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Are you interested in selling your company?  No?  How about raising capital from an outside investor?  No?  That’s fine.  But are you operating your business as if you were interested?  If you aren’t, you should.  Why?

First, things can change and change rapidly.  You can’t say for certain that you will not need outside capital or that you – or your heirs – will not need or want to sell.  Second, if you don’t operate as if you were in the market to raise capital or sell, you are at great risk of losing your customers.  Because there are competitors, both ones known to you and unknown ones lurking in the shadow, that are operating their businesses as if they were in the market.  And those competitors are likely offering – or about to offer – a better product at a better price. 

 How do you operate as if you were courting capital?  You operate to maximize the value of your enterprise.  And how do you do that?  Make sure you have you have your 4 Elements, 3 Disciplines, 2 Glues, and 1 High-Impact Leader in place and firing on all cylinders.  Click TCA_Library_Leadership_The Golden Formula for Building Enterprise Value for The Golden Formula for Building Enterprise Value.

Once you’ve been around business a little while, you learn that cash is everything.  Given that, revenue is critical.  Given that, the customers that send the revenue your way are critical.  They gotta love you, or your days are numbered.  In our executive advisory practice, we look at a lot of things related to the customer.  Here is a good start.  

In this excellent piece entitled Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks, I’m reminded that ONLY the sales and marketing campaigns that nail the question to What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) succeed.  Some things never change.

In my executive advisory experience, as well as my experience building several sales organizations, this comes pretty close to hitting the mark: 13 Traits of an Outstanding Salesperson

We are in the green age, the age of sustainability.  A core principle of sustainability is the avoidance of waste.  This covers many facets of the organization, but one, of course, is in spending.  Conservative spending, in addition being a key practice of sustainability is a key practice of survival.  Cash is an organization’s oxygen, its lifeblood.  When it runs out, your organization is dead. 

In our strategic advisory work, I recommend a policy, indeed a culture, that asks every team member to run through this analysis with every potential expenditure:

 In considering this expenditure…

  • Is it necessary?
  • Can I delay it?
  • Have I shopped around?
  • Is there a way I can repurpose an asset we already own?
  • Have I avoided waste?
  • Is there a way to leverage it?
  • Have I solicited input from team members?

 …understanding that we will not materially compromise our commitment to our customers or to speed, efficiency and excellence.


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