have proper resource planning, you can match tasks with the right skills, instead of dropping it on the first person you come across.
2. Helps you Figure out Future Demands and Scale Accordingly :
One of the biggest components of resource planning is the accurate identification of the number of resources needed for the project. This is highly helpful, especially when your business begins to take-off. When your company starts to grow, the volume of work that comes your way also increases. Additionally, specific companies like tourism, gifting, etc. have seasonal growth spurts, around the holiday season and so on.
Extended work hours may not be a concern if it’s occasional. On the other hand, if it happens frequently, it can be both tiring and frustrating for your employees, which in turn translates to higher attrition rates and drop in performance levels.
With resource planning, you can predict accurately when you need extra hands for the team. Additionally, it also shows you whether you need to hire temps or expand your team, thereby helping your business scale and keep up with the growing volumes.
3. Understand the Needs of your Business Accurately :
With resource planning, you can quickly spot out tasks that are yet unassigned and jobs that are lagging behind in the timeframe. For instance, a designer may require a back-end developer for a week to design a new landing page. With a resource planning tool, each team member can ask for the resources that they need and get it assigned quickly, without wasting precious time.
Additionally, the tool gives you a clear picture of the workload of the task that needs to be filled. This way, a business owner can decide whether he needs to make a permanent hire, a freelancer or a contract worker.
4. Keep a Close Eye on the Progress without Micro-managing :
With a resource planning tool, you can include deadlines for each task and keep a close watch on the progress of the job. It shows you who has done what and who needs help. By keeping track of the entire workload and the deadlines, you can ensure that the project is proceeding according to plan and intervene if anyone needs help or is lagging behind.
Additionally, it notifies you when you’re exceeding your budget or going beyond set deadlines. Simply put, the right resource planning tool gives you a bird’s eye view of the deliverable and milestones, notifying you of when you need to step in.
5. Keep your Team Members Connected and Synchronized :
A robust connected team with open communication channels is crucial to the success of any project. With a resource planning tool, you can ensure that all communications are transparent and keep team members connected and aware of the responsibilities and roles of the others in the team.
This way, everyone knows who reports to whom, the progress of the project, and the deadlines for individual tasks as well as the entire project. This paves the way for smoother collaboration and intra-team communications.
What more, your team can spot on errors or mistakes early on, to avoid complicated problems later in the project.
How to Ensure Efficient Resource Planning?
Resource management becomes way easier when you have the right tools for the job. While spreadsheets may look like a good starting point, they become complicated as your team begins to grow. This is where resource management tools like eResource Scheduler, Epic Flow, etc. come into the picture.
It helps you keep track of everything – right from identifying resources, allocating tasks, budget planning, creating timeframes, etc. everything becomes super-easy with an intuitive interface. All you need to do is set a list of tasks, drag and drop resources (team members) to the project, assign tasks, set due-dates.
Additionally, it helps team members collaborate with each other, thereby ensuring that the project proceeds without a glitch.
Kanika Chadha is ex-banker turned digital entrepreneur who loves to write. Her power-packed corporate experience in Product, Marketing and Sales, helps her appreciate the power of intelligent & engaging content in the digital world.