One of the most powerful and effective things we can do for our clients is to help them to think really hard about how they build the full range of skills and passion that their enterprise is going to need if it is to really work well.
It will need a managing director – someone to work on the business rather than in it. Someone who can make objective decisions for the benefit of the organisation.
It will need someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about the product or service, someone who is passionate about marketing and sales and someone who loves doing the books and preparing financial projections and cases for investment.
- Can your client really fulfil all these demands?
- Will they?
- Or will they default to doing the stuff that they love most?
If they do then at least one vital part of their business will be stunted – and that will be enough to bring them down.
Even if we train the entrepreneur to do everything this problem will develop – because they will always be drawn towards the work that they love – and away from the work that they hate – no matter how important it is to the success of the business.
The biggest favour that we can do them is to help them to build a team that they trust, where other in the team love to do the bits that they hate.
If we don’t do this then it might be easy for us to diagnose the problem (your financial management is weak) and to make a recommendation (why don’t you spend more time on it?) but we will be wasting our breath. If they don’t love financial management they are not going to do it well.
So why do so few advisers actively encourage entrepreneurs to build a team before they write their business plan?