Management Consulting Services
Assessment of business problems and strengths:
Free Preliminary Analysis: As an Accredited Executive Associate of the Institute for Independent Business, Kenneth C. Halkin has committed a number of hours each month to conducting free meetings with business owners/operators to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their business operations, diagnose problems and recommend solutions. These no cost sessions can last anywhere from one to three hours at the business owners/operators discretion. Mr. Halkin also offers these free sessions to non-profit organizations.
In-depth Analysis: An in depth analysis may include certain targeted areas of a business or a comprehensive 65 point inventory of the entire business enterprise.
Business Support Program (BSP):
The flagship program developed by The Institute for Independent Business is the Business Support Program. Following an initial free assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a business enterprise, agreement may be reached on areas in which the owner /operator requests additional assistance. A contract is established specifying the specific activities which will occur over a designated period of time, ( normally 12 months), to address each of the identified areas for business performance improvement. The consultant dedicates a pre-determined number of hours each week to working with the owner/operator and key staff to accomplish the established goals.
Ongoing Management Support Services:
Small businesses and many non-profit organizations often do not have the resources to hire full-time management staff representing all of the areas of expertise key to supporting a successful and growing enterprise. Nor do they necessarily need full-time access to each area of expertise. Usually it is more cost effective to have access to outside business experts on an as needed basis. Having an ongoing relationship with regularly scheduled access to an advisor who knows your business or non-profit organization and who has the support of a network of over 3500 senior business advisors covering every imaginable area of expertise, assures that you will get personalized services tailored to your business needs. A Business Support Program (BSP) contract can be extended beyond the initial one year term to provide such ongoing support.
Just as every athlete needs a coach, so does every executive level manager/business owner. The greatest athletes are the ones who have learned to make best use of their coach’s time and expertise. Those of us who have been there, know that it is lonely at the top and there is often no where to turn for objective advice. A coach can provide you with objective observations and insights to your own performance, which as an executive manager may not be available to you through other sources. Dedicating regularly scheduled time to this process is critical to ongoing professional development and ongoing success.
Exit / Succession Planning:
If you own your own business, at some point you will want to retire, at least from the full-time management of the business. Ideally the business that you have worked so hard to build and sustain should become the means by which you are able to retire in comfort and financial security. You may choose to sell your business, keep your business and turn over the day-to day management to somebody who is properly prepared to run it as you would, or perhaps sell off a share of the business to somebody who will run it. Whichever the case, you need to have a plan that fits your personal and financial goals and will maximize your post-retirement financial situation. It is never too early to start planning.
Other Services Which May Be Included in a Business Support Arrangement Are:
- Fiscal Systems Development: One particularly critical area of organizational development is fiscal systems. New organizations may start out small enough to have very simple systems which can be managed by a single person. As the business or organization grows, so too must the capacity and sophistication of the fiscal systems. Allow us to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of your financial systems and recommend improvements, as necessary.
- Cash Flow Management: Problems with cash flow may be a result of problems in the management of receivables and/or payables; and/or may indicate a need to raise capital; and/or may be a symptom of a deeper problem with the organization’s overall profitability. Allow an expert to help you to properly diagnose the source of your cash flow problems and implement the necessary solutions.
- Marketing/Advertising/Sales: Effective marketing starts with understanding the business that you are in and the needs of your customers… making sure that the products and services that you offer are current and are meeting those needs. From there, it comes down to how you package, price, advertise, position and sell your product. To remain successful, an organization must continuously re-evaluate all of these parameters and adjust it’s strategies.
- Management Training: Most managers in small businesses and non-profit organizations are not professionally trained to manage. Management knowledge and skills do not come naturally to most people. Invest in yourself and your management team to develop the necessary skills and practices to remain effective.
- Business Plan Development: All new enterprises, however large or small, must have a business plan to succeed. Banks and other lenders and/or investors will require a business plan. However, even if you are not pursuing outside financing it is critical to have a business plan to serve as your roadmap to success. A sound, well constructed initial business becomes the foundation upon which any successful business builds its ongoing strategic planning process.
- Strategic Planning: An initial business plan lays out the financial, operational and marketing strategies for a new enterprise. A well developed business plan will get an organization off to a good start. To remain successful through changing conditions and markets all successful enterprises engage in ongoing strategic planning. Strategic planning involves staying in constant touch with the organizations strengths and weaknesses and its position in an ever changing external environment. Based upon this understanding, opportunities are identified and potential problems averted. Goals and objectives are set with strategies for attaining those goals and specific activities to achieve objectives. Measures are established to define and monitor success. Roles and responsibilities are clearly assigned providing accountability for carrying out activities and achieving the desired results.
- Mergers, Acquisitions and other forms of Corporate Affiliations: Whether yours is a private company or a non-profit organization, at some point you may be approached about a corporate affiliation or may conclude that such an affiliation is worth exploring. This is the time to bring in your Attorney, your Accountant and a good management advisor with significant experience, such as ours, in evaluating such propositions.
- Organizational Management and Planning: Planning for success usually means planning for growth. Achieving growth in revenues, without the necessary internal management and administrative infrastructure to support the increase in activity can spell disaster. Failure to plan for and develop internal capacity typically leads to decreasing profit margins, loss of operational control, customer dissatisfaction, employee and management burnout and high turnover. Rapid growth or sustained growth is a positive thing when accompanied by planned organizational development to support that growth.
- Human Resources Management: Whether you employ 5 people or 500, there are certain federal and state laws and regulations which govern that employment. It is important to not only be familiar with the applicable laws and regulations but to have written policies, procedures and systems in place to assure universal compliance with those laws. Beyond the legal issues, your employees are likely your organization’s most valuable asset when it comes to delivering quality products and services to your customers. Customer satisfaction is more likely to be driven by the quality of your employees than any other single factor. Having the know-how and systems to hire the right people, properly orient and train and motivate your staff and to retain your best people is critical to your overall success.
- Labor Relations: Those businesses which have unionized workforces must not only have competent Labor Attorneys, but must have knowledge and expertise in managing in a unionized environment. Those who are not presently unionized, but are in industries represented by labor unions must be aware of the process of how labor unions organize workers and the reasons workers often turn to labor organizations to represent them.
- Time and Stress Management: Poor time management leads to stress. Lack of stress management leads to poor time management and ill effects on health. It’s a vicious cycle that can sneak up on you and decrease your effectiveness as a manager. Breaking out of the time trap can seem impossible without outside help. It’s a never ending a battle that requires constant attention. Learn how to delegate and how to work on your business and not in your business.
- Quality Management/Improvement: Quality improvement is critical to customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, worker and customer safety and profitability. In many industries, it is a requirement for licensure, certification and/or accreditation. The IIB network has experts in just about every conceivable area of Quality Management.
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