Friday, 15 May 2009

“You Should Always be Grooming Your Business for Sale Even When it is not “FOR SALE”

If you are not constantly "grooming" your business to be sold then you have already sold it. To yourself! And guess what? You have probably bought a dud!

The idea that the company should constantly be grooming itself to be sold, even when the prospect of selling the company may not be on the agenda, is, I believe, a very good one.

How does an outside assessment of your business make you feel?
Imagine for a moment that an outside expert from the same industry will tomorrow be given access to scrutinise all aspects of your company. Imagine that the expert who will be arriving at your door is of above average intelligence, will not miss anything and will not be bamboozled by clever sales talk by way of explanation. All they will see are the facts! When you assure them that you have a clearly defined and communicated sales process, yet when questioned, your sales people cannot articulate, follow or even describe this process that you say is ingrained within your company, then everything will be laid bare for them to see. How does that thought make you feel? Having the unbiased outsider delve deep within your company?

How about if you had the magic to make time stand still for six months whilst you made the changes to your business? What would you do first? What would you change?When time starts running again, what difference would the changes you made make to the future operation of your business? Would you make more profit or less? Would your business life be more or less stressful? “

You Should Always be Grooming Your Business for Sale Even When it is not “FOR SALE”
However, the reality is that none of us has the magic ability to stop time, allowing ourselves the freedom to operate in a time vacuum whilst we “sort out” the business.

The difference between knowledge and wisdom: The first is ‘knowing’ or ‘being aware’, the second, WISDOM, is doing something about what you know! By the way, those same changes you planned to make while time stood still, will probably be those that make the business easier to manage, more efficient and potentially, more profitable as well.

Many of us have the “Knowledge” to know what needs changing but it is action that counts. Knowledge is great, but action is greater. Sounding smart will never be an effective substitute for doing something smart within your company to make it stronger, more effective and valuable.
Fast decisive ACTION. Not “SMART” talk, meetings and reports! To make changes in your business you need to work quickly and only measure progress through actions taken; not just talk and decisions. Simply making a decision will not change anything. Meetings and reports should not be defined as action.

You need leaders who have previous, hands on experience of this type of work and the credibility to take the lead. Having such people on the payroll is not always an option for SME’s. The highly experienced executives will not necessarily be attracted to your company. Those that you need most will probably not find you attractive as a full-time employer. However, working for a few days alongside an internal executive so that their hands on experience can be passed on, could be an option in a “Rent a Talent” scheme.

You need to CHANGE what you do to get different RESULTS!
To create a more valuable business than you have done historically, will not only require different actions but may require you to have a different mindset. Doing what you have always done will give you what you have always got! In order to build the value of your business you need to:

  • Attract TALENT (Full-time. Part-time and Interim)
  • Have ACTIVE partners Be CONNECTED to Centres of INFLUENCE
  • Have a CLEAR USP and VALUE Proposition
  • Have DEFINED, Internal Business Processes that MEASURE ONLY what really MATTERS
  • Have a STRATEGY to DELIVER value to your Shareholders
  • Have an END GAME GOAL that points your whole TEAM in the SAME Direction
  • Finally, and most importantly, have a strategy and mechanism for MAXIMISING your trade sale value
To get the above, don’t fall into the trap of expensive consultant “Smart Talk”, Fancy Presentations and Complex Diagrams from pure analyst academics, who have never been on the front line, which result in little effective ACTION and even fewer results. You need to see action and results and you need to move quickly, taking the simplest route. To maximise your chance of success you need real world, front line, hands on experience from executives who are doers and not just talkers who you know will get the job done.

How would you like a whole team of such people waiting in the wings for when you need them most? How would you like this team to have specific experience from the same sector as you? Would the prospect of "Renting a Talent" to manage a specific project or quickly solve a problem within your organisation be attractive and useful to you?

If you have an area of your business that you know requires strengthening I would be eager to discuss some possible solutions.

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