Building Your Business Growth & Prosperity
How do you get your asset / business to perform better?
- Vision - Do you have a compelling vision which is able to be easily believed or "felt" by all stakeholders? Is your business clearly moving towards the realisation of this vision and can you show this?
- How does the company generate its revenue? - Is this through a well-honed process based on lead generation, qualification and closure which is clearly producing a regular flow of high quality new customers- or is it, like most small to medium companies I've come across and based on your own personality and the fact you've been in the market for 20 years. If you as the owner are the Company's greatest asset how are you ever going to exit?
- Do you have an unhealthy dependence on one or two large customers? Resolve to deliberately seek out a number of mid-tier companies rather than a few larger ones.
- How does the company operate? - Have you patented or protected everything that you can? Do you have registered trademarks or any other intellectual property (license agreements and the like). Are they secure? It's not always easy to do this, but it does "lock in" the value.
- Does it sometimes look like a series of random chances that your product or service ever gets out the door intact? If the owner/s wasn't there to supervise the business, would the staff know what to do? Are there working systems and processes in place? How well would the business run if you are away for a week / a month / longer? The better it could operate the more valuable your business would be.
- What about your suppliers? Do you have access to favourable sources of supply, good discounts and payment terms? Are these formally agreed and tied down? Could a new owner benefit from them?
- What are the resources like? - Do your staff have an employment contract, backed up by an employee manual? Are there decent processes for recruiting staff into the company, motivating and developing them, and even removing those that don't meet standards without involving unfair dismissal claims? Can they cope with change and think for themselves - or do they really depend on your direct involvement and or direction?
- What about any equipment? You wouldn't try to sell your car without at least putting it through the car wash - so do the office and or warehouse look a mess and what could you do about it?
- Are the IT systems an enabler or a blocker - do they allow you to work easily or do you need intuitive skills to fathom when issues occur?
- What are the finances like? - Do you have sustained growing earnings, or do they make a roller coaster look like a walk in the park? Can you demonstrate financial control? Are the accounts useful or simply something to keep your accountant out of the way? Can you explain any trends?
In business, what gets measured, gets done. Resolve to take more notice of the accounts and use them as a signpost of progress.
Make a plan of what you're going to do - Set aside some time and take a cold look at the business
Where are we now?
Where do we want to get to?
How are we going to get there?
It's not rocket science, it's not even very clever, but it can be difficult if not done along the way. After all a business is really just an asset and to get the best return on your asset a little attention to the items listed will produce a much better result.