Preface: The smart ones ask when they don’t know. And, sometimes, when they do. Malcolm Forbes
Reflecting On Entrepreneurial Management with Questions
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA
Does your executive management team lead from example?
The healthy climate of a business, begins with good to great leadership. A well-prepared executive management team ready for the challenges of the business terrain will be positioned to guide a team more effectively than one with executive decisions simply based on whims and notions. An executive management team that arduously adheres to the core values and core focus of the business, invests time effectively, and in addition, that has a can-do attitude, will have a growing advantage towards gaining the field in any conditions. Continuous attention to what adds value for customers accumulates into lasting business success.
Does your executive management team invest the appropriate time to work on the business at least quarterly?
An increasing number of business leaders allocate specific time each month, or a week or more per year to clarify the path forward. With a rewinding and reflection on the business history and trends, to a fast forward on future projections, effective executive management teams think through both shallow and deep obstacles and opportunities for thee enterprise. These strategic times of working on the business are necessary for any journeyman or businessman to gain perspective aside from the daily “factory” routines.
In addition, lasting business successes are not achieved by happenstance. It is the product of appropriate planning and preparation as the business trends and grows. This includes digging deep wells from accurate market research and customer friendly product innovation onward to building strong foundations with a unified team culture including honing initial employee onboarding processes from development tracks of production to sales staff.
Does your business have adequate operational, financial, and employee risk safeguards?
Risk management while often advised, is becoming increasingly pertinent to a thriving enterprise. Safeguards can include standard operating procedures, testing the team’s performance temperature daily, monitoring working capital levels weekly, and keeping communication lines open to communicate risks on the job site, customer deposits, or simply early warnings on negative indicators and trends the affect the sales pipeline.
Does your business have a clearly defined executive visionary and integrator?
Businesses thrive best with team approaches. Visionary persons are always coming up with new ideas for the business, and are natural problem solvers. But visionary persons can’t do it all. Every business needs an integrator, the person who keep unity and focus on the tasks and priorities at hand, among the ambitions of sales, finance and field-work. While the visionary has their heads in the clouds on the next adventure, the integrator ensures the team is fully equipped with the right gear when the wheels lift off the runway. The visionary has the map and knows the direction, the integrator ensures the journeys an enjoyable and lasting success.
Does your executive team have realistic expectations for growth and profitability?
Every good business team want to earn net profits. Often growing a business owners associate increasing the number of employees with profitability. Yet business expansions required overhead costs. These overhead costs can vary from a new vehicle to more office space. The contribution margin of a new team members must be careful appraised with the associated costs. More than one business has achieved early success with low-overhead modular offices and make-do facilities, only to discover when they outgrew the primitive workspace, their margins would not support conventional costs. The prudent business will manage solid margins along with costs every quarter. If you choose a low overhead primitive margins approach, then don’t expect to achieve a grandiose perpetual growth rate, because the math doesn’t work perpetually without the appropriate margins.
To be continued…