Nearly every organisation, no matter how large or small, wants to grow their business and make it more valuable. And no matter how hard we work, at some point growth will only be achievable at an affordable cost if there is a step improvement made to either customer demand for the goods or services we sell (eg by improving functionality at a given price and production cost), or the processes by which we sell them (eg identifying better channels to market). Step improvements are rarely achieved, however, through doing “more of the same” – although that is often a good thing in itself; they are usually discovered through stepping back and thinking more about the business’s fundamentals and the world that it trades in.
Similarly, every business, no matter how large or small, has business risks that will need to be managed, which may be latent (like an iceberg “waiting” for the Titanic to take the wrong course) or even active (eg where a competitor is actively trying to steal your customers). Once again, doing more of the same prevents us from thinking critically about what lies just over the horizon, or what others might be planning to do that will hurt our business.
So a well designed and executed Business Review is your best opportunity to work “on the business” rather than in it, and to actively focus on both increasing your growth and managing your risks in a strategic, balanced and sustainable way – which will in turn increase the value of your business.
But smaller businesses have limited capacity and capability, unlike the “top end of town”. This means that they can probably only undertake strategically timed, periodical Business Reviews, which will bring us to answering the question of “When” in our next post in this series.