Keeping Your Company Valuable and Viable
May 12, 2014
Whether you’re a new business owner, a seasoned pro who’s evaluating where to take the business next, or an owner considering transitioning the business to its next leader, you share the same concern: how do I keep this business as valuable as possible and as viable as I can?
Most small business owners consider their business their most valuable asset. More than that, though, it is often their life’s work. Whether they plan to position the business for sale, maintain it for future generations, or expand and grow, it’s vitally important to keep the business and its key players on top of their game. Time spent studying and optimizing competencies, capabilities, systems, and methodologies is time well spent.
Four basic elements factor into your business’s value and prospects for the future:
- your competencies
- your capabilities
- your systems
- your methodologies
However long you’ve owned the company and for however long you plan to maintain ownership, working diligently and consistently to develop these four areas will be a benefit. Keeping the value and viability of each of these elements at their most optimal level will contribute to developing a company anyone would want to invest in, purchase, partner with, or enjoy leading.
Ask yourself these tried and true basics:
1) Where are we today?
2) What do we have to work with?
3) Where do we want to be in five years?
4) How can we get there?
Answering these questions in relation to your company’s competencies, capabilities, systems and methodologies will help you plan what investments are needed (in terms of time, capital, people, technology, etc.) to be a viable entity others consider valuable.
Your business was probably built on the idea that you could offer something better than what was previously available on the market. Over time, that way of doing things “better” has likely evolved into a core organizational competency. What would happen if you looked at other markets for growth? Could you take your competencies deeper into your current markets, or maybe sell them into new industries?
Performing market research to seek out industries that have a need for your competencies is a great way to target new verticals and grow your business value.
Your capabilities define what you do and for whom. As you engage your end-use markets, your capabilities become central components of your value proposition and help to shape your brand.
Are you creating strategies to engage with new prospects based on a strong value proposition? Do you frame capabilities you can offer in a manner that speaks to your customers’ pain points? Stressing the unique benefits and features your company offers will differentiate your capabilities from the competition’s.
Systems are the processes and controls your company has in place that help it to compete. Supply chain optimization, for example, can create a distinct competitive advantage for the small/mid-sized manufacturer.
Well-oiled systems also enable companies to look beyond their current value streams. Working as a resource for companies across Connecticut, CONNSTEP is a constant witness to the efficiencies and competitive advancements that result from pairing local supply chain partners who share the same Lean processes and embrace similar business growth strategies.
A holistic review of your company’s systems might begin with a key question: how do we connect our dedication to Lean processes with business growth strategies that will drive sustainability and top line growth?
Recently, CONNSTEP worked with a client’s leadership team to look at their markets and the way the business was divided across core segments. After identifying their most valuable customers and uncovering their most profitable product areas, we helped the company eliminate potential pinch points within their systems and developed a manufacturing-driven marketing plan.
How do you do what you do? Methodologies are process-driven and even systematic in nature, yet they also can embody an organizational culture. Reviewing and benchmarking your methodologies—ranging from quality control and production all the way to sales and marketing—can validate your strengths and shed light on new opportunities.
Take a step back and really look at the business you have created. Evaluate the shifting sands of your marketplace, and try to define your vision for the future of your business. Then get to work making the big picture a reality.
Above all else, though, make sure to set goals that are meaningful to the business and establish performance metrics that will help you as the leader and chief motivator of your people.
Take our Value/Viability quiz to find out how well your company is developing in these areas!
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