LESSONS LEARNT FROM STARTING, GROWING AND SELLING A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERING BUSINESS

Over the last 25 years I have had the privilege and opportunity to start, build and ultimately sell two Engineering based companies. As an Engineer myself and coming from a technical background I believe Engineers have all the skills necessary to become natural entrepreneurs, for centuries Engineers have led society to industrialisation and wealth creation. The two businesses started in very different ways; the first … Continue reading LESSONS LEARNT FROM STARTING, GROWING AND SELLING A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERING BUSINESS

ON THE BALANCE SHEET

Unless you are an accountant, balance sheets are unlikely to hold any great fascination for you. It is far more exciting to pioneer your company into new frontiers. However, my advice is “Learn to love your balance sheet” nurture it, care for it and watch it grow. Because when you go to sell the business the buyers will be all over it and the chances … Continue reading ON THE BALANCE SHEET

ON MISSION AND VALUES

Mission – The mission statement of a company should contain the very essence of your business philosophy. It should not be just a bland statement that gets put in the reception. The mission statement not only defines what the company is committed to become, but “why” it is striving for this mission. The statement should unite shareholders, employees and customers in demonstrating to them that through … Continue reading ON MISSION AND VALUES

ON RAISING FINANCE

The opportunity to create our first business came through a ‘Management Buyout’ which I will talk more about in the next section. It may well be said that this is an easier option than trying to raise cash for starting up a business from scratch. The deal at the time was a relative small one, but despite this we were able to secure funding and … Continue reading ON RAISING FINANCE

ON MARKETING

The chances are that, if you are running your own business, you are fundamentally an entrepreneur and instinctive marketeer. There are as many definitions of the term marketing as there are management gurus. My particular favourite is, “Marketing is the process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”, i.e. marketing is in fact ‘the’ fundamental business process and one which should be led … Continue reading ON MARKETING

ON HUMAN RESOURCES

The talents of your staff as a team are key to the achievement of your business goals. In the early stages of a company these values will be instinctively driven and upheld by you as owner manager. However, as the company expands, and day to day contact with the staff gradually moves further away, it is important to put into place management processes that will … Continue reading ON HUMAN RESOURCES

ON BANKS AND CASH

There is much truth in the old adage “turnover is vanity, profit is pride, but cash is king”. The chances are that if you are a management buy-out, a start-up or just a rapidly expanding successful company, then you will require access to working capital funds, i.e. cash, by way of loans or overdraft facilities with a bank. Controlling and monitoring your business consumption and … Continue reading ON BANKS AND CASH

ON MANAGEMENT BUYOUTS

When the realisation dawns  that you have the opportunity to stage a management buyout, the first reaction of the team is likely to be euphoria, quickly followed by fear and panic. So… what should you do next? Take a deep breath, get your attitude adjusted (if necessary!) and get organised quickly. The longer negotiations go on, the more likely it is that the deal will … Continue reading ON MANAGEMENT BUYOUTS

ON FINANCIAL CONTROL

I find it increasingly disconcerting that the skills needed to run a company come more from accountancy rather than my own discipline of engineering. Financial information is the dashboard of the company; it defines where you want to go, it tells you where you are going and where you have been. There are 3 fundamental types of financial control. Pre-operational Control – This is essentially, business … Continue reading ON FINANCIAL CONTROL