Each project consists of the following steps:
- identify the problems
- identify solutions
- plan and develop solutions (including systematising and measuring)
- implement solutions
- test solutions
- review and modify as required (we don't expect to get it right first time every time)
If you think this is of interest, there are some pre-requisites. We need to ensure we are not wasting our time – that your business will be noticeably better off after three months.
- Your business must be financially and ethically “sound” with no imminent threat of insolvency, all taxes up to date, proper accounts for the business, etc.
- You have at least the last two years of accounts and tax returns (sorry - start-ups aren't eligible). If there are more, we will be able to feed these into a business analysis tool to analyse past performance. Monthly results for the last two years would be a bonus.
- If there are multiple owners, we require buy-in from all. If we were charging for this service, would all agree to pay, as well as to provide input?
- Time to work “on” the business rather than just “in”. This is crucial – no point starting if you can't see it through. As a guideline, this would require two hours minimum per week (may include weekends and may be in multiple periods – not just a two hour block, but is a minimum).
- You must measure the position before and after each step. Otherwise how can you tell if we've achieved anything?
- What is your business?
- What is your target market?
- Why did you start it?
- What have your successes been?
- What have your disappointments been?
- What three things do you think at this stage you might prioritise in the six months?
- What is your accounting system?
- Who is your accounting adviser?
This last point is so we can establish a relationship with them should it be necessary. Our other business is certified accountants, so it is important to let them know we're not trying to replace them.
Before we start we will help you perform a brief SWOT analysis, so your actual choices might differ from your current thoughts. Then for three months we'll help you work through issues you choose.