How To Identify Process Improvement Advisors, And Know When You Need Them.

You may need help from particular people including process improvement advisors. You will know that your business processes need work, by the results of your functional audits. If the need exceeds your own ability, you need help. And as you will see as you move through this information, there is a best order to doing all this.

So you can call on them when you need them, it is wise to identify one or more process improvement advisors early. Although improving any business processes can potentially make you business more profitable, and more valuable, you can't always do everything. So you are well advised to think about where you greatest leverage is likely to reside. As a hint, if your business economics are good, your greatest leverage, and resulting increase in gross profit will result from increasing revenue.

If this general situation also applies to your business, you need to identify and qualify advisors capable of improving your marketing and selling systems and processes. That way if you have limited time, this critical leverage point will get the needed boost. You will be amazed at what an improvement to your ability to sell more will do for your business, its cash flow and profit, and its value to a prospective buyer.

Improving marketing and selling was identified as the most powerful point of leverage if your business economics were good. Well what do you do if they aren't very good? Good question. With really poor business economics, increasing sales will just result in digging a deeper hole. Before increasing sales, you will need to do something to your cost structure.

Assuming that you can rely on the information coming from your financial system, dealing with your cost structure will provide you with the greatest leverage. If you can carry out the necessary analysis and take remedial action yourself, wonderful. If not you will need to get help from one or more business process improvement advisors who can. Making the necessary changes and improvements will very quickly increase cash flow and profit. Making your business much more attractive to prospective buyers, and at a higher price.

You are probably way ahead of me on this, but much of what we are discussing in this section, can have a considerable impact on your business, and how you run it. In fact, some of the suggested changes will have the effect of making it so easy to run that you may reconsider selling it. When you get to the point that it can generate huge cash flow, and require little of your time, why not keep it? But that is off topic, and I shouldn't introduce confusing thoughts to the discussion.

What has not been said is that once you have improved one aspect of your business, the one with the highest leverage, you don't have to stop there. You will be rewarded for seeking the point of next highest leverage and working to improve it. And so on. In some cases the same business process improvement advisor may be able to help with more than one weakness.

However, a word of caution. True renaissance men and women are very rare. Meaning that you will rarely find the expertise needed to provide true value in many different specialized areas. The business process improvement advisors capable of adding real value in the area of marketing and selling, are unlikely to be able to do the same in your operations area.

Those who are really good, usually specialize, just like in anything else. They frequently know people specializing in other business areas. They can refer and recommend non competing colleagues, that also have excellent reputations.

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