Running a business is like piloting an aircraft. You need to know where you are taking off from and have a clear idea of your final destination. You write your flight plan, make sure you have enough fuel to cover the distance and check the aircraft is up to the journey. You have to build up enough speed to take-off, then along the way you may encounter unexpected weather and have to make adjustments to your original plan. Once landed safely you and your co-pilot review the flight and see if you made any money.

Business Strategies for SMEs

Successful businesses use various strategies to keep their business on track; revisiting them periodically to ensure they still support the needs of the business. Flexibility is required to deal with unforeseen events but it is essential the strategic plan is not continually “tinkered with”, to avoid the risk of undermining goals and objectives.

Strategic PlansTo move a business forward

Setting a clear direction. Colin works with startups, existing business owners and management teams to identify suitable strategies that will move their enterprises forward.

Strategies include:

  • Exploring various business models
  • Agreeing key objectives
  • Setting achievable goals
  • Establishing measurable milestones
  • Undertaking periodic reviews to keep on track

Where the client has a business strategy in place Colin adds value, by advising on options and alternatives that can achieve more cost-effective and productive results.

Business ReviewsThe world does change

Successful strategy is just one component of a viable business. There are many other elements that need to be in place: from financials to personnel. Colin's experience helps you to examine every aspect of your’ business operations; identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Identifying the key areas to address: helping resolve any issues to drive their business forward in a coordinated process that maximizes potential, improves structure and positions the organisation to capitalize on their opportunities.

Colin aims to provide the best possible return on investment for the clients and provide a sustainable road map that keeps clients on track for success.

5 Step - SME
Transformation & Turnaround

Our approach is to help you develop a coherent strategy, with a clear basis of competition.
We show you how and where to capture value, whilst matching capacities and capabilities.
Finally we ensure knowledge is transferred to your staff so improvements continue long into the future.

Step 1 - Strategic Review

SMEs have little fat in the system to spend money on activities that do not show a return in a short time frame. We recommend that the starting point should be identifying the most important business-wide issues and then creating a priority list. Next a review of the current capabilities of your business and cash resources, followed by analysis of the competitors in your market. Only then are you ready to start writing your Business Plan.

Step 2 - Business Turnaround Plan

Business plans have changed over the years and for SMEs in particular. Today's plans are designed to be highly focused, measurable and flexible - instead of the lengthy market studies, fanciful forecasts and 5 year financials written for banks (that never happen!) Modern plans recommend minimum viable products are taken to market quickly and then, based on real time feedback, plans are revised on an ongoing basis and strategic direction altered to match profitable customer needs.

Step 3 - Capability Development

Once the strategic direction is set it is important to align the capabilities of the business firstly to win orders - through customer value propositions, new products or services, quality, price comptetitiveness and social, ethical and environmental performance. Secondly to manage constraints facing the SME such as demand, supply, cash, plant, people and processes.

Step 4 - Team Development

It is crucial that the expertise and knowledge of your staff increases at the same rate as the business growth (or quicker). This includes training for leadership skills, functional expertise and product and process innovation. (And of course the use of experienced interim managers to plug gaps).

Step 5 - Process & Productivity Optimisation

After the initial impetus of change and increase in performance starts to become the norm it is very important that an ethos of continuous improvement remains embedded throughout the business.