Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Well Above Average

From time I do some high-level consulting for small businesses, aimed at helping them identify some of their problems and hopefully even suggesting some solutions.
In my “Way Forward” package, I spend a few hours with the entrepreneur and ask a lot of questions. Together we identify what’s working and not. I usually write up a short report based on that conversation and a bit of extra thinking, and the entrepreneur is then free to act on my observations – or not.
The good news is that the entrepreneur I met with today really has his act together. For the first time in the five years that I've been doing these fixed-price sessions, there were more things he is doing right than doing wrong.

I won't be too specific here, but I was impressed with his vision, the way his company innovates at all parts of the better service/better product/lower price continuum, and with his ability to execute. He seems particularly good at hiring great people and giving the tools and processes they need to succeed.
The weak spots we discussed are the same ones that businesses face: the need to better articulate his value proposition; opportunities to overhaul the pricing model (and that doesn't necessarily mean lowering prices!); improving marketing communications; and redesigning the website. He may not be able to fix all those things at once, but he now has a roadmap for moving forward and some ideas how to do it.

In the end, we spent most of the conversation talking about the weak spots in his business plan. But I made sure he got positive feedback that he is doing a lot of things right. It was a real pleasure for me to deliver that opinion.

1 comment:

Subhakar Rao said...

Very informative article and which will definitely motivate new readers of your blog.