Business failures are common.
Nobody starts a business with the intention of failing. However, statistics show that 50% of all new businesses will fail in their first five years.
Within the 50% that survive the first five years, there are a significant number of businesses that are the walking dead.
Our consulting model is based on Three Pillars
To succeed, every business must have a firm foundation in three key areas that are pillars of strength and stability. When one or more of these pillars are out of alignment, the business drifts off course.
- Profits – Financial literacy
- Process for business development – are sales, marketing and customer service aligned?
- People – Are the right people in the right seats and are they being held accountable
Every business owner should:
- have a basic understanding of how to read a financial statement
- have a clear understanding of their key business drivers
- know which customers are profitable
- understand the concept of breakeven and how to get there
- have a process for cash management and cash needs forecasting
Business Development needs to be an integrated process that includes sales, marketing and customer service. The company must have a clearly articulated program for client-facing employees responsible for sales; a marketing plan to support the sales function; and a customer service mentality that is consistent with the sales and marketing messaging.
A culture of accountability starts with having the right people in the right seats.
Companies — especially young growing companies — tend to seek the cheapest options for their initial hires. This is a mistake, a false economy.
Your earliest hires are your most critical hires because they will establish the culture of your company. Eventually the people who can take you from point A to Point B are not the same people who can take you to Point C.
Companies tend to delay these difficult but necessary decisions. By creating a culture of accountability — by setting goals, measuring results, and having clear rewards (compensation, promotion) or consequences for the results — underperformers will generally self-select out. If they don’t, the data helps make the tough decision for you. Your high-performing team members will appreciate and embrace the clarity of expectations.