Use Help to Find Revenue Growth Opportunities Within the Organization

by Mike Starling

Leadership challenge:

In the trying economic times of 2012-2013, the natural tendency for a family owned business would have been to hunker down and just try to maintain the status quo. Some enlightened companies might even target revenue growth with aggressive sales plans.

But what if you could grow revenue without growing the top line?

Possible? Yes. How? It starts with businesses management! At all levels!

Management - look inside your organization
Management - be honest with yourself
Management - identify your weak links
Management - seek help

All too often the natural tendency of family owned businesses is to think that:

Business survival = sales growth.
Business survival = pushing the revenue lever full tilt forward.
Business survival = emulating the big boys of the industry segment.

While growing revenue is extremely important, it should be done as part of a well balanced strategy. A strategy in which the baseline benchmarks for your company are clearly identified. A strategy in which the underlying processes that contribute to an effective cash flow strategy are monitored on a daily basis to insure operation within tolerances. But many young companies often fail to look inward to find the hidden cash for cash flow improvement opportunities.

Finding ways to improve operating cash flow from within is the key to increasing revenue without increasing sales. What are the biggest impediments to making this happen?

  • • Lack of experience or expertise of both business and front line management
  • • Acceptance of mediocre performance as standard business practice
  • • Failure to recognize flawed processes within the broader context of the organization
  • • Piss poor process execution compared to industry benchmarks and competition

What is the answer?

Get a second opinion!!! And do not rely on a financial firm to provide you with a realistic operational assessment!!!

Look for an operationally experienced resource with the financial savvy to provide a realistic assessment and a reality-based recommendation that you can relate to.

Bring in an outsider for a cursory assessment of your current operations. Then study, understand, and think about the impact of potential operational and managerial change possibilities on your operational cash flow results!

Think about it real hard!

If this costs a few bucks, so be it! The ROI results will far outweigh the cost of this investment in your future. Use this unbiased second set of eyes to point out the obvious (but often overlooked) flaws, warts, and hiccups you have come to accept as normal practice. Business as usual. Status quo operations.

Understand how your organization measures up when compared to similar organizations within your industry segment. Get a feel for the effort and timing of what it would take to close the gap on the competition, or just get yourself up to industry status quo.

Do it right and you can increase operating cash flow without increasing sales. Or better yet, you may find that you can do both simultaneously with a little practice...and some help from a good supply chain coach.

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