TARIQ AHMED SAEEDI (tariqsaeedi@hotmail.com)
May 26 - June 01, 2008

Although future is unseen, determining direction beforehand implicitly gives impetus to perseverance. To have control over even next moment though out of one's capacity however arm oneself to overcome sudden contingency arising out in future yields multi-pronged benefits.

In a daily interaction career-oriented persons exchange frequently asked question that "where are you looking yourself in next ten years or so?" or "any ambition(s)? What would be your answer, contingent upon your interpretation of asked question? Just vegetating is very simple technique of living for an individual. It doesn't muster up unalloyed dedications and persistency. Acceptable approach in dealing and healing day to day affairs however, it holds dismantle repercussions for a business.

In absence of objectives and planning, a business becomes more susceptible to failure. Aimless move is like treading on the path leading towards dark pitfall. Planning is simply to carve out a map that guides an entrepreneur or intrapreneur through out business life cycle. Confining to entrepreneur does not exclude importance for established organization to set objectives, but matured business accustoms to complicated procedure of brainstorming, making it adjustable to the changing externalities. In contrast, new business prone to precinct dynamics has to act cautiously in each step. Planning is also to erect a tower whereby navigation keeps enlighten mission and prevents vision form blurring.

To start a business is not an unplanned job. Indeed an entrepreneur must conduct a proper research and gather as much information as possible to avoid info-crisis. Info-crisis normally occurs due to improperly transforming data into information. Remember, both are discrete terms. Everything is datum, until it is relevant to one's need or purpose. Once it has relevance, it becomes information. In this age of information's inundation, exact matchmaking has proved somehow difficult job, however advent of user-friendly soft wares, like Decision Support System (DSS) help users to keep what is relevant and to strike out otiose materials consequently.

Also jotting down entire data onto papers adds further advantages to already imagined agenda. This paper work helps out outlining SWOT; that splits into Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats related to a venture e.g. a new business. SWOT analysis is a state-of-the-art technique of ascertaining & knowing available resources (capital, skills, etc); deficiencies; opportunities; and competitors. By listing them out separately makes entrepreneur savvier of its standings and pragmatism precipitates productivity of a job. Studying SWOT prepares one to deal with worst case-scenario thereby succumbing to uncertainty is less likely to be experienced.

Planning involves selecting missions and objectives and the actions to achieve them; it requires decision making that is choosing from among alternative future courses of action. Plan thus provides a rational approach to achieving pre-selected objectives. Planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to go. It makes it possible for things to occur that would not otherwise happen. Time management also plays crucial role in effectiveness of a plan. We think that we can manage our time. In fact, we could not what we actually can is to manage ourselves in relation to time. The phenomenon value of time in planning was lucidly told in a seminar on time management.

Speaking in the seminar on time management for journalists, Former Chairman Pakistan Insurance Institute, Afzal Janjua said time could be categorized into "Pure Time" over which we have no control; a non-terrestrial phenomenon and "Cosmic Time", he continued, it is what human being set for convenience. Illuminating the importance of time, he quoted "even an inch of gold could not bid for an inch of time". He said although it has great value for all of us we consider losing it a peccadillo. And it is a one-way moving vehicle lost time is not for returning back, he added.

Poor planning, interruption, poor information, avoiding delegation of work, and over perfectionism are some of the time robbers of a job, he highlighted, adding often time is wasted unnecessarily owing to person's lacking will of handing over a task to another in fear of losing job. By only delegation of work, one could save considerable marginal time that could be spent anywhere else. He asked participants of their journalistic career time robbers. One participant opined that calling reporters long before the actual time incurred them loss of precious time.

Later, he asked participants to make time log of their job routines and enlist and assign time duration each task is required. He said we have no control over time, but we can manage ourselves in relation to time. For this we have to be self-empowered and self-supervised. Participants commented that after this brief assignment, they came up with marginal time they would now spend on more productive work and as per their skills.

He said apparently it is difficult to manage time. Once acquired the prowess of bringing synch between time and our daily working a noticeable outcome would be effected. Following time schedule does not hinder creative process he emphasized, however, through this creative process could become controllable. Setting priorities is necessary and single priority should be dealt with properly at one slot of time.

For a business person it is sine quo non to have knowledge of core competencies that give its business an edge over competitor and that are commonly known as benchmarking-comparison. It means that competitor is the sole source that motivates a business to maintain status quo. Therefore, an effective business plan must also be observing the core competencies of rivalries that may align a business operation to get ascendancy. Benchmarking does not refer to mere imitation of competitors' plan rather sanctity of the individuality of planning is important. Along with, time factor should be studied in order to utilize the core competencies of a plan.