South Bend Business Consulting
Looking back to when I owned a small manufacturing company, I joined an outside round table CEO group thru Vistage. This allowed me to get advice from other business owners and a coach that I couldn't get from employees or managers. There are certain things you're just blinded by as a business owner and it's helpful to have someone that will be honest and level with you. On the other extreme, I had so-called consulting companies that would come in and act like they knew my business better than I did and sell me on their services that did not, and would not have, helped anything. So, what makes a successful business consultant? and what makes for a good consulting client?
When I owned my business, I was faced with challenges in almost every aspect of the business and with the economy in the 2008-2010+ downturn. As necessity is the mother of invention, we were forced to improve or die. As an owner, I was responsible for everything. I realized that having a 2nd person that I could trust was fundamental for success. You cannot easily cover sales/general management and operations at the same time, at least not in my business. I see businesses now that the owner has a strong technical background in the business services, but they lack overall management experience or focus. That's where I think we can help.
We did a competitor analysis, a product portfolio analysis, new product development, a patent application, and increased marketing effort. In that process, our gross profit percentage was increase from 42% to 58%. Our new patented product became 80% of our sales and no competitor could touch it. All of our product designs were on AutoCAD. So when I went to sell, the buyer was confident that they could continue to get the same results that I had achieved -- this is the number one challenge of a buyer of your business. Can they do it like you, or better?
With any consultant, you should both agree to the scope and purpose of the consulting project. What are the goals and how will they be measured? Is it to reduce your cost by 5% within the next 6 months? Or to increase your sales by 10% in the next year? To develop a product portfolio to grow the company over the next 5-10 years? Or just implement a new accounting or CRM software package?
In our case, it may be to help you exit the business in 3 years with a higher selling price than currently justified. We would evaluate the industry, your company structure, how to increase sales and decrease costs. It is designed to make your business more attractive and valuable to a buyer, but in all reality, it will be more valuable to you also.
Key Performance Indices (KPI's)
Do you track key performance indices now? Sales Revenue? Revenue per employee? Gross Profit? as a percentage of sales? Scrap or Quality Costs? or do you merely just look at the balance in the checking account and hope it stays in the black?
How about this -- What is the value of the business? Do you track it on an annual basis? Ever? Most do not. Yet, when they want to sell, they wonder why it is what it is. What are the things that a buyer are going to look for and either be attracted to or turned off by in your business? And what can you do about them, over a 2-3 year period, that will make it easier to sell your business?
Call us for a free, no-obligation, consultation on your business, issues and goals.