A mid economic upheaval and increasing challenges, what is the best source of sound, applicable counsel available to the CEO? This is a simple question, but of great importance for the development of small and mid-size businesses (SMEs). At different times a leader may want to use specialized expertise, generate a strategic decision or strengthen discussion around business development. There are many possible sources of professional advice; the executive team, shareholders, peers, professional advisors, family, etc. each have its pros and cons, but an Interim C-Level Executive can certainly provide the kind of results Leaders of small and midsize businesses can expect from their chosen soothsayer.
By working with many CEOs over the years on several specific projects, many clients understood C-Levels to be a higher level and strategic guidance of a more general nature. There seems to be a growing demand for such comprehensive high-level advice, which is not available to any one person. This contemporary body of research was sponsored and shared. This gives a staggering revelation of the kind of impact that experienced consulting business can have on productivity and profitability.
Although large organizations often have a board of directors, many SMEs are not in a position to use the benefits of such a formal structure, for several reasons. However, it is well within the capacity of a small to medium-sized organization to employ the services of an advisory board. It is a relatively straightforward way of accessing expertise, know-how and depth of experience, and yet it is a far more flexible approach, especially if the leader of an organization is focused on getting further perspectives and guidance, as opposed to rear-view oversight which was practiced by most corporate boards.
The outstanding feature of the BDC methodology is their use of metrics to determine the value of the use of advisory boards. Two major highlights of the research found that organizations with an advisory board reported that they enjoyed 24% higher sales and 18% higher productivity than the higher board less’ control group. 86% of these SMEs were also “respondents who benefited from the advice of their advisory board and believe that it had a significant impact on their company”. Those results speak volumes. So far BDC reports that only 6% of American SMEs have formed advisory boards to assist them. The study concludes that “the role, operations and benefits of this governance tool should be highly promoted to American business leaders to help them better manage their company’s success.”
Based on this trailblazing study, and by tapping into the depth and breadth of the talent pool at C-Level, we have developed a consistent approach to help clients actively establish their own advisory board. This approach reduces time, effort, and risk; and provides immediate direction by focusing on upcoming major issues; be it vision, profitability, increased sales, strategic initiatives or enhanced transactions.
Have you considered the benefits of an advisory board? Care to see the findings of the entire BDC research? Potential benefits are indisputable.
No matter what business owners do, businesses will always run into a rough patch where things all seem to go wrong. To deal with this rough patch, you sometimes need someone with a specific skill set to help get your business out of this tough time. This is where interim leadership comes in. Through interim leadership, you can find that specific person with expertise in a certain area to help your company.
What is Interim Leadership:
Now as the name suggests, interim leadership is leadership on a temporary basis. These executives are usually brought in for a short time period or on a project basis. The reason is these executives are highly specialized. Not only do they have the specific skills needed to fix the problems, they also have years of experience to back these skills up. You may be wondering if this form of leadership is another form of consultants. That is not the case. The main difference between a consultant and an interim, is that not only does interim leadership advise your company, but they also can execute on the solutions to assist your company.
When comparing an interim to a full-time hire, there are 2 main benefits in choosing the interim route. One benefit is the flexibility they provide. A full-time hire may not have the background expertise in each of the areas needed the company may encounter. With interim leadership, you can hire one executive who has the expertise for a specific project or situation the company is facing such as new channel expansion. Once this is launched, another set of expertise may be needed to achieve the company’s goals. The second benefit of an interim is the cost. There are no hidden costs with an Interim Executive such as pension or paid vacation. Interim leadership is a more flexible model where you can pay as you go, only for what is worked on.
For the various challenges your company will face throughout its life, it may not make sense to hire a new full time executive. This is where an interim comes in. Interim leadership is flexible and highly specialized, so whatever the challenge your company may face, an interim can be the superhero that saves the day!
To learn about how International Executive Consulting LLC can help you and for more information on interim executives, please visit our home page by Clicking Here.
Interim executive tips to grow your platform, product or service.
Understanding Network Effects:
You buy a toothbrush and use it to clean your teeth. You got what you paid for. Most products are like this. But in the last decade, a new kind of work is taking place whose value actually increases as the number of people using it increases. Otherwise known as network effect.
Facebook, AirBnB, Uber, and eBay are popular examples of companies that have only grown more powerful and useful as their user base. This is not to be confused with development as it does not always translate to a large network.
Focus on Business:
Seeking to grow quickly, businesses can often lose touch with their existing user base. This is not good before branching out to new markets and cities, focus on increasing engagement with people using your product or service.
If you don’t focus on busyness in the early days, you can grow very quickly and lose your old user base. And so you’re not really focused on products and improvements that help the overall network. It’s very important to focus on your growth, how strong your engagement is and how much of your existing users are serving you. Ready to use more.
Interim Executive Tip: An Access Strategy
Sometimes the best way to develop your network is to use other networks. Integration with social media apps and platforms is great for getting your product out there. Focus on users tweeting or sharing your product. This may just be your ‘something special’.
Interim management is the supply of an individual with business management abilities. These people will ordinarily be experienced business pioneers who can deal with an association through changes or times of progress, give soundness to a business after the abrupt take-off of a senior executive, or a profoundly specific range of abilities a business might be lacking.
Interim for Finance
Finances is always a challenge for small firms competing with large firms, and especially right now. Business costs have risen above the rate of inflation, and the impact of Brexit on exchange rates has led to further increases for firms importing goods.
Why turn to an Interim?
According to a recent survey by the Interim Management Institute, 80% of interim managers will use interim service providers at least some of the time. International Executive Consulting LLC is best at managing turnarounds, accelerating change and helping businesses change in times of demand. They bring intelligence, exertion and rigor that can differentiate between a bust or a boom.
The obvious advantage of interim over alternative routes is that it allows an to use knowledge together with your existing team and implement change quickly. The immediate result leaves a lasting positive impression. In addition, interim are a flexible and variable cost option, not a fixed overhead. This gives organizations considerable flexibility with the nature of interim contracts.
Interim managers are experienced professionals who bring industry knowledge and expertise that is independent and as a result is able to provide insight and value to a specific goal, with a quickly realized ROI. The main benefits are:
Interim CEOs are available to start at very short notice with minimal recruitment or termination formalities
Interim managers are experienced professionals who are used to working completely autonomously, and require very little direction to start and make a real difference to their business
Interim managers are judged by the results and know that they have to deliver
The skills, contacts and knowledge that brings an interim to your business will transfer to your team and stay for a long time after they are gone.
Being sensitive to company values and culture, having no previous history with your business means that they can view the situation objectively and clearly. Personality and politics did not influence the best decision for business.
An Interim Manager can act as a adviser for the board, with an ace up his sleeve to help carry out the strategy.
Love it or hate it, you need a business plan. Interim executives share the best way to get started.
At International Executive Consulting LLC, we provide the best business plan to our clients. But attracting one is the work done by entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses. Some people either hate it or love it. People in the former category have gone so far as to write blogs and books about why you should not even do a business plan.
Although you can be functioning without one, it is not recommended. The clarity and structure that a business plan gives to your company saves a lot of time and decision making in the long term. It provides direction to all those working in the business and keeps them united in their thought process. Because the advantage is yet out of opposition, it is worth the effort.
Where to Start?
A quick search online for a business plan gives you a stack of templates to get you started. They are a great starting point that help you understand the high level content.
Take a blank document and write everything about your business idea. Starting with the market description, your plans to produce / manufacture, and how you plan to deliver it. Write down all your plans and ideas for the business and then using that content either transform it into a professional looking business plan or import the information into a template.
It is always a good idea to have an extra set of eyes through your plans. Use your network to find contacts who have market and industry experience that you would want to sell to. They can provide invaluable insights on cheap and fast ways to improve business processes and, at the same time, advise on any gaps in your plan.
Interim officers make good leaders because they are self-aware and generous with their teams. They are helpful by responding to their needs and desires – even if it means leaving them alone.
Sometimes the obstacle to success are the leaders themselves. Leaders who are ignorant of what is going on inside the organization and make plans that are not compatible with their talents and abilities. In those situations, the company struggles with its goals and consistently underperforms and fails.
Interim officers take measures keeping in sight the concerns and priorities of the employees.
Interim Officers Put Their Employees First:
Interaction with team members ensued. The interim does not begin with executives, instead seeking to get around the discussion around ‘you’ and gain their perspective on issues related to the firm’s strategy. They try to understand how they should help on their own terms – the way they want to. Encouraging open dialogue allows them to discover rules or behaviours that can lower employee morale and affect their work. On the basis of their findings, they overcome any such obstacles.
Interim Officials Play Around The Rules:
Employees who feel affected by the system are less motivated to work or improve. Rules should be guidelines, not limits. Good leaders make their team feel safe from the rules and motivate them to break when there is a purpose. Typically, when the outcome will positively affect and promote the company’s progress, but not at the risk of exceeding company values and meeting individual needs jointly on all personnel.
Interim Officers are Lenient:
The best support a leader can provide is to listen to the needs of their employees and then act accordingly. They are generous in sharing ideas and knowledge that can help their employees perform better. Not only are they themselves generous, but they also encourage others in the workplace to be generous to support the team.
To know how International Executive Consulting LLC can help you, please click here and visit our home page.
Day by day, the business world is becoming highly competitive. Therefore, businesses must ensure that they have the latest technologies and software to meet the needs at the workplace, to provide quality solutions to customers, and must definitely be ahead of the competition.
With the constantly changing technological trends in the industry, it is quite difficult for businesses to make strategic plans and adopt these technologies. This is where the role of an IT consulting firm comes into play. Interim Executive Consulting LLC helps in making informed decisions with proper and effective management of all the components while handling all deadlock in companies, especially in times of disasters. Therefore, companies hire an IT Consultant to monitor and maintain your company’s network for system upgrades and network-development.
In an increasingly competitive market, many companies are turning to business change consultants to help them keep their business ahead of the competition. These business advisors have the expertise and knowledge to get into a business and recommend the best ways to achieve the goals that will improve the business.
The following are the methods of imposition of business transformation consultancy:
Business Analysis Process – Each leading management consulting performs the following steps while inspecting the company’s existing business processes.
Analysis of Situations or Challenges – During this move, the company analyzes its internal and external industry challenges. Based on these challenges, business change consultants suggest how a company’s strengths can be deployed to meet each of these challenges.
Identifying Opportunities – After analyzing the challenges, business change consultants conduct research on areas where the company can experience growth. In addition, external partnerships, internal improvements and maintaining alliances (to enhance the company’s stance) promote the company’s growth.
Determination of Weaknesses and Gaps – Now, consultants determine all areas where the company is lacking. Once a company’s weaknesses and shortcomings are analyzed, only a consultant can create a road map to improve the internal processes of the business.
Strategic Cancellation – The company’s current strategic positions need to be determined. Later, the advisors suggest to the company how and why it needs to strategically transform itself. For strategic recycling, the company must prioritize its efforts; Management consultants also assist the company’s leadership to prioritize its efforts.
Implement and Evaluate – After formulating the strategies, the consulting firm with the client company implements strategies, initiatives and newly formed processes. Once the strategies are implemented, their performance is evaluated. These consultants have a range of tools and methods to measure the performance of these implemented strategies and initiatives.
As an often-underutilized resource, interim executives for portfolio companies and CEO’s should be used in ways that further your company’s goals. In our final part, we will discuss where to find interim CEOs when you’re in need and what to ask in the interview to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Where to Look
If your business is in a bind, you have options. There’s a variety of spots on the web and services you can employ to ensure that you get the help you need quickly and efficiently. Maybe you’re new to this and need some guidance. Below are just some options and ideas that you can look at when you’re in need of an interim CEO.
Social media is no longer just a way for old friends to connect over the internet. Businesses use social media to promote themselves. Professionals use social media to get jobs. LinkedIn, in particular, is one of the top most popular social media platform.
Specialized Staffing Companies:
If you do a Google search, this is likely the most common way that you’ll be able to connect with interim CEOs or interim management. Specialized staffing companies like the three listed below work directly with qualified candidates to ensure they are matched with a suitable company.
What to Ask
Past performance is the best indicator of future performance, and as a result, you’ll want to ask your potential interim executive the right questions to ensure that they have the correct experience to help you. Here are some of our recommended questions to ensure you select the best interim executive for you.
In your own words, can you tell me what we do?
This question will not only catch a serious candidate but will also catch candidates who know what they’re doing. You want a candidate who has done research on your company, not only because that’s good practice before an interview, but also because the interim executives for portfolio companies CEO who is quick to learn, understand, and analyze your company’s situation will be more apt to help your company succeed.
What is the most grounded quality that you bring to the table given our current situation?
This is as much a strength question as it is a culture question. You can have a great interim executive who doesn’t fit with your company culture and it won’t make much of a difference. Depending on what the candidate names as their strongest attribute will determine what their impact on the culture is, what approach they will take, and how effective they will be.
What do you offer to us that we cannot do ourselves?
Most companies require a fresh set of eyes and ears as well as stability in order to be successful. The next level of growth comes with something different than what you already possess as a company. What makes this candidate unique from your management’s current skillset? This is your potential interim executive’s opportunity to show you what they can do for you.
Tell us about a time that you resolved a situation?
If your interim executive doesn’t have the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of your specific company, they’re likely not the best fit. You’ll be able to tell which candidate stands out if someone has specifically dealt with a situation like yours before. Someone with a proven track record will be able to jump in and assist your company immediately unlike someone with no experience.
Describe your exit strategy in an interim role like this one?
The nature of an interim role is that your CEO will be there for the short-term only. Having an individual who understands what their presence means and how they will potentially extract themselves will be an asset to your company. How they enter and exit the company will impact your company culture and your business success. Neither of you should forget about how transition plays a part in this period of time.
Visit us for more information at International Executive Consulting LLC or give us a call at +1 202-258-5376!
Operating a Small business can be an immensely rewarding experience, both personally and financially. However, there is always the risk of making mistakes that can impact your bottom line or even tarnish the reputation of your business. Below are some strategies from International Executive Consulting LLC that every entrepreneur should know in order to push through major setbacks and even turn them into opportunities for future success.
Own Up Right Away:
Transparency is important, especially when it comes to making mistakes. If you don’t own up to them, you risk alienating clients or customers and harming your reputation. At best it will seem like you didn’t notice the error, which makes your business appear incompetent. At worst, you may be accused of deliberately covering up the mistake or withholding information. Confessing to botches immediately lets you approach the issue on your own terms while doing harm control, and clients will be bound to move toward you again in the event that you are transparent from the earliest starting point.
Make Personal Connections:
Behind every product, service or business is a team of human beings and sometimes it’s important to make a personal connection when things go up. Reaching out to consumers and putting a human face to the business can go a long way toward remedying a bad situation.
Factor in Failure
No matter how large a business may be, it is vitally important to factor mistakes and even large-scale failures into the budget. Some companies go so far as to set aside line items specifically for such eventualities and while that may not be a feasible option for small business management consulting. Repeat business and reputation are especially important for fledgling businesses and being able to issue refunds or aggressively react to mistakes without putting yourself at major financial risk may make all the difference when the time comes.
Learn When to Say No:
While it may be tempting to tackle every single order, project or event that comes your way, it’s important for small management consulting firms owners to realize that biting off more than you can chew may have serious repercussions, especially early on. Growth is important for any business but taking on projects that can’t be properly managed or resourced risks complications or even major failure, which can spell doom for a business that hasn’t established itself yet.
When it comes to big mistakes, take initiative and be proactive instead of reactive. Remember that failure can be a learning experience; get back to the drawing board and figure out exactly what went wrong, so that you can either correct it or ensure that it isn’t an issue in the future. Create a plan of action to reassure clients or customers and restore confidence in your product. Having the fortitude to bounce back and carry on is one of the things that separate successful small business management consulting services from the ones that flounder and fold.
Consider a Consultant:
Sometimes there is no simple way to recover from a mistake or to prevent backlash. In these worst-case scenarios, it may be wise to consider courting outside opinions. If you’ve put time into networking and building relationships, it’s possible that there are other business owners or professionals in your field that would be willing to provide advice or put you in touch with people that can help. In serious cases, when the reputation of your business or brand is jeopardized, professional reputation management consultants might prove necessary in order to protect your business.