I was fascinated to read about the journey by Alan Kohler in National Australia Bank Business View about his rise and rise to ultimate exit point of his capital in the business known as “The Eureka Report”.
What struck me were the core themes running through his business success alongside his other stakeholders:
- They targeted a specific market and attacked it in a very strategic way.
- They worked every day according to a fundamental principle: “the customer is right and you must deliver quality first”.
- They only sought and retained the best people for their business including cultural fit.
- They had an absolute focus on costs to deliver their end product at all times.
- By careful management they ensured loyalty and engagement with their customers, including the pricing policy.
- They exercised management discipline around each aspect of the business to keep it on track.
As a result they achieved a capital exit by the stakeholders by sale to a large public company which gave them access to greater opportunities and achieved their goals.
They also joined in a strategic alliance with a boutique service provider to enhance the customer offering and technology base.
These are the key points for any business with a plan.
As advisors to business owners in similar journeys we see many different outcomes and they are largely due to these fundamental principles either done well or done poorly. We are constantly helping out clients with planning, with the end in mind, and regularly review their internal strategy.
Our role is far more powerful when we act as a strategic partner to facilitate change in a business to build value for the owner over time.
This might be securing a trademark to build goodwill, rigorously checking terms and conditions to ensure recovery of sales or checklist by due diligence the legal strengths and weakness of a business.
Ultimately these things will determine if stakeholders achieve their goal of sale of a business and ensure that if they do their exit price is multiplied.
This is really the fun part of what we do as it means our clients are more aware of the risks and connected to the end goal from an earlier time.
While we won’t be here forever, good planning means great outcomes.
I love reading about business success stories like Alan Kohler as they inspire me to make changes and to refine the plan my own business.
Although our personal ambitions may be modest it is the satisfaction in achieving even small goals that makes life fulfilling as a business owner.