Monthly Archives: July 2011

It Takes More Steps to Get Employee BUY IN for Your Growth Plans These Days

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My strategic planning firm has a few clients in which the employees are FAR more skeptical than any of the executives, customers, and/or vendors. There are just too many media broadcasts blaring sad stories and negative news. The employees have relatives and friends who have lost their jobs. Many companies that are doing well in this economy stay below the radar so the general public has become convinced that every company is in trouble. The employees simply find it difficult to believe that their employers have truly good ideas and doable plans.

Normally, our periodic speeches that augment the executives’ candid presentations are more than enough to reassure and ignite employee excitement.

This year, we have needed to bring in additional resources. An expert in change management will be emceeing an event with us for one of our clients. The event will be recorded so preferred vendors who are not available to attend the event will not miss anything. As he asks questions to convey the journey the company is on, he’ll directly ask what led them to bring in growth strategist(s) during a recession. He’ll ask tough questions the employees have been reluctant to ask. And he’ll be able to address doubts in a way that no insider has “situational permission” to do any more.

We have also noticed that our clients have had to expand the distribution of their management team meeting agendas and notes. Employees who need a dominated by fear and worry (need security and reassurance) can become over sensitive to anything that seems secretive.

We all know that gaining BUY IN is crucial to the success of business growth plans. Just It’s not your imagination, more frequent presentations, outside confirmation, and increased transparency are needed during periods of uncertainty (like now).

 

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB service, technology, and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search) help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability.™ Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer on line program at www.Business. VoiceAmerica. com and www.growthstrategistshow.com that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. Family owned businesses are being emphasized in 2011. Ambler is in the process of launching her 8th enterprise. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com

BEFORE You JUMP into a Joint Venture, a Strategic Alliance, a Franchise, Equity Deals, a Roll Up, an ESOP…

 

Recently, I’ve noticed more and more executives of midsized companies JUMPING into strategy implementation.

It’s too easy to fall in love with one strategy over another because you’ve heard a peer share a success story. “Hey, we could do a strategic alliance. George did it.”  Well written articles or webinars with great case studies can convert some people into raving fans of joint ventures or roll ups.  One of our clients became enamored with the idea of franchising his company after his wife was hired by a successful franchise.

The economy has created uncertainty.  Bright ambitious executives (perhaps you) feel like caged cats and are “itchy” for a change. It becomes very tempting to JUMP right into a strategy.  At least that way, something is happening, right?  Well, disruption might be happening that way, but your team will not understand the rationale behind the strategy you have jumped into. You lose credibility as a leader.  And successful implementation is risked. Some folks are JUMPING into strategies when they don’t know the differences between them, what each really involves, and the pros of cons of each. And then they are surprised when bankers are still reluctant to finance them.

Instead of jumping right into a strategy, this would be a great time to involve your executive team. Everyone could benefit from some concentrated learning.  Your controller could be asked to analyze the costs associated with strategies like franchising, roll ups, joint ventures, etc.  Your VP Business Development could be asked to analyze which approaches are being used in your industry and why.  Your General Manager of VP Operations could study pacing and look at what is involved with each strategy.  Everyone would be smarter and by the time you and your team select a growth strategy you will all have a much better sense of WHY it was selected.

 

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called The Growth Strategist™. She has won over two dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across four recessions.  Her midsized B-to-B service, technology and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search, etc.) help midsized companies in Achieving Accelerated Growth With Sustained Profitability®. Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer online radio program Growth Strategist Radio Show, at www.GrowthStrategistRadioShow.com, that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy of the week. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.

Be Observant When Recruiting – It Could be More Cost Effective to do Acquisitions

If you are like several of my current clients, recruitment of experienced people is simultaneously the optimizing and limiting factor for your company. Weird, huh?  The uncertain economy lingers.  The US unemployment rate is over 9% and yet many pundants estimate that there are over 3 Million unfilled positions in just the United States.

One of my clients was close to turning down major projects because they were having so much difficulty finding programmers who are well versed in a particular content management software.

So we are now working on four fronts.  Outside search firm(s), a staff recruiter, social media, and acquisitions.

Yes, acquisitions.

As candidates are surfaced through social media interaction (particularly LINKED IN), and recruiter and search firm efforts, we watch for patterns.  Where do the well qualified people currently work?  Why are these people considering a change? After a little bit of research, we know the size of the company, the age of the owner, the reputation of the firm, the primary projects and clients, etc.  This leads to President to President discussions.

My client saves commissions that might have otherwise been paid to business brokers.  And often (especially with Baby Boomers) the owners of the boutique firms welcome the opportunity to affiliate with a rising star (fast growing company) over losing key employees to a more aggressive competitor.

 

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called The Growth Strategist™. She has won over two dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across four recessions.  Her midsized B-to-B service, technology and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search, etc.) help midsized companies in Achieving Accelerated Growth With Sustained Profitability®. Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer online radio program Growth Strategist Radio Show, at www.GrowthStrategistRadioShow.com, that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy of the week. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.

Strategy: Prepare Your Business to Become a Franchise

Preparing a business to become a franchise is a wakeup call. You start looking at your business from the outside in rather than be so lost in the weeds from within.  Asking questions like “How much net profit would a prospective franchisee need to be interested in investing” helps you assess how much net profit YOU should expect anyway.  Thinking through your marketing program so it would be effective enough to attract high quality franchisees makes you hold your marketing campaigns more accountable. Revamping your training programs and procedure manuals so you are ready to exhibit at a franchise tradeshow leads to clarified roles, accountability, and improved results for your existing employees.  And knowing that franchisees would be emulating the behavior of your key employees cues you to address mediocre performance that you may have been tolerating for several years.

 

Over the past year or so, my growth strategy consulting firm has been working with an entrepreneur who has a great concept to update their company, leverage new technology, and provide a fabulous experience for customers.  To scale the business, they may end up with company owned locations (satellites), boutiques (twigs instead of branches), on line boutiques, or franchise owned locations. Just the possibility of franchising has helped them improve.

 

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called The Growth Strategist™. She has won over two dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across four recessions.  Her midsized B-to-B service, technology and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search, etc.) help midsized companies in Achieving Accelerated Growth With Sustained Profitability®. Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer online radio program at www.business.voiceamerica.com or www.GrowthStrategistRadioShow.com that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.

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I remember Aldonna telling me that if we wanted to double our business, then we needed to act like a company of that size. There was a 5 phase plan created to get us to a $50 million dollar company.

Thomas A Bellia
Bellia Office Furniture

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