FocusFive: Case Studies
Case Study: Family-owned Manufacturing Company
A manufacturing company, which produces metal fabricated products for local authorities, property developers and individual households. It is a family-owned business which has been running for 40 years. It is currently run by 2 older and 2 younger members of the family, with a further 7 employees.
The company was facing a number of challenges, including:
- Addressing the retirement needs of the older family owners
- Succession planning for the younger family owners
- Putting in place a sustainable business plan, including client service, business development and marketing strategies
- Securing new industrial accommodation to provide efficiencies and to ensure health and safety compliance
- Improving the quality and consistency of their products
- Developing the pricing strategy.
I prioritised the work with my Client, putting in place an agreed SMART plan which addressed each of the challenges, over the course of 6 months.
- Securing new industrial accommodation, putting the business onto a more sustainable longer-term footing
- A hybrid buy-out/pension pay-out programme taken from annual profits which enabled the retiring family owners to step back from the business and the younger family owners to take over responsibility for running the business
- A sustainable business plan, with short-term tactical goals and longer-term strategic objectives with key performance indicators. Key elements of this included undertaking competitor analysis, overhauling the marketing strategy and developing one of the family owners to take responsibility for the client service and business development aspects for each client segment
- A robust pricing strategy for each client segment, armed with the detailed understanding of costings, required margins and competitor pricing
- Quality control processes to ensure consistency in quality of manufacture versus competition.
The company has now moved to its new premises, secured at a reduced rent, and taken a longer term lease with a break clause, with space that better meets their needs, is efficient and compliant with health and safety legislation. The financial arrangements have been agreed between the owners regarding the succession planning and hybrid pension payouts. The older family owners have retired and the younger family members have taken over and engaged with all staff regarding the future plans. We have put in place the businesss plan, pricing strategy and quality control process and I am now retained to help coach the owners and address specific matters as they arise.
Case Study: Professional Services Company
A Professional Services company, set up 2 years ago, by an individual with 10 years’ experience in their field. The company has grown to include a team of 9 colleagues, some of whom are relatively inexperienced.
Initially, the owner asked me to develop her business plan, in particular the client service proposition and the marketing strategy. However, I identified a further need – the team relied on the owner for making decisions regarding every aspect of the business, which was unsustainable. We therefore agreed that I should also be retained to help her put a team structure into place, to coach her and to mentor her team.
I worked with the owner to develop a series of SMART plans:
- The owner and I engaged with the whole team, and each team member individually, to identify and prioritise all issues and challenges
- With the team’s input, we put in place a team structure which enabled individuals to play to their strengths and interests. It also allowed delegation of decision making, in order to free up the owner’s time
- A programme of training classes, conferences and seminars were undertaken to help build the skill and knowledge set within the team
- I coached the owner to help her trust her team and to focus on the key issues
- I worked across the business in developing the business plan so that all parties were aligned to the objectives of the business
- An individual was appointed to develop and implement the marketing strategy, and an outsourced agency was retained to support this initiative
- We agreed that the owner would take on the responsibility for client management and business development, which played to her strengths.
The business has grown strongly and is on a much more sustainable footing, with a clear vision and an engaged, motivated workforce. I am retained to work for the business 2 days a month, where we monitor progress against the business plan and key performance indicators. I continue to coach the owner, and mentor individuals, as needs arise.