How to Fix a Business… and find your Fee Fast!

When it comes to getting stuck into working with a new client, it’s super easy to get distracted with doing what THEY want you to do, rather than what YOU know you should be doing!

To deal with that, its helpful to have a basic format that deals with fixing the business in the right order.  It works the same as a ladder…

Here’s what I mean. Climbing a ladder means stepping onto the first rung… if you try and miss a rung, it’s easy to fall off the thing and end up back where you started.

So the first rung of the ladder is Margins… it’s not the most glamorous place to start, but it’s where the easiest gains are made so don’t let the numbers put you off.  Working on pricing and costs have huge opportunities in most businesses… so always start here.

Next level is working with team Productivity.  The reason why this is second is simply because as soon as you start working with people, it takes time to implement.  There’s “Team Talks”, deciding on scoreboards and sometimes confronting people in the business who have been there a while… The Margin strategies are far quicker to implement and it only takes one person to make the decision… Teams are slower, for that reason work on them second.

Third level is Sales… sales in preference to marketing.  No point in breaking out your awesome marketing gear if you’re missing converting them into bankable sales.  Also no point if the Margins haven’t been assessed to make sure the marketing is going after the right targets who are paying the right prices… Sales next, followed by Marketing.

Forth level is putting in the System and polishing the business model.  Process maps and systemisation is important once the basics of the previous 3 steps have been done.  No point systemising a business model that loses money.  Sure it might be easier to run, but it doesn’t really matter if it’s losing money.  Lots of work with the team at this stage as processes are refined and culture is built.

Last level is Scale… or Sale.  Whatever the business owner is looking for here.  Scale means that you’re working with your client on acquisition targets and building capacity into the business.  Often there’s significant investment needed here for market development, product development or capital development projects.  Very exciting here as you’ve done much of the work in getting the business prepared for scale.

Find your fee in the first step, that will buy you the time you need to scale up the rest of the Ladder…

So that’s the order… important that each level has it’s focus!