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LIFT Business Growth Report 2014: Part 1
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LIFT Business Growth Report 2014: Part 1

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Many small and medium sized enterprises [SME] owners already know what needs to be done to grow their business but lack the time and/or resources to bring about the necessary changes. …

Many small and medium sized enterprises [SME] owners already know what needs to be done to grow their business but lack the time and/or resources to bring about the necessary changes.

Others may simply be reluctant or restrained by tradition to make a shift.

Change is difficult.

This series attempts to help answer the question, "How will owners [like me] make the necessary changes to aggressively grow their business in 2014 — and beyond?”

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. 156 REPORT 156 2014 - 2019 SME Business Growth Executive Summary and Organization Assessment Part 1 Best practices based on work done with over 200 SME’s and 33 Fortune 500 companies Many SME owners already know what needs to be done to grow their business but lack the time, energy and resources to bring about the necessary changes. Others may simply be reluctant or too embarrassed to make a shift. Change is difficult. This series attempts to help answer the question, "How will owners like me make the necessary changes in 2014?" LIFT | LLC . Michael Linder . 616.460.3395 . michael.linder@comcast.net
  • 2. 2014 - 2019 SME Business Growth Executive Summary Growing revenue or protecting hard won growth since 2008 continues to become more difficult, competitive and complex than ever. And while the stock market has broken 16,000 for the first time, for most SME’s the complexities of business growth in these turbulent times remain challenging — if not draining. SME’s are feeling the increasing weight of: §  The anxiety associated with having the majority of the organization’s revenue resting with one or two major customers §  An inability to hold sales channels accountable for poor results §  The escalating costs — and business risks — of trial and error 156 REPORT Part 1 This exclusive, 3-part executive summary, based on best practices learned from working with over 200 SME’s and 33 Fortune 500 companies, attempts to help SME’s effectively deal with these rising challenges, as well as the trials of: §  Reducing waste in terms of time, effort and capital §  Reducing risk in terms of losing great employees and customers §  Protecting or aggressively growing revenue despite a weak economy Part-1 of the SME Business Growth Executive Summary and the accompanying organization assessment focuses on 5 keys to driving SME business growth over the next 5 years. 1. Is Your Company Perfectly Designed to Get the Results It Is Getting? Your organization is currently executing at a certain level of performance. That level of execution is delivering a certain result. Sixty percent [60%] of Desired Results SME’s are executing at a “below average” to “at risk” level of performance and thus, are perfectly designed to deliver a “below average” to “at risk” result for their Current Results stakeholders. Execution = Results. In order to achieve a more desirable result, top performing SME’s are committing to changing the organization’s ability to execute at a higher level [i.e. strategy, processes, operating model, culture, etc.]. LIFT | LLC E = R . Michael Linder . 616.460.3395 . michael.linder@comcast.net
  • 3. 2014 - 2019 SME Business Growth Executive Summary 2. Are Self-Interests Superseding the Interests of the Company? These are tough times. Tough times often lead to self-preservation thinking. Staff may be thinking, "I won't suggest this idea — it might eliminate my job!" Leaders can be tempted by compensation plans that work great for a few, but not for the majority of stakeholders. SME leaders need a peer group, an external sounding board or a trusted, objective advisor who is free to ask good questions that help keep the interests of the company first. 3. Lost a Fresh Perspective? It happens to everyone — work within the structure, culture and resources of any organization long enough and your perspective conforms to the limitations of the situation. The organization loses its ability to ask the right questions that lead to innovation. Invite and reward staff for sharing alternative ideas, invite criticism, seek nay-sayers or those with broader experience to keep a fresh perspective. 156 REPORT Part 1 4. What Problem[s] Do You Solve…and for Whom? The bigger the problem[s] your company solves — for the broadest possible market[s]— will determine your company’s revenue potential. Can you and your key leaders articulate, and agree upon, the problem[s] your company solves and for whom? Are you solving the right problem[s] for the right market[s]? Can your company solve a broader set of problems than you’ve currently imagined? These are critical questions to continuously ask your company and your customers! 5. Are All Key Stakeholders In Agreement with Your Growth Plan…Really? One of the hardest things for the leader of any organization to get is the truth. Self-interest and self-preservation are factors in almost every owner-employee relationship. Thus, staff may say they are on board, but… Are all key stakeholders working in sync to deliver on your big vision, strategy and what makes your company unique? Consider, 80% of your employees may not even know or agree on what makes your company unique. If your team does not know or agree on what makes you unique, can you really agree on strategy? Having a third party “safe haven” help you collect honest feedback and ideas on how to improve the business, combined with effectively led planning, enhances the quality of any organization’s communication [i.e. truth telling] and team work. LIFT | LLC . Michael Linder . 616.460.3395 . michael.linder@comcast.net
  • 4. 2014 - 2019 SME Business Growth Assessment How Effective Is Your Business Growth Plan? Your Read each statement and rate your response: 1, 3 or 5 “5” = Execute at the highest level and have a plan to continue to do so. Rating “3” = Need work, but have a plan and path to excellence. Here “1” = Need help. As a company, we know what needs to be done to aggressively grow our business and we are effectively doing it. As a leader in our company, I am very content with our company’s execution and ability to drive top line growth.   My company possesses an industry leading sales and marketing system. 156 REPORT Part 1 As a leader in our company, I am very confident we consistently act in the best interest of all key stakeholders. As a leader in our company, I am highly skilled at facilitating team planning sessions in a manner that creates high quality dialog and group buy-in. My company excels at asking ourselves the right questions that lead to innovation and breakout performance. My company has clearly defined the problem[s] we solve and for whom, and are united in how we execute to solve each problem in the market. Each key stakeholder in my company is fully aligned, committed and working together — on a high level — to execute the company’s well documented strategic and operational plan. Total Score 33 or more = Executing at a high level. 17 to 32 = Need work, but may have a plan and path to excellence. 16 or under = May need help. LIFT | LLC . Michael Linder . 616.460.3395 . michael.linder@comcast.net _______ Total Score