In the high pressure environment of start-ups and high-growth businesses there is always more to do than there are the right people to do them.
While the focus is on sales, on satisfying the customer and on keeping the wheels on the wagon, what is often left out are the projects that have longer-term importance.
My clients have often found that my advice and recommendations have created huge value for them while taking off some of their load.
How can we take the load off our Heads of Department?
This led to an analysis of the client’s high-growth business. Over several months, after many interviews with key staff and considerable research and data collection, the Board were presented with 11 recommendations.
The additional profit estimated from implementing them was more than £2m per year and a multiple of that in increased equity value.
This fast growing start-up was organised around the diary of the founder. The business was constrained by the amount of time the founder was available and he was reluctant to delegate.
Research into the nature of the business, the information flows and activities resulting in a proposal for a new structure for the company – one that would easily adapt as it continued to grow. In other words it was flexible and suitable for when the company was 10 times bigger, or more.
It also ensured that the founder was able to delegate and still maintain control.
A young team with an exciting start-up were so busy they hardly had time to eat. Their industry was taking off and they were in the forefront of this new adventure.
What they didn’t know or have time for was the support systems that every company needs: budget models so that they knew how much money they needed; financial control so they knew how quickly it would run out; protecting their valuable IP; employing people with the necessary legal formalities; and others.
By providing additional expert resources, many of these critical business activities were researched, recommendations made, decisions taken and solutions were implemented.
A specialist education business was in trouble and my client, one of the trustees, was concerned.
The worry was related to the huge losses leading to a big question about the team that were responsible for the oversight, for the management and the operations.
After in-depth investigation and interviews a number of issues came to light including that one of the trustees was benefitting from unusual arrangements with the school.
Recommendations to the client were gratefully taken up and the losses to my client have ended.