My friend's business is really struggling. Should I:-
a. Run in the opposite direction
b. Buy them a copy of "100 top KPI's" by I.A.M Struggling
c. Take them for a coffee, listen carefully and refer them to someone equipped to help
mmmmmm - it's a tough one ..................
Hopefully you clearly c the answer to the question above, and your friend is now enjoying a calm latte / pastry to calm their nerves - not trying to find the text you sent them with a link to an amazon wish list.
But seriously, where should you start ...........
1. Picking the right person to listen is paramount - calm, collected, doesn't panic, listens well to the emotions, and quickly cuts to the facts. Someone who's been there before, hits the ground running, and exudes confidence that this problem(s) can be surmounted, given a focussed plan and committment to the task in hand
2. What will they concentrate on:-
- understanding the business model and suggesting tweaks where necessary
- an overview of the market, competition and technology landscapes
- reviewing core business processes for waste and effectiveness
- ensuring the business and organisation are structured to meet its goals and operate its processes appropriately
- instilling a tailored method to set targets, measure results and review performance at appropriate intervals (hourly daily weekly, monthylm etc etc )
That's the easy bit (if you've selcted the right listener). The challenge is ascertaining if the friend is really up for the journey and whether their actions & words confirm it.