Tag: goalsSubscribe 70 Posts
I often wondered whether business management theory reflects the practical realities today. Do businesses really succeed because they have the right product at the right time? Can businesses succeed in spite of market conditions? More importantly, how much of business success is luck, and how much is good management?
I believe I merged successfully in 2009 with my current business partner. At the same time, we saw another operation go through a similar merge, but their approach led to confusion, resentment and eventual break up. While every merger has its problems, we approached it with our eyes open, having scoped each other out for years. We also addressed issues before or as soon as they arose to minimise damage. We actually benefited from lessons learned but freely admit we made plenty of mistakes in the process. A merger is not an acquisition; it is a full consolidation of two previously separate small businesses. A true merger in the legal sense occurs is when both businesses dissolve and fold their assets and liabilities into a newly created third entity. This entails the creation of a new business. Dos Do take your time to get to know the other business owner(s), their personalities, and commitment for the future. Do your due diligence; checking to make certain there are no hidden pitfalls is essential. Professional help is advised, but here are the main areas that should be covered: 3 reviews of financials history of the business description of how the business operates details of any debt employee contracts and liabilities property leases, fixtures and fittings customer files any other documents which are pertinent to the smooth operation of the business Even though there aren't a lot of people who enjoy reading financial statements, it is essential to review them, as you will be taking on any liabilities or issues that pop up later. Do understand that the initial stage of a merger generally takes 3 to 9 months. Do accept that mergers can damage your own business performance because of time spent on the deal and a mood of uncertainty. Keep an eye on customer service, as it is far easier to retain an existing client than acquire new ones. Do realise the real work of making this merger successful has just begun when you sign the agreement. Do expect an initial lack of productivity and some teething problems with employees and workplace issues. Do provide a consistent message to staff from the top down to both sides simultaneously. Do have consistent accountability and compensation throughout the business for similar positions. Do develop new ways of organising the business to help bridge the different cultures through negotiation, and explore new best practice solutions. Do stay positive, and display confidence in the merger in front of clients and staff. Don’ts Don’t rush it, but also don’t let the process get too drawn out. Don’t be afraid to walk away. In the majority of cases, several meetings among the business owners and lawyers will be essential to figure out all the details. Don’t merge if the benefits are one-sided or if either side is going to be disgruntled. Address inequalities early in the negotiation. Don’t let third parties push you too hard to finalise the merger just to earn their fee. It is of critical importance that employees don’t learn about the merger from other sources—let them know early on, keep them updated and give them plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Don’t take it personally if some staff leave, as often a few people will leave after a merger. They may have been looking for a reason to go, and the merger was the trigger. See it as part of the merger process, and be prepared. Don’t expect productivity to rise immediately; in fact, expect it to drop off a little. Set short-term milestones to achieve. Don’t force staff to interact, but do plan a variety of different ways for the groups to get to know each other. Have I put you off the idea? Growth of any type usually isn't easy. Giving up full control can be hard, but with patience and persistence, the benefits to both parties are tremendous. Planning is essential; follow a defined plan. The process should be discussed, agreed and reviewed as it progresses. Have you got any war stories or tips for others? Please share them. Liam Shorte | Principal of NextGen Wealth Solutions
Mahe Drysdale sometimes cut a lonely figure on the water as he rowed his way to Olympic Gold at Eton Dorney. As he competed for the medal you could see the focus, the commitment, and imagine the hours of personal training and sacrifice that it took to put him on top of the rowing world. But as he and the rest of the Kiwi Olympic team have been quick to acknowledge, every aspect of their medal winning performances, personal bests and record setting times have been as the result of a carefully developed plan, years of investment and a significant support network. If as a business owner you are running a hard race, out there on your own on the course, digging in hard to make your way to a distant finish, there are some lessons you can apply from our rowing team’s success at the Olympics. 1. Have a strategy – and set short term goals Since illness saw Mahe score an impressive – but for him disappointing – bronze at the Beijing Olympics he has been planning to win gold in London. Along the way he has performed well in championship meets around the world. From the outset of this regatta, Mahe has clearly came out with a game plan and stuck to it. Both short and long term planning have been vital to achieving his goals, allowing him to manage each step along the road to the gold medal, while overcoming each challenge as it was presented. 2. Get your systems in place before you head out As Team GB demonstrated in the lightweight men’s double skulls, a systems failure can cost you a win. And in business, unlike in their race, there’s not always the opportunity of a restart to get you back in the running. Preparing your systems and operation for the stresses and challenges of competition is extremely important. 3. Identify the talent that will take you across the line Rowing New Zealand’s development programme has really paid off at the London Olympics, with a mixture of established and developing athletes showing well at the regatta. For any employer, finding the right talent is vitally important for business success. And like the Kiwis, you are looking for a combination of the right skills and a winning attitude to ensure your team is as productive as possible. 4. Know your opposition – and how to beat them Mahe Drysdale is a master of psychology. Right from the first heat he has dominated his pool, giving the opposition a mental mountain to climb if they wanted to beat him. In any competitive activity, understanding what motivates other teams, where their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they are likely to bring to the race is vitally important. At the same time, like Mahe, you are often the most successful if you run your own race, leaving others to follow your winning example. 5. Invest wisely – and focus that investment on development The $20 million Rowing NZ has invested in the development of the sport, and the support of key sponsors like BankLink, has been paid back in gold at these Olympics. With sport now such big business, these organisations are taking a very strategic view of investment – creating a model businesses of all sizes can follow. They set clear performance targets, and invest in training, personal development, systems and equipment in order to ensure each individual has the best chance of success on race day. 6. Find the right coach Struggling with nerves before the race, Mahe Drysdale said he recalled the words of Murray Halberg: “He said I've just got to beat 12 scared men, and that was some pretty good advice, because you're going through the ringer and you know all your competitors are probably doing a similar thing." The right inspiration at the right time – particularly from someone with real experience of what you are going through – coupled with expert support from people you trust can make the difference between success and failure. 7. Stick to the plan – even when times are tough Struck down with the flu in Beijing, Mahe rowed one of the gutsiest races in New Zealand sporting history. And with the weight of the country’s expectations on his shoulders before the race, the Olympian confesses he didn’t feel much better. But when racing, all the training, all the hours of expectation and the clear and concise plan set out by coach Dick Tonks, to ‘just get out in front and hold on’, paid dividends. As Mahe told New Zealand media after the race: "I had a dream 12 years ago I wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist. It has been a tough road and it has taken me three Olympics to get it but it just shows you can achieve your dream if you work your butt off." In business, having commitment, skills and drive is important, but equally so is having a dream and the passion to see it through. And you should know that, as someone who contributes to the well-being and prosperity of our country, that there are 4 million plus Kiwis who are proud of what you do and inspired by what you achieve. Julian Smith | General Manager – MYOB
Did you set out to achieve some key goals in your business this year? Maybe you set some aims at the beginning of the financial year or maybe at the beginning of this year. Whatever the case, the end of the Australian financial year is looming. How are you tracking to your targets? As June 30 approaches, so does colder weather, shorter days and for many people, bouts or various lurgies. So how do you stay motivated – or regain it if it’s already in hibernation?
Self-help books are extremely popular. They’re a great friend of New Year resolutions, but with so much help around it’s a wonder that there is still so much help needed. Turns out a lot of these publications and workshop handouts become what’s termed in the industry as ‘shelf help’ books. That’s because people buy them, collect them and then store them... never to look at them again.
Where do you get inspiration from? Over the course of running my Grateful in April campaign, I’ve been inspired (and humbled) daily by the thoughts, expressions and honesty of the people taking part. People are unbelievably grateful for everyday things that most of us take for granted. How often are you thankful for the legs and feet that carry you around? For being able to access clean drinking water and fresh food? Being able to operate your business in a country that enforces transparency? For your own health and wellbeing – and that of your family and friends?