I spend considerable time (At Relativity as well as mentoring outside) to enable Founders, Entrepreneurs, and Business owners to be financially successful. Wearing multiple hats is truly an essential skill and great owners do this well. Today, a successful owner is one who thrives in this multidisciplinary, demanding, multi-hatted role.
Having said that, it is essential to know the path to a self-sustainable and profitable venture/business. Let’s do a quick contextual understanding:
- Leader/owner driven, at the top of the organization
- Measured by share – either market, employee size or turnover/profits
- Human Resources considered as producers
- Leaders driven (as a team), in the center of the organization
- Measured by Impact – No. of problems solved, customer successes, processes eased, or time saved
- People are not just resources and people considered as co-creators or value creators.
The above says quite much and reinforces the fact that if a business needs to be sustainable and profitable, as business owners we have 8 areas to attend to, grouped into 4 common business functions. There may be more depending on the type of a specific business but certainly, these are the bare minimums.
Notes in detail :
Human Resources | Future of Work
“AI and Robotics will create more jobs, not mass unemployment – as long as we responsibly guide innovation” – World Economic Forum
- The need to have automated, integrated systems is now a need than a want
- Redefining competencies & reskilling our people will be integral to the organizational growth
- We will be responsible for value, creation, innovation whereas intelligent machines shall dominate economic value, productivity, precision at scale.
I would say The Future of work is exciting, not scary. Depending on the size of your business and the business purpose, it is necessary that we start adopting practices enabling us towards the Future of work.
Even if it is a small step, does count a long way.
Human Resources | Alignment to Millennials
“By 2025, 55% of the workforce will be Millennials” – Gallup Research
- Millennials are driven by Purpose, Values, Beliefs, Vision and Challenges
- Highly engaged millennials will do wonders help business go above and beyond
- As much as they love purpose, they love perks, flexibility and wealth
Having said this, every company regardless of its size, has to undergo transformational change to manage such a dynamic workforce. Do you have this thought process? Are your 2nd line leaders ready to work with such diversity? Does your workplace ecosystem support this?
Let’s be a part of this change. For Better.
Finance | Budgeting
“A Budget is telling your money Where to go instead of wondering Where it went” – Dave Ramsey
- To create exceptional profits and long-term value, Budgeting and forecasting are foundations to any business – Small, Large and In between
- Budgeting is not only just writing down expenses but also planning the next steps in your organization, involving the right people. This ensures alignment from top to bottom.
- Create and Review are the two key “verbs” in budgeting. Budget not only expenses but also income or sales, people, assets and liabilities.
Lot has been said. Let’s get down to budgeting now
Finance | Managing Risks
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing” – Warren Buffet
“Risk is like Fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled it will rise up and destroy you” – Theodore Roosevelt
- We all know there is risk. A person who is prepared to handle such risks is more likely to either Win or Loose less than the one who isn’t prepared. Awareness is the key. Companies vanish or business owners loose because they were ill-prepared.
- Risks fundamentally are of 2 types – Financial Risks and Business Risks. The key is to start with identifying 3-5 core risks in each of them and prepare a continuity or a contingency plan, giving the owners the confidence to continue moving forward.
I manage risks. Do you?
Marketing & Sales | Marketing Strategy + Alignment
“Marketing Strategy is a series of integrated actions leading to a sustainable competitive advantage” – John Sculley
- Have you seen this 1.42 Minute video about ZMOT? If not, see it NOW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g40rrWBx2ok . In those 112 seconds, you can understand what influences the consumer’s decision to buy.
- Understanding how our buyers behave & knowing how to reach there is one thing but actually doing it is a completely different science. Unless we do something different & fast, we will be outrun by our competition. [ If you don’t have competition, you shouldn’t be reading this article at all ]
- As much as Sales is important so much so is Marketing in today’s day & age. While this can be done, what’s critical is the alignment of Marketing & Sales so that they complement each other & contribute to the overall growth of the business (not just sales).
- Choosing channels that work and ensuring consistency is key to long-term success. It could be offline, online, Omni-channel, story-telling, content-driven, influencer marketing, etc, etc but if our M & S are not aligned, I am sure you are not going to like the result.
Buckle up, it’s a roller coaster ride ahead!
Executive Management | Customer Collaboration
“We rise by lifting others” – Robert Ingersol
- When we talk about sustainability, co-creation, value, impact and such jargons, it is impossible without customer collaboration.
- Whether with one customer or a segment of customers, collaboration is essential to sustainability and growth. There is no one better than the business owner or entrepreneur to kick-start this & drive it top down.
- This is not a mere thought process, but a system of feedback loops, organizational culture, accountability and innovation done keeping our customers in the center.
Are we doing this right?
Executive Management | Business Mentor / Advisory Board
“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result” – Bob Proctor
- Executives report to team leads. Team leads report to the manager. Manager reports to Director, Director in-turn reports to the Business owner. OK. To whom does the Business Owner report to? Who asks him questions? Who is the owner answerable to?
- It’s fair to say, most of us don’t know everything. We know, but not everything. Great. Who’s guiding us on the stuff we don’t know about?
- An advisory board ensures accountability of the business owner, the right contacts, connections and the wisdom we sometimes need. The advisory board are those 2-4 people who truly care for you, believe in your vision, share the same values of your organization and have reputable stuff in the past. Their guidance can make quite a lot of difference!
You can invite your friends and family, but not to the Advisory board!
Well, that’s quite lots of stuff to think and act upon. While we have discussed the broad functions, what has to be done in each of the discussed function depends on factors relevant to your business & situation.
This is what I have in mind & I would love to know what you think or what you would do as important. Please do post your comments below and I would love to know what you are doing or going to do.
Cheers – Akash Mahagaonkar
About the Authour: Akash Mahagaonkar is the Director & Head of Operations & Business Development with Relativity Management Solutions India Pvt Ltd, responsible for Relativity’s overall service delivery. He is also a mentor with various institutions such as NEN, TiE, etc and helps companies and entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. Akash is also a noted speaker in areas of Finance, Taxation, Small business compliance and the like. With over 12 years of experience, he still says he has to learn more. You can connect with Akash on LinkedIn here.