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Bob Brown  

Bob has been providing practical help to clients running their own business for over 20 years to drive business growth, prepare for exit or succession, secure competitive advantage and improve efficiency. 

Bob is an experienced director, general manager with specialist experience in sales, marketing and the IT Industry sector. He has run his own consultancy business for 10 years so understands the opportunities and demands facing an owner manager. 

Based in Worcester area, covering the area both sides of the M5 from Bromsgrove in the north to the M50 in the south.

Bob is organising a FREE seminar on 26th March 2014 for local businesses and their spouses in the Worcestershire area, who are considering selling their business within 3-5 years. Click here for more event information.

Contact Bob on 07940 526801 or 01684 585218, or email him.

You can read Bob’s full profile here

Considering selling your business? Download Seminar presentations (26th March 2014) here 

Testimonials

 

'Three weeks into starting my first business, I sat down with Bob to get his insight into my strategy. The advice, expertise and observations have proved invaluable to me. I re-thought my entire strategy and approach based on that meeting and have seen results already based on Bob's help. 
Thank you so much!

Tom Ludwig - Managing Director at Solar Sentry 

 

'Working with Bob gives me much more confidence that when I do retire, I will be leaving a thriving and successful business with a great future '

Mark Parsons - Managing Director of IRS Limited 

 

'Bob has an exceptionally fine and clear mind. Perhaps it's his logical scientific background that allows him to get quickly to the core of the business issue. He is also an inspiration. I met him for a one to one and came away after two hours with a completely different perspective on how I should move my businesses forward. And with renewed optimism and belief. I will definitely be collaborating with Bob in the future as I am sure he will become one of only a few people I can count as an "inner-circle" trusted advisor.'

Ted Marshall - Founder and CEO of Translution 

Blog

Wednesday
May282014

Good Governance - just as important for small businesses

Just because Governance sounds important it does not mean it is just for big companies.  Even though governance is often talked about in terms of big business, as in the phrase "corporate governance", it deserves attention from every business owner.

I suppose there are really two faces of governance one needs to consider in a small business.  Firstly there are the rules by which the company operates at the board level in terms of managing its internal affairs and decision making processes. Secondly the way it governs its external activities in terms of managing the interactions it has with stakeholders, suppliers, customers, partners and legislators - indeed anyone else with whom it may interact. 

The inside piece is often the most neglected and the most problematic - especially if there is more than one director. For example, there should be a shareholder agreement that details rights and responsibilities - and what to do in the case of a dispute.  There should also be clear definitions or responsibility and levels of authority - and clear lines of communication and reporting. All of this stuff is there to serve a purpose - all too often you only realise its importance when you need to call upon it, and its just not there. 

The outside piece is just as important - especially in a world in which reputation can be damaged almost instantly.  This is the down side of the Internet that the self-styled social media gurus do not necessarily tell you about - the speed with which things can go wrong. The company interacts with its environment in so many complex ways that some thought needs to given to the risks involved. 

Governance is little more than risk analysis - spending some time every now and then trying to anticipate what could go wrong.  Armed with the list the board needs to think about ways to assess the scale of each risk and the likelihood of it occurring.  The final piece is put these risks into sequence of reducing loss or cost and work out how to eliminate or mitigate in each case - starting with the most significant.

Common sense?  Absolutely!

 

Wednesday
Feb052014

Getting your business ready to sell -10 point checklist

Most businesses are not ready to sell and getting them into shape almost always requires changes across the business that will take time to implement and then to "bed in".  However, the effort involved is likely to be the best investment you will ever make - often delivering a dramatic improvement in business valuation and the eventual sale price.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug272013

Local business receives greatly deserved recognition . . .

Congratulations to Mark Parsons and the whole team at IRS Ltd in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire for their recent success as described in the article which appeared in the Worcester News last week.  Greatly deserved recognition for a very successful local business, a valued client and some great people with whom working is a continuing pleasure.  I will be following up the news story with a more detailed case study that will be available from this web site shortly.

If you would like to read the news story then please follow the link

Friday
Jul192013

Indicators of a healthy sales process

One of our key skills is assessing how well a business - any business - is performing in key operational areas on a day-to-day basis.  In addition, we need to understand how much control the owner has over the success and the future direction of the company.  In other words, the company's strategy.  Is the company in control of its own destiny and moving forward confidently towards well-defined goals - or adrift, and at the mercy of events and circumstances? I no longer use a checklist to complete this sort of analysis - I collect the answers I need as part of a conversation.  When there is a need to ask a question or two that will confirm my diagnosis, I ask the supplemental questions when the opportunity arises. 

I have been doing this for so long now that is difficult for me explain how I approach the task of understanding what is happening inside a company and interpret the answers I receive.  The other day I tried to do just this - and produced a short checklist of the sort of questions I might ask a company owner in order to make a judgement - in this case about the general health of their sales process. Sales is after all fairly fundamental - no sales quickly leads to there being no business.  In the attached list of questions, a positive or true answer is generally good news while a negative or an uncertain response will usually set a warning flag - the existence of a weakness, problem or an area of unnecessary risk.

In some cases the questions are simple and direct.  In other cases there is more "depth" to the question.  In these cases the consequence or implications of a negative response may point to some more fuandamental probem lurking somewhere in the business. Rest assured, when the time comes, a potential buyer will always sniff out this sort of weakness!

I hope you find the list of questions interesting . . . 

If you have any questions for me please send me an email.

 

Friday
May102013

Perspective - the key to unlocking business growth?

Perspective is about the "eye of the beholder" - pretty artistic theme you might think.  When we use perspective in relation to business the same holds true but we are generally dealing with more complex concepts than 3D geometry. 

If you are standing outside a business - and looking in - your judgements about a whole set of issues and topics will probably be markedly different from the judgements of those working inside the business.  Take an apparently simple question, such as "Is this a good business?"

Click to read more ...