Company Strength Program 5 – 15 Employees
- Price:15,950 + GST for 2 Participants (66 direct hours)
- Location: At participant’s business location – Lower Mainland
- Program Content: 20 – 90 minute live interactive presentations over approx. 6 months at participant’s pace
- Project Tutorial Time – 36 hours of 1-to-1 via phone/internet or on-premises when coinciding with lectures
- Participants should expect to invest an additional 100 to 120 hours to complete the 18 projects & reading.
- Textbook: ROCK SOLID – How to Strengthen Your Company
- E-Learning: Manuals, examples, articles, videos.
- Travel to and From the Participant’s Place of Business – Depends, range: 10 to 40 hours
The Company Strength Program 5 – 15 is a training program designed for owners and/or managers of companies with 5 to 15 employees – including the owners. Expect a direct application of relevant training. (DART) It’s much more than an academic approach: participants first gain knowledge and then develop their business skills & abilities as they work on 18 projects that directly involve their company. Many entrepreneurs don’t do well in classrooms. They learn best when working with relevant material in their own business environment.
This program is ideally suited for owner/managers facing one of three challenges:
- growth and profits have stalled while frustrations increase – solutions are needed
- the company is facing a rapidly expanding business opportunity and needs to keep up
- major changes are on the horizon: attempting to reach the next level, or new ownership, or stronger competition in the marketplace
A word of caution – participants must learn and do or they will fail. The trainer provides the content and the templates, but does not do the work involved.
The program’s methodology is to introduce new knowledge using a presentation/lecture approach and then blend the knowledge into relevant projects that the participants are responsible for completing. This parallel learn and do approach maximizes the participant’s skill development. The more relevant the projects the better and with this program the projects address the current real-world challenges the participants face as they build their companies to operate profitably, run smoothly, grow, and hire additional employees.
Participants must have access to a computer with Word and Excel available. Skype is optional.
High-Level Core Competencies developed by the Company Strength Program 5 – 15
- The ability to develop, understand and effectively use a complex suite of financial tools for consistent profitability growth. At this stage (5 – 15 employees) the complexity of the numbers and statements increases and very few company owners understand the financial information they do get. The ability to develop systems that deliver pertinent information to the right places in the organization is an even rarer skill set. This ability highly correlates with long term profitability and increased employment levels.
- Learning, building and implementing the innovative Company Accountability Matrix (CA³M) process for the coordination of all of the company’s business activities. This is a proven approach of using establish project management techniques and applying them to the going concern environment of small business. Participants will be able to adjust and adapt the CA³M as their company changes and grows into the future.
- Learning and using a process for efficiently systemizing a company right through to effective delegation and managing managers. Participants will develop the ability to hold effective meetings. They will also design the communication flow throughout their company. As companies reach this stage they need a solid approach to these challenges or symptoms can flourish exponentially. Entrepreneurs bring business ideas to life: in the early stage flexibility is good. As companies grow consistency typically becomes more valuable. There is an old axiom: what got you here, won’t get you there. Training is required for the owner to make the shift.
- The overall core competency developed here is how to connect with and do business with the ideal customers for the company. Understanding the principles of marketing and experience building a marketing plan for an organization with a fair-sized marketing budget and multiple profit centres. Competencies developed include developing social media and digital marketing strategies. Knowing when to use Hunting, Fishing and/or Farming strategies is also critical.
- Develop the suite of three statements: Vision, Mission and Company Promise and implement the Company Promise. Implementing is in effect Change Management in action at this stage of a company’s development. Change Management is experienced as the owners directly strengthen their ability to making positive changes and/or reduce their frustrations.
- Understanding and leading a detailed strategic planning process effectively incorporates key members of the company team. It centers on an annual off-site meeting with subsequent quarterly management meetings. Using the process to develop a strategic plan complete with shorter-term milestones for review at the quarterly meetings.
- Understanding and using a problem-solving methodology that includes relevant team members. There is an old axiom that says: no plan survives contact with the enemy. This competency is more than a written plan: it is developing an ability to tap the right resources to get the desired results. Owners with 5 – 15 employees can easily drown in details as they try to keep up with all the business (as they could when they were solopreneurs) or they can adopt new strategies and train for new personal abilities that efficiently get them the maximum return for their largest expense – wages.
Grading and Certification
There are 18 projects of equal weight. Each will be graded for both quality and implementation.
30% of the total course mark for project quality and 35% of the total course mark for project implementation. They will be graded as they are submitted.
There will also be a final exam worth 35% of the total course mark that covers the business concepts in ROCK SOLID – How to Strengthen Your Company.
The three sets of marks will be compiled into a letter grade and a certificate will be issued.
The Five Main Elements of the Company Strength Program (CSP)
Profitability Growth Practices
Relates to #1 Core Competency above
When owners know how to access good information they make good decisions: when they understand how to assemble great information they build great companies. Most companies typically see their profitability decline at this stage of growth – a deficiency here is a root cause. This is advanced training delivered one-to-one to ensure understanding and implementation.
The trainer took a concentration in accounting during his business degree. Later he started his company from scratch and with his accountant they developed solid financial information systems along with impressive business growth. Later on, after substantial learning and improvement, there was an unsolicited offer to acquire his company. (The industry consolidator bought the top-performing companies across Canada) The financial information systems had to be upgraded yet again to meet the standards of the largest company in BC (the parent company of the consolidator) The trainer has unique first-hand experience with the complete growth cycle of financial information systems. He is also very adept at teaching this skill.
The trainer was also contracted to build the Forecast and Variance Reporting system, templates and standards for Business Training International. The trainer has also worked with hundreds of companies to develop and improve their financial information systems. This has resulted in some very impressive turnarounds. Literally hundreds of people are still employed.
When it comes to financial information systems there is a huge difference between a solopreneur’s requirements and a company with 5 – 15 employees’ requirements.
Specific Learning Objectives & Projects
- A practical understanding of the role of financial information in business success
- Understanding the difference between data and information
- Cash is king, but information means everything. Lots of cash and bad info = less cash
- Understanding the Chart of Accounts
- Adjusting the Chart of Accounts for Profit Centres & Cost Centres – PROJECT
- Determining Run Rates
- Job Costing
- Tracking employee labour hours into Job Costing and/or Profit Centres
- CRM software options
- Filing systems that allow each and every source document to be found under 1 minute
- Margin analysis, identifying the CBFs in the company
- Principle of Accrual Accounting
- Business Model modelling
- Finding Industry Benchmarks
- Developing a Financial Forecast – PROJECT
- Creating Variance Reports
- How to proactively address negative Variances – PROJECT
- Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable processes
- Understanding Leading Indicators
- Understanding Lagging Indicators
- Developing Key Performance Indicators as a management tool – PROJECT
- Understanding the Balance Sheet
- Understanding Balance Sheet Ratios and select a few to monitor
- Understanding Cashflow Statements
- Understanding how amortization/depreciation is calculated
- Developing a working relationship with your accountant
Company Accountability Matrix (CA³M)
Relates to #2 and #3 Core Competency Above
The CA³M is a roadmap for organizing and systemizing entire companies for smooth operations and growth. There are a surprising amount of ‘moving parts’ in any company and the CA³M delivers a proven methodology for monitoring and improving them. It also flags missing pieces that may be required for the company to achieve solid profitable growth – the trainer has developed significant expertise in this area over a 30-year career in business.
Every company has an optimal point for the amount of organization and regulation they can effectively work with. Most entrepreneurs typically see their ability to keep their company organized get swamped somewhere between 5 & 15 employees. The CA³M is a valuable tool for regaining the appropriate balance. The ability to update it and use it to hire and train employees will continue to be useful well into the future.
It also provides a system for systemizing companies.
The projects related to the CA³M and the company’s systems will be graded for both the level of completion and overall quality.
Implementing the CA³M also involves a step-by-step process for effectively delegating accountability and responsibility into the appropriate levels for the company. Typically the largest expense for most companies is human resources: otherwise known as your people. Building a strong, engaged team is a project with valuable returns. Participants will be evaluated on effective delegation and employee performance planning.
The CA³M is a framework for discussion and learning like no other. This is an extremely valuable process when participants connect with a mentor who has successfully travelled their path before. The 6 projects involved take approximately 90 days for the participant to complete, but the result is well worth the effort.
Learning Objectives & Projects
- Read chapters 25 through 30
- Understand how a Company Accountability Matrix works and why they’re beneficial
- Developing an ‘inventory’ of all of the company’s functions – PROJECT
- Determining the Frequency of the functions
- Evaluating the ongoing performance of the functions – PROJECT
- Assess if a function needs a system and or policy
- Develop a systemization strategy for the company
- How to write an effective system and write a minimum of 6 systems – PROJECT
- How to delegate the writing of systems
- Delegating accountability and responsibility – PROJECT
- Following through on delegating accountability and responsibility
- Determining the appropriate communication required for each function – PROJECT
- Ensuring the communication takes place
- Managing managers – a key rampart on the way to a mid-sized company
- How to run effective meetings – what is optimal
- Developing Job Descriptions write at least 2 – PROJECT
- Understanding a Performance Review Process (rearview mirror)
- Understanding a Performance Planning Process (windshield)
- The Theory of Expectation Management: companies are ‘Hubs of Expectations’
BRIDGE Marketing Challenges
Relates to #4 Core Competency above
BRIDGE is a metaphor and an acronym for developing solid marketing plans. To grow companies need to develop effective bridges to their target markets. Each letter represents a challenge or an assignment. BRIDGE Marketing focuses on companies that are already in business. The challenges are not market research related: they primarily focus on finding great customers for existing companies. In that sense, it is practical and appealing to company owners who want to grow and hire more employees. Participants will be evaluated on their work on all six challenges.
Participants will also be evaluated on the marketing program as a whole and the ability of the marketing pieces to attract customers.
It takes training to develop the ability to connect with and do business with the ideal customers. The often hidden difficulty is that it takes groundwork to build the foundation for an effective marketing plan. Shortcuts only work for the precious few: The BRIDGE approach trains business-people on how to use a step by step process that delivers results on a much more consistent basis.
Learning Objectives & Projects
- Read chapter 33 on the BRIDGE Marketing Challenges
- Develop an ideal client profile for Profit Centre 1
- Develop an ideal client profile for Profit Centre 2
- Develop an ideal client profile for Profit Centre 3
- Understanding your prospects Buyers’ Cycle
- Inventory of Benefits with Buy-in for each Profit Centre (Hot buttons) – PROJECT(3)
- Detail prospects’ resistance
- Inventory of ways to initiate contact with prospects for each Profit Centre – PROJECT(3)
- When to use Hunting, Fishing and/or Farming strategies for marketing.
- SEO overview
- Blogging Strategies
- Social Media Strategies
- Paid Digital Advertising overview
- Developing your Sales Cycle to effectively match the prospects’ Buyers’ Cycle
- Principles of showroom design – if applicable
- Draft a Marketing Plan that includes all 3 Profit Centres– PROJECT
- Run a minimum of 6 experiments on tactics to test Return on Investment – PROJECT
- Understand the difference between customer service and customer satisfaction
Relates to #5 Core Competency above
The Company Promise is the missing piece of the Mission, Vision triangle. A Visions Statement describes where you would like the company to be a point in the distant future. A Mission Statement describes what needs to be done to get there. A Company Promise is who the company needs to ‘be’ and how it needs to perform for each and every customer – or the other two are just pipe dreams.
All companies should be designed to profitably deliver value, a Company Promise succinctly describes the value and commits everyone on the team to delivering on it; every customer, every single time. Participants will be evaluated on the quality of their promise and the implementation of it.
Implementing a new Company Promise into an existing organization is difficult. It involves sustained effort and many face-to-face conversations. The concept is easier with new hires and or new hires.
When a Company Promise is aimed at a profitable business opportunity the rest of the business development process can be solved with a mechanical approach. Often a slight adjustment can make a world of difference. People who develop a keen ability to discern profitable business opportunities can build impressive companies even in crowded markets. This is the Keystone Element of the Company Strength Program and the concept was actually developed by the trainer. Nowadays it’s often copied, but rarely duplicated
Learning Objectives & Projects
- Reading chapter 10
- Knowing the Company Promise must be aimed at a profitable business opportunity
- Learning the 4 Bases Analogy for building a profitable company
- Understanding Direct Value
- Understanding Collateral Value
- Develop and implement a Company Promise – PROJECT
- Understanding a Mission Statement
- Understanding a Vision Statement
- Implementing your Company Promise aka Change Management on a medium scale
AR²T of Momentum
Relates to #6 and #7 Core Competency Above
Business Momentum is about long-range planning and problem solving as obstacles are encountered. The AR²T of Momentum is a four-stage process that cycles to deliver consistent traction.
At this stage of a company’s growth, the appropriate members of the team are engaged. It’s a collaborative process that ensures everyone’s head is in the game. Participants will be evaluated on showing the detailed work of their team. The first application being long-range planning and managers should be included.
Participants will also be evaluated on implementing the AR²T of Momentum for problem-solving when issues arise.
This element develops an understanding of a strategic planning process and an effective problem-solving methodology. There is an old axiom that says: no plan survives contact with the enemy. Developing this competency is more than being able to draft a plan: it is the ability to tap resources and take action to get results.
Learning Objectives & Projects
- Read chapters 5 – 7
- Learning & implementing a strategic planning process that involves key people – PROJECT
- Implementing quarterly meetings that focus on the milestones from the strategic plan
- Develop the ability to run effective meetings. Minimum 3 types of meetings
- Learning how to optimize the amount of, and type of meetings the company has
- Understanding the Swedish concept of lagom
- Understanding the – Avoid, Blame, Defend, Run, Manage, Build, Design – gradient
- Understand the 4 steps of the AR²T of Momentum
- Understanding the 2 million dollar questions that ensure the process excels
- Use the AR²T of Momentum for a one-year timeframe
- Use the AR²T of Momentum on two current business challenges – PROJECT(2)
- Set & run a series of 8-12 TRaction meetings with a defined objective – PROJECT
- TRaction = Towards Results action