Managing your AE business more effectively
by Barry Goman
After spending the early part of my career in the corporate world, I founded an AE consulting business – with little capital, no staff, and a few prospective clients. But, I had a plan, plenty of enthusiasm, and was ready for a new endeavor. Each year we’ve achieved growth – but it hasn’t been without challenges. There have been many “lessons learned” shared with colleagues and clients. I believe to a large extent our success has been driven by two key factors – being very good business managers and building a strong, dedicated team.
Achieving excellence in business management requires a good understanding of this body of knowledge and consistent execution. In addition, it takes time, money, and a willingness to delegate authority – other “ingredients” that can be hard to address, particularly for smaller enterprises. Therefore, the likelihood exists that an examination of business management performance could identify opportunities for improvement in many firms.
Before reviewing examples of signs that weaknesses may exist, let’s define business management – from a CEO’s or department head’s perspective. The essence of management, and the work of managers, at the highest level involves:
The results of poor decisions are sometimes very evident – for example, losing a bid for work with a long-term client. Sub-optimal decisions can be less visible and harder to detect. So, what should owners and executives be looking out for? What are the warning signs of weaknesses in business management? Here are some key areas to consider and questions to ask:
Careful consideration of the above questions will help to identify issues that may be impeding your company’s business management performance. It may be necessary to drill-down further and consider options for improving management structure, processes, systems, and staff. These options will be explored more fully in Part II of this article. Stay tuned!
Barry Goman, CMC, is Managing Director with AMR Group Limited. AMR’s mission is to help professional services organizations improve profitability by identifying and resolving problems with software systems, business processes, and staff training. www.amrgroup.ca
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