Q: Can you help me prepare a business plan?
A: Absolutely. Together with your knowledge of your businesses operations and environment, combined with my solid understanding of the process and business skills, we can prepare a strategic business plan that will include goals and objectives in each of the functional areas of your business.
Q. Can you write a business plan for me?
A: I can certainly document a plan for you with your involvement. This is your company’s future, so you need to be involved in all aspects of the plan. As well as in the making the key decisions, the setting of action items, and identification of completion timelines.
Q: How long will it take to prepare a business plan?
A: A plan can be prepared in a number of different ways, which will determine the length of time. What is most important is not take too long to ensure continuity with decision-making. One option is to lead a two or three-day retreat with your key employees/managers and map out the major steps of a plan. However, with your day-to-day involvement in your business operations, meeting once a week over a multiple week period seems to work best for most.
Q: How much time will I have to spend on a business plan?
A: That will depend on your objectives. You must remember this is your business plan and you need to make the decisions about your business. More specifically, with you providing me the historical and past financial results for your company, I will guide you through the process and prepare the necessary agendas and documentation following our interactions. The time you will need to spend will be any meeting time and what you feel necessary to reach the key business decisions you need to make.
Q: I’m just starting my business, what do I need to know?
A: When starting a business you are in a great position to administer the tools and practices to ensure success. In short, you need to know what your sales revenues are, what your costs are, and that you are making a profit after you have paid yourself and all your business’s expenses.
Q: Can you show me what my most profitable services/product/clients are?
A: Yes. If you have collected the necessary financial information for those services/products/clients. If not, I can perform a preliminary analysis based on your knowledge of these areas. Also, if the information is not readily available, we can identify how you can reorganize your accounting system to begin collecting the right information to enable that analysis going forward.
Q: I have to make some key decisions in the near future and I would like to have someone to bounce ideas off and provide assistance in reviewing the key issues. Are you able to help me?
A: I would be glad to assist you in examining your issues and exploring options. Including analysis either from a strategic, operational, or financial perspective, or all of these.
Issues can include:
- any management issues
- succession planning
- organizational design
- process evaluation & re-design
- operational efficiency
Q: I want to increase my profitability by __%, what do I need to do?
A: There are a number of things to consider when looking at profitability.
- What are the Gross Margins (profit) you are attaining with the products or services you are selling? There are only two ways to increase product/service gross margins, which is by raising the price you sell it for or reducing the cost of its manufacture/purchase. If the market is highly competitive, then price reduction may not be a viable option so you will need to reduce their costs.
- Once you know your aggregate Gross Margins you need to understand what your overheads are and if you are producing enough margin to cover those costs. The only way to improve profitability here is to reduce your costs – lower rent, lower administration costs, etc.
Q: How much will an assignment cost and what will the return on investment be?
A: The cost will depend on the complexity, depth, and the number areas that need to be reviewed, however after a preliminary meeting, a proposal will be prepared outlining the scope of work that we agree on along with a cost for the project.
Q: I want to retire soon; can you help me with succession planning?
A: Yes I can assist you with succession planning by looking at the various options open to you that will enable you to retire. Whether that is passing on/selling ownership to a member of the family or an associate, determining the value of the business and getting it ready for sale, or any other options you might be considering.