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Great brand by Richard Gourlay leadership and strategy

What makes a great BRAND

What makes a great BRAND? Despite what marketing people passionately believe most people don’t think about brands, they just get on with their lives. The coffee they buy, the supermarket they go to and petrol station they visit happen almost by accident. In Britain today we are too busy to think through these everyday inconsequential purchases, focused on saving time, not forgetting something or rushing from place to place on a tight deadline. So do brands matter and if so why and how? Consumer Choice  Let’s start with the basics,… Read More »What makes a great BRAND

Vision in business matters by Richard Gourlay

Strategy: How to outcompete the competition; finding sustainable competitive advantage

Sustainable Competitive Advantage  Sustainable competitive advantage is the market position where a business can continually hit the sweet spot in bringing the right product to the right market at the right time. Few companies can lay claim to the holy grail market position for any length of time, retaining a sustainable position within a market. Here are some that come immediately to mind: Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Hoover, Apple, Boeing, Sky, Microsoft Windows, are all good examples of global companies who have achieved that today.  Sustainable competitive advantage is the ability… Read More »Strategy: How to outcompete the competition; finding sustainable competitive advantage

values in business matter to customers and employees

Values matter in BUSINESS more than ever as Ikea have found out

In today’s information driven world, how you do business matters as much as the business you do, as Ikea the iconic Swedish furniture retailer has just found out. Ikea’s green credentials have been dealt a massive blow in consumer’s minds. Ikea’s failure to support sustainability in its products leaves customers questioning its real values as a business. Ikea only 16% sustainable wood  Ikea’s failure to achieve its own most modest target of 30% of its wood products to be from certified sustainable wood, will damage it its credibility heavily with… Read More »Values matter in BUSINESS more than ever as Ikea have found out

Strategy the leader's role book by Richard Gourlay

Do you have a vision or are you just a dreamer?

Leadership starts with a Vision No matter how big or small your business is without a clear vision of where you are going owners and directors often fall into the classic trap of just managing from day-to-day. A business needs great leadership, and for that they need to create a clear business vision, which will make and deliver longterm leadership success.     Envisioning the Future Leadership is about investing time, envisioning the future and effort to see into the future and imagine how things could be, is as important for… Read More »Do you have a vision or are you just a dreamer?

Start with the end in mind in business planning

A good business starts with the end in mind.

Here’s a simple question to any business owner, why are you in business? The flippant answer I often hear is to make money.  An honest, if not inspiring answer.  But there is a fundamental flaw in that statement which many business owners fails to comprehend. They start a business, typically through experience in, or a passion for the field or because they have seen an opportunity to make money, but fail to achieve that ultimate goal because they fail to plan their end, their exit strategy.

Are you Your Business?

If you can’t get out making the money you intended to when you sell up then why did you set up the business in the first place?  You have a great idea, you work on it, and spend your energy (and life) building your business until it becomes you.  It succeeds and you enjoy the lifestyle it brings.   Then the real challenge of maximising that income to free yourself up and retire or do something else begins.

That final stage often becomes impossible because you are the business and it is you, its lifeblood, main cheerleader and driving engine. To any potential buyer, they see that you are the business, its key asset and real value. This is why buy-out clauses often tie-in existing business owners so that the value that the former owner delivers can be transferred to the new owner.This is a typical scenario of being a successful business owner.

Business owners are driven by the passion to run the business day-to-day. This often overshadows the failure to plan the owner’s exit strategy from the start. To achieve that, owners must build a business with the clear objective to enable the owner to get out and maximising your income from what they have achieved. Nearly all business owners focus on building a successful business, not on making sure they maximise their returns from the successful ownership of the business.

Exit Strategy Planning

The real payback from all that hard work in creating and setting up a business for an entrepreneur is the final payback. It is in the shareholder value being realised by a sale of that business. Few owners think about realising their shareholder value, being more interested in the Profit & Loss than the Balance Sheet when making key decisions about the business. That approach is effectively summarised in the phrase; the turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is king. This great motto in the running of any business. But it does not hold true in achieving exit strategy success as a business owner.

 

Exit Strategy: think like a Shareholder

Achieving shareholder success is the only motto to follow if you want to have a saleable asset.  Owners need to focus on developing an exit strategy which achieves their personal goals.  While profit and cash rule the day, building a valuable asset requires building shareholder value, through building sustainable long-term profitability.

Success in business requires owners to build a business which you own but are not concreted into the business foundations. Building a forward strategy for your business is a vital first step in building your exit strategy.  It is the old adage that you need to work on your business not in your business for success. This great motto underpins successful entrepreneurs.

Long Term Thinking

Short-term profitability is always an important goal. But long-term share value is a strategic consideration which owners need to consider in building the value of their business. If you would like to discuss this article further or further information about our services in working with business owners in achieving  successful exit strategies then contact us at enquiries@cowdenconsulting.com or see our contact page for further options.

Like to learn more about creating and leading a business, with a successful exit strategy in place? Then click here to buy the book with all the tools you need to become a better leader: Strategy The Leader’s Role by Richard Gourlay

 

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Successful Leaders Plan Their Business

Business Planning Business planning often gets a bad press.  Yet those who do sit down and plan their business are so much more focused, confident, and successful than those who float along with the economic tide. Successful leaders plan their business, so they can focus on leading their team to deliver that plan. Over the past ten years as a strategic planner we’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and seen how those that create a plan and implement it. Those that plan their business do so much better than those… Read More »Successful Leaders Plan Their Business

Do YOU have a Plan for Growth?

Do you have a plan for GROWTH?  Leadership is most often identified as someone with a clear vision to grow their organisation, of where it is to where you want it to be within its market. By definition, that means looking for and finding growth.  All leaders must focus on looking for growth and development of their organisation if leadership is going to be seen as successful. But many leaders do not have a plan for growth within their organisation. Do you have a clear vision of where you are… Read More »Do YOU have a Plan for Growth?

strategy, leadership and vision in business by Steve Jobs

Values matter in BUSINESS more than ever

Values in Business must be transparent The way you provide your product or service and to whom, says more about you than how much business you do. Being big in a highly segmented world is no longer the determination of success. How you do your business now determines your current credibility and future success. Credibility is as much about your values in becoming successful as about the success you have. Mohamed Al-Fayed for example, despite buying Harrods, never shook off questions about his background. Your values as an organisation as… Read More »Values matter in BUSINESS more than ever

Vision to make change n business by Richard Gourlay

A good business starts with the end in mind: have clear objectives.

A good business starts with the end in mind: have clear business objectives. For leadership teams planning a business is focused around the annual exercise of business planning.  Reviewing what went well and what did not, reviewing the overall performance of the organisation, its profits (or losses) and deciding what to do differently and what to keep the same for the forthcoming year. One key area which good leadership teams consistently get right is in rolling out the right measures, both soft and hard measures of performance inside a business… Read More »A good business starts with the end in mind: have clear objectives.