My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – How to Avoid Problems when Growing Rapidly

Business Consultant

How to Avoid Problems When Growing Rapidly

Please take a look at an article I wrote that was just published in the November edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com).  In it, I describe some of the common pitfalls that small companies get trapped into when they begin to grow rapidly.

See the full article on page 11 of the November issue at

https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no10_issue_proof

Some of the key pitfalls are:

  • Manual processes are overwhelmed by sudden increases in sales volumes
  • Using software that only supports a low volume of transactions or a single location
  • Failure to delegate responsibility and supervision
  • Failure to have a good flow of information to maintain the quality of products or services
  • Failure to streamline processes

The bottom line is that companies need to scale processes and technology to support growth.  You can see my page on this at http://apollogr.com/scale-processes-and-technology-to-support-growth/.   So take some time to plan to handle the growth that you are working so hard to achieve.

Bryan B Mason

Apollo Consulting Group

6 Small Flaws in Your Armor That Are Stalling Your Small Business Growth

Operational Improvement

This article has some great advice on overcoming some of the challenges of a growing company.  I especially liked the discussion of growing technology and processes to better control an organization with more employees.  In fact I have an upcoming post on this subject.  In the mean time you can see our information page on scaling processes and technology to support growth.

You can read the full article at:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292061

 

My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – Contractors’ Key to Customer Satisfaction

Satisfaction With Contractors

An article I wrote was just published in the September edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com). In it, I describe the most important action that contractors can take to have satisfied customers.

I have found with the research I have done as a small business consultant that having a contractor do the work when he said is what customers most want.  Customers don’t want their lives disrupted any more than necessary for a renovation and delays kill customer satisfaction.  So what is it that allows contractors to complete projects on time?  It really comes down to estimating and scheduling.

Estimating

I am sure that all contractors try to break down the required tasks and then estimate them accordingly.  Where many contractors fall short is in gathering information during a job and then putting it together at the end.  The most important thing to do is effectively use this information in perfecting their estimating process.

Scheduling

This is the point where most small contractors really drop the ball. They just have lots of challenges in sequencing, resourcing, and identifying dependencies, if they do it at all.  The hardest thing of all is to build in just the right amount of flexibility for potential delays caused by other trades working on the same job.  Without a good schedule that contains all of your existing committed jobs, how can you tell the next prospective customer when you can deliver?  You can’t.  If you do, you are setting yourself up to give your customer a bad customer experience.

As a small business consultant, I can tell you that estimating and scheduling along with solid project management, optimizing workflows and providing a great customer experience are critically important.

So for those contractors that are able to deliver their services when they said they would, they will have given themselves the best chance to satisfy their customers.  Happy customers mean free word of mouth advertising.  This reduces the money you will have to spend on marketing in general and the execution of your marketing plan in particular.

See the full article on page 13 of the September issue at:

https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no8_issue_proof

My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – A Consultant Can Help with Small Business Challenges

Profitability Improvement, Marketing Plans, Operational ImprovementI am very pleased to tell all of you about an article I wrote that was just published in the August edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com).  In it, I describe the initial interaction that a small business owner would go through at the beginning of the process of working with a business consultant.

It usually begins with a phone conversation between the small business owner and the business consultant.  I try to get enough information to be able to develop a questionnaire that I will use at the first meeting.  In that meeting I will try to determine what the needs are in terms of profitability improvement, business strategy, marketing plans, operational improvement, etc.  I need to probe and listen a lot.  I like to recall similar situations from my experience to see if the small business owner can identify with the issue.  This leads me to validate my suspicions about the problem to solve or leads me to more questions.

At the in person meeting, I make a mental list of what the likely problems are – need more customers, improve service, etc.  Then back at my office, I come up with an attack plan where I will outline exactly the steps I will go through and what the deliverables are.  These could be a profit improvement plan, pricing strategy, a marketing plan, a strategic plan, optimized workflows, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, a technology plan or even a project management plan.

Then I return to the client with the action plan and try to gain agreement to begin the paid work.

See the full article on page 13 of the August issue at https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no7_issue_proof or reach out for a reprint.