While we see business carnage and carcasses all around us, it only makes sense to strongly argue FOR Business Under Advisement. Rather than Business Under Administration. The latter, as most would know, has consequences which we dare not attempt to ink here.
With that in mind, a good understanding of the importance of Strategy Planning and the steps to Revive a Business – you should have made conscious and informed choices about who you are and what you stand for:
- Who are your stakeholders?
- What core competencies you must have to fuel your growth?
- What are your core values and beliefs?
- What target markets will you specialize in and serve?
- What products and services will you offer?
- What competitive advantages will cause you to succeed?
- How will you market your products and services?
- How will you sell your products and services?
- What infrastructure and resources do you need to succeed?
- What financial forecast will you achieve?
- How will you properly fund the business?
- How will this serve all your stakeholder needs and wants?
- Where in the ecosystem do your stakeholders reside?
- What is your clear exit strategy?
From here validating, implementating and execution become critical. Without which your business may be at risk and lose valuable time.
Time and time again, research has pinpointed many reasons why businesses fail:
Poorly Created or Understood Strategy – Out of the businesses that do take the time to have a strategy – which is a very small number – only fewer than 5% of their employees know what the strategy is.
Weak Strategy – Strategy Execution Studies show that up to 90% of strategies fail due to poor execution by the management team.
Inability to Adapt to Change – Once a plan is in place, the challenges of everything changing around it may erode those plans. Unless the company can adapt and stay focused.
Lack of a Disciplined Approach – Discipline coupled with follow through and execution is critical in all size businesses.
People are Not Engaged – An engaged worker is one who is personally committed to the goals of the company. Unfortunately, 90% of the time passes as compliance or business as usual. If you cannot get your staff engaged, no improvement will occur or last.
A Gap Between Planning and Execution – Many things can get in the way including substituting talk for action, employee mistrust of management, using the company’s history instead of sound judgment.
So, how do we ensure we validate, implement and execute in context and without bias?
The answer with conviction is Leadership, Management and Business Under Advisement.
To produce long term sustainable results and leadership’s ability to steer with clarity, certainty and confidence only come from knowing the route is being watched by competent and Trusted Advisors.
While nothing fully prepares you for the challenges of being in leadership or management, having a Business Advisor or Management Consultant has an enormous impact. They are a good source of validation, thought partners or sounding boards. Our always-evolving, never-ending agenda is building “a remarkable business” and keeping it remarkable as dynamics change.
Very few companies consistently outperform over long periods, so setting out to do so means you have to strategically beat the odds. It’s a fluid and complex process – you have to get the right team and culture in place. Set forth a clear strategy that the team can execute against, establish goals with measurable outcomes, and learn how to navigate and best serve a diverse group of stakeholders with different agendas.
As time goes on and new opportunities and challenges constantly present themselves, business dynamics and cultures need to be rethought and assessed. It’s important to have someone who is not ingrained with the day-to-day to help you think through these issues, challenge you, and provide critical insight.
However, why do most small to medium businesses dismiss Business Advisors or Management Consultants as an EXPENSE rather than an ASSET?
The answer lies in the nature of the service itself and the shift in mindset. Think of the thousands upon thousands of successful cases studies released by goliath consulting firms such as Bain, Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey – you will see big corporates engaging their services on a regular basis to ensure direction and traction is maintained every step of the way to growth initiatives.
Why do these large corporates, who are usually loaded with experienced and competent management, have the need to engage the services of Advisors and Consultants? Well, this is where the shift in mindset comes in.
We would all agree, without a doubt, all businesses, large, medium or small, started as infants. Along the way, just like humans, businesses pick up and adopt GOOD or BAD habits for growth. Through experiences, these large corporations have deliberately and consistently chosen to verify and validate their intentions with the HELP of external Advisors and Consultants.
Almost all successful growth stories are due in part by these unsung heroes behind the scenes referred to as Business Advisors or Management Consultants. An EXPENSE – certainly not! Neither are they depreciable ASSETS, but rather appreciating infrastructure in any business!
Regardless, whilst the shift in mindset might take some getting used to; think this expense, at the very least, will allow you to control losses and reduce leakage. Professional Advisors who have run businesses are attuned to quickly identify these areas.
It is critical to cultivate a good relation with Professional Advisors who have run businesses and understand your circumstances. They are likely to see things from an unbiased perspective, removed enough away from the business, and shed clear light to help you survive the peaks and troughs.
Whilst these goliath consulting firms might not be suitable for most small and medium-size businesses your current scope can be supported by professional Business Advisors or Management Consultants who have run businesses and clearly identify with your circumstances.
They are rare, but these professionals truly understand your strengths and weaknesses, who push you to be accountable, who you are willing to take constructive feedback from, and who can be thought partners and sounding boards. The relationship is built on no agenda other than making you the best you can be and reinforcing it through remarkable results.
Unlike the large corporations, the advantage you have is the ability to engage and establish a personal and more intimate, one on one relation, where you become the priority. This also helps take away the feeling of having to make decisions in isolation and Going It Alone.
The question therefore is, when do you Pick up the phone and get someone on your side to keep you on track while you execute?
The question therefore is, how do you effectively step back and evaluate whilst in the “eye of the storm” and in seemingly overwhelming crisis?
The answer: Like riding a bike, it is frustrating and hard as you start the process. But, it becomes second nature as you get in the flow and see the possibilities.
I am always keen to understand the challenges businesses are facing in adopting measures to increase value – so, please do connect.
Ketan Shah is a Strategic Business Design expert, advisor, management consultant and entrepreneur. Especially passionate about Business Strategy, Structures and Systems, he has designed and developed the SSS Business Design® framework for startup entrepreneurs and established business owners looking to make business decisions with clarity, confidence & control. Pursue opportunities, manage profitable growth and maintain high performance. Without the overwhelm, stress and frustration.
Moksh Pty Ltd is a Strategic Business Design, Advisory, Management Consulting, Capital Solutions, Investment & Funding Partner supporting Start Up, Commercialisation, Transformation, Turn Around, Growth and Initiatives.