Consolidation - reality sets in
Sales and marketing focus – CRM
After the initial “flurry” of getting started, customer relationship management (CRM) and sales/marketing focus and strategies become critical. Keeping the sales “pipeline” full and consolidating the product/service offering to the market are key challenges.
Process and systems
Building processes and systems throughout the business sets the foundation for consistency, sustainability and importantly – reducing reliance on the owner(s), to make sure things get done and the foundations are stable.
Reporting and KPI’s
A robust reporting and KPI regime allows the owners to regularly “take the temperature” of the business and ensure that targets are clear and that results are measured and shared. Both financial and non-financial KPI’s are relevant and important.
Key customer and supplier contracts
Negotiating and signing off key customer and supplier agreements are fundamental to building a solid business. Properly prepared contracts which clearly set out the responsibilities of the parties and all relevant terms and conditions prevent headaches down the track.
Managing key staff
A regular system for feedback, review and reward of key staff to ensure mutual satisfaction, career progression and most importantly – engagement and commitment to the goals and objectives of the business.
Owners must be able to delegate effectively under a well-defined structure with accountabilities, authorities and reporting responsibilities clearly spelt out and adhered to. Owners simply can’t be “all things to all people” and a business that relies heavily on its owner(s) ultimately is worth much less than one which doesn’t.
Establishing your Advisory Board
Obtaining input from qualified and experienced people from outside the business provides great benefits. This is commonly achieved via an “Advisory Board”, which may include industry experts, professional advisors, marketing specialists and so on – you decide what you need!
Leveraging your contacts/network
Building a “support network” to assist with business referrals, problem solving, mutual opportunities and experts to refer to is more of an “informal” structural requirement, which all successful businesses have. Who will be the “go to” contacts?
Managing your banking relationship
A strong banking relationship will be one of sustaining keys to future long term success. Having a banker who knows you, is interested and who understands your business is a great asset and ally to your business.
Identifying and assessing risks in your business is a must. This is not just about having insurance in place. You need to cover off financial risk, key staff risk, market risk, business model risk, customer risk, supplier risk and so it goes.
A strong governance regime is also important to “keep control of the reins”.