In step 3 we finally automated your business by analysing the work-flow; who does what, when & how and then systemizing each and every process.
We’re really beginning to get traction now:
- We have a vision for your business & we have implemented strategies to achieve it.
- We know what your USP is and we have put marketing strategies in place to ensure that your Dream 100 understand why your business is different and why they should be dealing with you.
- We now understand that what gets measured gets results; you now utilize a CRM or similar database to track leads & conversion ratios. You use this same database to send regular updates to customers. Maybe you even went as far as creating an App for smart-phones to connect with them!
- You have developed systems throughout your business which will finally allow you to step back, work on the bigger picture and enjoy the fruits of your labour. But first you need to be confident that your business will survive, no thrive without you.
Which brings us to your people, their skills & their aspirations?Are you getting the best out of your people?Are they getting the best out of you?
I have met many owners who mistakenly believe that this is unimportant, that if staff aren’t happy that there are plenty more to take their place!
Wrong! Remember the goal here is to make your business “investor ready”.
Investors aren’t interested in buying a company with high staff turnover, low morale, quality issues and customer service issues.
Investors are interested in buying a company, which is in fact run by employees who are supported by systems, have clear objectives and a product which fills aneed.
Your people therefore, are important. Start by re-interviewing them, yes even if they have been with the company several years.
You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have heard a business owner complain about a certain skills shortage, not realizing that they actually employ someone with that very skill-set. Only last week I seen it happen with a client in the construction industry, who desperately needed a designer, yet was unaware that a labourer on his factory floor had seven years experience designing homes!
So listen to the people you have in your organization, to their grievances, their aspirations, their ideas, their wants and needs. It’s a guaranteed win/win.
Remember at the beginning of this 5 step process you created a road-map for your business, well now it’s time to create one for your employees.
What do they aspire to? How can you help and how does it help you? Create a skills matrix for all your employees, you will immediately see the weaknesses in your organisation – fill these first; e.g. if you only have one person who can do a particular process such as set up a machine in your production department make it a priority to up-skill at least two other employees to do this process.
A couple of years ago, just before going out on my own, I had the dilemma of basically trying to achieve 4 months work in 6 weeks. Guess what! With the privilege of a well-honed skills matrix and employee buy-in to the project we got it over the line. Set a budget for training, encourage all employees to progress, organise regular internal training sessions, not only on manufacturing processes but also on customer service, negotiating, products, sales, time management etc.
Encourage professional and personal development outside of the company. Create job descriptions for each role, include responsibilities and KPIs. Implement performance appraisals and stick to them. Consider 360-degree performance appraisals where you seek feedback from the employee about their superiors and from external and internal customers and suppliers regarding your employees.To fully profit from this type of appraisal, the objective must be to improve your business as a whole rather than randomly pick on criticisms.
Appreciate your people, involve them in decision making, encourage innovation,empower them to be creative, most importantly get their buy-in on where the company is going, do this by explaining the WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
On several occasions I have seen production practically double by simply involving those who know best, the very people who do the job every day; seek their advice. If it was their company what would they do differently? Explain for example that you need to ramp up production in order to get that important order, how can it be done?
On one occasion, I had a client who was stressing that he needed more welders, better welders, more commitment etc. After a brief discussion with the welding team where I asked questions, then listened to what they could do to make it happen, we managed (with some investment) to get the number of unit produced daily from 8 to 14. That’s a 75% increase in production.
What’s that worth to you? Let your employees’ offer the solutions and you can be sure that they will be committed to making it happen.
Create an environment that encourages people to give their best, to grow along with the company.
Again, remember the goal is to make your business investor ready.
Okay, we’re almost done.
So until then,
About the author of “5 Critical Steps to Making Your Business Investor Ready”:
With over 26 years in manufacturing and a good many of those in management roles I have successfully implemented the 5 critical steps several times. As a business growth consultant I help business owners become investor ready. It is also something I am very good at and enjoy doing.
What I offer is to work side-by-side with you and your senior management team to:
- Prioritize problems/issues to be resolved
- Agree on expected outcomes
- Agree that this is something I can resolve
- Agree on the value of these outcomes i.e. extrapolate the added value of the exercise to your company and what this is worth.
To put your mind at ease, if the work that needs to be undertaken is not within my expertise I will say so.
If I don’t honestly feel that I can help you get to that day with the potential buyer where you really do have a saleable (and valuable) asset then I will decline the contract.
Imagine again its 12 months or two years from now.
A potential buyer walks into your business and asks to see how things operate….
Will you be investor ready?
0425 781 752