"We were born to succeed, not to fail." ~ Henry David Thoreau
We are constantly working our company's Strategic Plan... guiding our business to bigger and more profitable objectives. Due to outstanding Business Cycle Management, we enjoy few economic surprises... and are achieving our Mission. THINK: Yes or No?
Business Monitoring... Company Projections... Contraction/Conservation... Decision Making... Economic Forecasting... Exit Strategy... Expansion/Growth... Strategic Planning...
This last function is arguably the most important of the 10, because it is where the most important decisions for the destiny of your company are made... and where the other 9 Functions are fully integrated into the DNA — D)o It N)ow A)ctions — of your business.
As you learned in Function 1, the number one key to success in business is an unbridled, highly evolved sense of passion, purpose and MISSION. The simple truth is, if you are not passionate about your Mission... or your Vision starts to fade from the blur of the daily grind... your business will ultimately fail... dying an agonizing, slow motion death where you work your heart out and your butt off and have virtually nothing to show for all your hard work.
By performing Function 1 well, a constantly evolving Company Vision is created for who and what your company will become and a STRATEGY is developed to achieve this desired Vision. Functions 2-9 are then all expertly managed to TACTICALLY produce the results necessary to ACHIEVE the Company's Vision over time.
It is here in Function 10 where success is actually delivered and you develop what some call the Midas Touch or Winner's Mindset™... learning to see strategically... think tactically... and execute brilliantly.
Mission and Vision Guide Strategic Planning...
Which Guides Business Cycle Decision Making.
Starting from Day 1, you have been on a mission to build your business into a real gold mine... a money making machine... a true financial powerhouse. To quickly move beyond basic subsistence and Sustainability >> to Profitability >> to Grow-ability >> to Salability/Vitality where you have true wealth options: an IPO, LBO, Merger, outright sale.
Click Here For Lots More On This Function...
By keeping your eye on the 3 Prime Directives: Getting, Keeping, Making... your never ending role is to develop highly innovative plans for getting more customers... keeping them coming back for more... and making lots of money in the process.
It is also true that from the moment your company started business, things began to change — sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." ~ Charles Darwin
Your business almost never unfolds exactly as planned.
Some things go much better than expected. Sometimes the market and your business environment propels you into the exactly right place... at exactly the right time... and your business shoots way beyond where you had hoped and planned.
Other times, expectations tank with no success at all because the market, the weather, your team of people, government regulations and/or your competition all conspire against you.
Adaptation is Key.
Business Cycle Management is all about ADAPTING to and addressing both the difficulties and the new-found opportunities that come your way as your company evolves over time from one business stage to another.
The Business Cycle Management Function requires you to continuously assess where you are in each stage of your business, and determine/recommit to the big WHY behind your Strategic Plan. In other words, should you continue the current mission, or redeploy your time, money, assets and people differently — maybe in a related enterprise — or do something entirely different.
The key is to know WHERE you are on this business cycle continuum, and WHAT new opportunities to pursue... in good times and bad.
To answer this, you must, no less than once a quarter, CLARIFY both your Mission and Vision Statements in light of your CURRENT business success... or lack thereof.
In other words, if you are only at Stage 1 Sustainability after 3 years of hard work, it's up to this Business Cycle Management Function to determine if you should continue on or change direction.
If you have quickly turned your business into a Stage 2, highly Profitable cash cow, then management needs to make the executive decision to either take the money and do something else... or push forward to Stage 3 and GROW your business further and faster.
If you are in Stage 3, with the marketplace begging for your products and services, and your traditional sources for financing your growth dries up overnight — should you continue to spend available resources on expanding as planned or should you put on the brakes and call it good enough?
Huge questions, right?
These are decisions that will change the destiny of your company.
The answer lies in reviewing, reenergizing and rewriting your Mission and Vision Statements BEFORE making critical changes to your Strategic Plan.
As we said before, your MISSION statement describes the company's business overall vision, including the unchanging values and purpose of the firm... together with forward-looking visionary goals that guide the pursuit of all future opportunities.
Guided by the business' VISION, your leaders, team members and stakeholders can define measurable financial and strategic objectives... making certain your Strategic Plan reflects the current reality of business conditions together with managements ability to maximize cash flow, profits and ultimately, shareholder value.
"The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other." ~ H.G. Wells
No question, Business Cycle Management is all about achieving your MISSION by keeping ahead of the ball... responding (not reacting) to changes in the competitive landscape... and ultimately, surviving the long term economic cycles.
Put simply, you are either growing or you are dying.
Constantly working your Strategic Plan to continue moving up from one business stage to the next while constantly adjusting to the current business cycles — vs. simply trying to maintain the status quo — is what separates those who PLAY TO WIN the game of business and those who stay mired in a slowly depleting business.
You Are Your Business...
If your business has been a success, you've probably had to pour most of your time, energy, and money into it for what may seem like forever. You may see your company as an extension of yourself, and it may be hard to even imagine life without it.
On the other hand, your business may be only marginally successful, and something you can't wait to get rid of.
Or, perhaps you entered into the business with the idea that it would be a short-term opportunity and that you would sell out whenever you got a decent offer.
Clearly, the end-game must always be kept forefront as you navigate the highly unforgiving, hyper-competitive global economy and move your business from stage to stage.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."
Excellence At This Function Means You Can Say...
This Golden Function is composed of the following sub-functions and actions — things which must be done to guarantee your success.
See a weak spot or area of interest? Click on the action link to dive in and learn more. There's wealth of information behind each click!
|1.||BCBMMA||Establish/review/improve weekly reporting of status and progress of all business functions and progression toward preset goals.|
|2.||BCBMMN||Establish/review/improve weekly review of all critical business numbers and compare to ideal ratios and goals.|
|1.||BCPJFS||Perform a feasibility study on one new proposal to determine if it is technically possible and if it could be profitable.|
|1.||BCCOFD||Close down business. Get all the professional and personal help needed to make the right decisions to prevent additional loss.|
|2.||BCCOFS||Identify and monitor metrics that relate the optimal size of the company to current and projected income, expenses and profit.|
|3.||BCCOLD||Downsize company expenses and personnel, as soon as possible, to adjust to current level of business.|
|4.||BCCOLV||Get company ready for liquidation to maximize cash from remaining assets.|
|1.||BCDMAP||Discover and practice new strategies for preventing or overcoming "analysis paralysis."|
|2.||BCDMDM||Discover and practice new strategies for making better business decisions.|
|1.||BCEFCF||Research how and where the company's industry will mature and change over the next 5-20 years. Make plans now to get ahead of the curve.|
|2.||BCEFNT||Research local, regional, world-wide trends that may potentially impact the business.|
|1.||BCESBO||Explore the possibility of an employee buy-out of the company.|
|2.||BCESBV||Appraise company current business valuation.|
|3.||BCESIP||Get business ready to take public.|
|4.||BCESSB||Get business ready to sell.|
|5.||BCESSP||Create an official succession plan for replacing ownership and key employees.|
|1.||BCEGBB||Grow business by buying another business. If not now, simulate the process to discover the pros and cons of growing in this manner.|
|2.||BCEGCE||Identify and investigate three new methods/products/customer types/areas of growth/expansion not currently being served.|
|3.||BCEGDI||Review company core strengths and create five scenarios for diversification from current company focus.|
|4.||BCEGEB||Create new branch locations.|
|5.||BCEGEV||Take current company Vision and expand it to the next level.|
|6.||BCEGFB||Purchase a franchise that would supplement current business focus or take advantage of the company's core strengths.|
|7.||BCEGFH||Franchise company business and sell franchises.|
|8.||BCEGJV||Join forces/assets/strengths with another company in a joint venture to achieve more together, than you could alone.|
|9.||BCEGMA||Look for merger/acquisition opportunities that would be smart to do now or smart to do in the next year.|
|10.||BCEGOG||Develop a system to continuously monitor all company functions. Reward what's working. Eliminate what's not working. Immediately.|
|11.||BCEGPS||Partner with another entity, company, person, organization, to achieve a mutual goal.|
|1.||BCSPAD||Compare each function short-term goals to actual performance. Manage and adjust to improve ability to meet goals.|
|2.||BCSPBC||Hire a business consultant to identify and implement recommendation on major business issue.|
|3.||BCSPBP||Review long-term strategic plan for problems and progress. Adjust to current performance, market conditions and new opportunities.|
|4.||BCSPCC||Hire a business coach, mentor, expert to help make major strategic decisions.|
|5.||BCSPMM||Develop and update Business Cycle Management Manual for all business management responsibilities, activities and operations.|