How We Support You to Build, Grow and Sell Your Great Business
Navigating Growth Stages
Since 1990, I’ve worked with many manufacturers that had considerable growth opportunities and needed to build their business to handle rapid expansion. I've helped these companies make it through each growth stage by focusing on achieving consistency, building innovation and in an exit that results in financial independence.
At first, companies encountered “growing pains”. This resulted from not having the business “infrastructure” to support the increased demands of more sales. We focused on achieving consistency.
The next level of growth was innovation. It went beyond consistency and optimizing existing operations. It involved real innovation in changing the business and required creative problem-solving by tapping into the intellectual capital of people.
As the client companies became more successful, the focus increased on preparing the business for exit and increasing the value of the firm.
Once on the verge of growth management often wants to make large-scale operations. I found that the firm first needs to get its operations under control and achieve stability and consistency. Make base hits before swinging for the fences and hitting out of the park. So, I’ve focused first on building the company’s infrastructure–its resources, organization, capabilities, and systems. The emphasis was on getting consistent results by standardizing work.
We used a quality management system and implemented new policies, procedures, and training. I guided teams in their work using the most appropriate methods, including ISO 9001, Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement, and Operational Excellence. We also brought in industrial engineers for help with time studies, layout, workflow, and inventory. I worked on dozens of assignments over many years working with ProSolve Consulting (www.prosolve.ca).
A challenge has been taking this abundance of methods, tools, philosophies, disciplines into something that is practical and usable for a small, but growing manufacturer. I had regular weekly meetings with teams and guided them through the essential steps within weeks.
With a solid foundation of well-run operations, a firm achieves consistent results and is ready to move to the next level of performance.
While I was working with teams to standardize work, we found novel ways of getting work done. I found that the best way to improve work was by tapping into the brainpower of the employees. This intellectual capital was a huge, untapped asset that companies have, but doesn’t use fully.
I wondered, “why don’t companies make better use of the employee’s brainpower?”. The answer was that employees weren’t given the right opportunity. It required a commitment of management, employee time to work “on the business”, a structure, and a proven method to get results. I worked on changing this. I worked with, and was trained by, Steven Martin, an accomplished practitioner of creative problem solving for businesses (www.profitpro.us).
It changed when teams presented management with tangible evidence that their proposed changes resulted in cost reductions and revenue increases. Management was skeptical at first but once they saw the evidence, they immediately said “give us more”.
I got commitment from management to allocate time for employees to work with me. Management also agreed to be open-minded to our results and recommendations. They then committed to implementing the approved recommendations.
I now use the Accelerated Growth Workshop, a 2-day working session to tap into a company’s intellectual capital to identify, plan and organize high priority initiatives. At the end of the Workshop, the company has an Accelerated Growth Plan that defines the goals, initiatives, resources required, and timeline. I then assist employees implement the projects successfully, described.
My 2007 book Chain Reaction–The Executive’s Action Plan for Turning Creativity and Teamwork into Sustainable Profits describes the results of tapping into a company’s intellectual capital. The chain reaction starts with making the work easier, which leads to higher quality products and services with less cost that can be made faster and with less risk. Customers are delighted with higher quality products, faster delivery, and will pay a premium price. You keep customers, build loyalty, your reputation grows and you attract more customers.
Exit and Financial Independence
Many of the companies I worked with resulted with the business owners selling their firms. I focused more on this end goal of business owners: exit and financial independence. This was the natural evolution of my clients: build, grow, and then find more growth opportunities by tapping into the intellectual capital of their people. To assist clients better, I became proficient in exit planning and worked with a private equity firm to strengthen my expertise on the financial aspects of increasing shareholder equity value. And, I’ve acquired two businesses, and am currently CFO/COO of an industrial process equipment firm.
What To Expect in Working Together
My work now focuses on improving client results within the next year with a view of the end game–an exit and financial independence for the business owner, whether that is within the next few years, or in 10 years.
My work starts with a “right fit” call, where I can understand your goals, and whether I can help. If we agree there is a good fit, I then conduct a high level “Discovery” with you to determine the current value of your business and compare it to its potential value. I determine potential value from the performance of top tier companies in your industry. The difference between the actual and potential value of your business is your “value gap”.
Next, we identify the most important growth opportunities that will close the value gap. We then do a “deep-dive” into the business drivers that generate results and value. Then we identify specific growth initiatives during workshops. You now have an “Accelerated Growth Plan”, an implementation plan to achieve your goals. You know exactly what to do, why, by whom, by when, and what results the initiative will achieve.
Then we mobilize teams to implement the various initiatives within the time frame. We report progress every month to ensure the initiative stays on track and achieves its objectives. One issue many companies face is successful implementation of improvement projects. Our approach is to prevent this from occurring by gaining management and employee commitment and accountability in the planning phase and then providing effective support to your staff during implementation.
I describe the “Accelerated Growth Plan,” and implementation phase “Mobilize,” in my book “High Value Manufacturing Business–Secrets to Achieving Financial Independence by Building a Great Company.” (add link)
Our compensation is value-based. I base fees on our contribution to the value that you determine you will be receiving. This provides you with an excellent ROI and limits your risks in costs, getting results and the time required.
Where to Begin
If you’re ready to build a great company that is more profitable, easier to run and is well-positioned to maximize the sale price for your business when you choose to sell, you are in the right place.
If you’re ready, I recommend we book a “right-fit” call so I can understand your goals and see if I can help you achieve those goals. To get started, click on this button.
If we agree there is a good fit, we’ll conduct an initial high-level Discover session to explore the opportunity in working together and agree on expected results and accountabilities.
We will develop a well-defined plan together that you can commit your organization to get the results you seek. Then we implement and get the results you seek.