I was approached by a company last week, who expressed a need for financing. They have struggled over the past few years, and have found a new avenue for revenue. Very promising, and the potential is very good. The conversation went something like this:
“I need to get a line of credit in place so we can move forward with this opportunity!” said my contact. “Very good to hear that things are looking up. Have you discussed the matter with your Bank?” I inquired. “No, not yet.” he said. “When does this project start?” I added further. “In 3 weeks.” was the response. “How long have you been working on this project?” was my next question. “Oh, about 6 months. It’s a big deal!!” was his answer.
3 weeks? It’s a big deal? Hmmmm…..
I’m not sure why I need to ask this question, but judging from the short term need, the volume of effort that will need to take place over the next 3 weeks, and the fact that this is a BIG DEAL, why are we talking NOW!? We should have been discussing this 6 months ago.
All too often, business owners are very busy running their business, and not busy enough planning and strategizing for the future. I am sure my contact at this company was actively pursuing this new opportunity with 110% attention to meeting the client needs, but in doing so, the company has lost site of a few critical pieces;
- Trusted Advisors: the people that help with decisions, outside of the company. Why not discuss the potential for financing (and other things) with your Banker, your Consultant, and your Accountant AHEAD OF the decision?
- Strategic Planning: Are “all of the ducks” lined up for the beginning of the project, or is there greater enjoyment in trying to “herd cats” to get the project going?
- Business Planning: Has there really been a process of putting pen to paper, and designing a map for what the business can handle, where there are greater internal and external needs, and how the company can manage the project when it lands, or is this being handled as a “bolt it on to the current operation, because we are tough and can handle it” kind of thing?
Surprisingly enough, the quick rush approach to growth that my contact has embraced is more common that we realize. Companies rush to gain the business, and they overlook important steps.
Taking the time to develop a plan(not just plans) is very prudent, unless a panic storm is how you like operating. Reaching out to the people who help you and can add value is a wise move, unless perhaps, your trusted advisors really do not add value, or you really don’t trust them. Having a strategy to implement makes complete sense, unless the strategy you employ is that you throw mud on the wall, and hope it will stick.
Want to get ahead of the curve when a new idea or financing need comes up? Why wait until the last minute. A great place to stop and build a strategy is at the Mile Marker! Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC can help you get out in front of the big issues, and have you ready when it’s time to move forward. Let’s start a conversation.