WHAT (THE PRACTICE)
Strategy involves establishing goals and developing a systematic process to ensure those goals are achieved. All goals can be achieved but it is about coming up with realistic time frames for when they are achievable. Some can be accomplished in a month, some in a year and some in 5 years.
These goals are determined when we sit down with the team for a full strategy session. In the meeting we work with you to understand where you want to go. Through our questioning we will work together to determine the right strategy for your business. As we discuss things we also come up with a list of action items. These action items become the core of what has to get done in the following year. As these get done we get closer to achieving your goals.
Clarity is the guiding principal for every business owner. Clarity allows one to make decisions with confidence. To be able to make clear decisions, in our experience, 7 core business issues need to be always considered by owners. These cardinals are the points on the compass that are always in flux, but when considered collectively, give business owners clarity.
Most organizations, when you ask them to forecast the next year, they compose an income statement. What we provide is not only an income statement but also a balance sheet and a cash flow statement. Why is this important? An income statement tells you profitability but it does not tell you if customers are paying on time, where your cash is going and if you will make payroll next month. That's what we help with. We provide financial clarity and this let's you be proactive in making decisions on the business.
What is more is we tie operational systems to this forecast. This allows for your monthly financial statements to be more accurate.
Finally, organizations are dynamic and financial forecasts have to be updated monthly. This is because organizations change over the year. It could be because a large contract was secured, new equipment needs to be purchased or a supplier wants to be paid quickly. In all cases, every month, we go over changes in the business and help you understand the changing financial picture of your business.
Capital structure is the lifeblood of every organization. Through our process we help determine the right capital structure for your business. This could mean a bigger operating line, more term debt or alternative financial instruments such as subordinated debt, mezzanine financing, or equity.
Not only will we help you get the capital you require; we will help negotiate the terms and most importantly, help you understand what those terms mean.
Once we figure out where you want to go, determine our financial targets and ensure we have the right capital structure; we have to make sure the right people are there to execute the strategy. In our experience leaders are at all levels of the organization. There are the key leaders at the top, but we have to determine who the leaders at the lower levels of the organization. These individuals are going to help execute the plan. Our tools will not only allow us to identify these leaders but also provide continual feedback to them. This makes these individuals more effective and hence more rewarded within the organization.
Reporting structures provide not only communication to the front line but also provide feedback from the front line. Reporting structures naturally evolve in an organization but they have to be proactively examined on a periodic basis. We work together to determine if it is efficient, not too many resources reporting to one group, and ensure the right people are in the right roles.
Most importantly we determine what people should be doing in those roles, what traits they need and assess whether they have the knowledge to be in those roles. Whatever they are lacking we determine what education and experience they need to be great in their role.
Culture, we argue, is one of the most essential parts to an organization. This is what gets teams up in the morning and wanting to work together. Culture is typically difficult to capture because it is not tangible. It's everywhere in the organization but you can't see it.
We work with you to capture it, refine the meaning of working in your organization, and give people a way to articulate it.
In the long term this becomes important because as your organization grows you will no longer be able to be involved in every decision. You have to delegate it. By having a strong culture you know the decisions being made on your behalf are in line with where the organization is going.
As your organization grows there will be certain points where you have to make critical decisions and determine the path the organization will take. Because we know everything about your business; where you want to go, who is the team, what capital resources are available, and why people come to work everyday, we become your confidant for these situations. While there are internal people to help with these decisions we believe it is difficult to get the answers you want from these managers. It is because they are not familiar with the whole organization; only their role. Further we bring the knowledge and experience of hundreds of other businesses that went through the same issues and can state what worked and why.
The reason our clients excel is because of well thought out execution of the above. It is with this information, teamwork and resources that our clients hit their goals and achieve true clarity in their business.