Apart from all the questions, storytelling was the topic of discussion at our KPMG Private enterprise, Go-Global event in Drogheda.
It is a topic close to my heart. Here are a few blogs I wrote about the subject:
How many believe your story?
One of the participants pointed out that the purpose of a business is to make money, not to tell a story and that most staff members or customers don’t care. In fact, most staff members would need a bucket when they hear the corporate spin. The question is how many of your staff believe your story (if you even have one).
Culture is marketing?
If you believe that culture is marketing (and I do), read “Fusion“, it opens a whole avenue for discussion. We did, and we didn’t.
Because, when you sit with over 40 CEOs and owner-managers, there are so many other topics are of interest to discuss. For example:
- Do you built a business with an exit in mind, and when you do exit, do you know that you are no longer in control. Remember rule 1 and 2. Rule 1: Remember who acquired who Rule 2: Revert to rule 1.
- Is continues improvement not another way of saying that you don’t know what you are doing?
- Do you know why you are different?
- How do you scale a service?
- What replicable engine are you building?
- What is the IP?
- What is core to your business and what isn’t?
- What can you outsource and how do you still ensure cultural alignment?
Analysing your clients
Have you analysed who are your good clients and your bad (or not so good clients)? Do you fire them? Two companies in the room did. One company found that 50% of the clients were only 2% of the turnover. So now they segment on deal size.
They also overhauled their distribution and sales channels from agents and distributors to a model where they manage all sales directly. That was after an exercise where they did go back to the core of their business (mission, vision, purpose) and decided they want to go to a 100 million turn over. Now there is a story.
Another participant talked about the importance to have your people in other counties you are exporting to ensure that the same story, culture, branding, way of working remains consistent.
Know your numbers
Metrics and ratios are important. Knowing your sales per staff, debtor days (way too long in Ireland), capacity ratios, cash ratios, but also simple financial literacy. Pro-active financial management and if you are looking for substantial finance, do yourself a favour and employ an advisor. Take it serious.
Particularly getting paid on time became a topic. The average time to get paid in Ireland is now 59 days according to ISME. Owner managers are constantly trying to get paid so they can pay their bills and their staff, which leaves very little room for expansion or new ideas. Let alone think about climate change as a factor. With all reserves depleted because of the last recession.
With the possibility of the business failing and you paying a high price (financially, mentally en physically). It is tough out there. But you are not alone. That is why we organised these types of events. There is a lot of expertise in your network, and there are lots of people willing to help.
The next one is in Sligo on the 29th of May. Contact me if you want an invite.
If you want to get an impression of the event, go here: