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Edition 12 – Reactive Or Proactive

Last week our newsletter covered capacity constraints and how we see they are limiting the potential of Family Business.

One of the key differentiators of successful Family Businesses is whether they adopt a reactive stance to business, or a proactive stance.

Those that are reactive are invariably chasing their tail. The client is hunting them down. Things are done at the last minute. Sometimes work is completed that isn’t satisfactory. To some extent, there is the sense of a loss of control in reactive Family Businesses. The world is dictating to them how things are done.

Those that are proactive are different. They take the time to map out the future. They consider what trends are happening in their industry, or the wider economy, to see whether there are opportunities to be had. They are constantly growing and evolving – looking to be different today than they were yesterday.

Proactive family businesses dictate to the world how things are done — they set trends, not follow them.

So, is your Family Business reactive or proactive?. Ask yourself these questions and put yourself to the test:

  1. In the last 3 years, have we developed at least one new product or service?
  2. In the past 3 years, have we grown our revenues by at least 20%.
  3. In the past 3 years, has our net profit before tax grown at a faster rate than our revenues have?
  4. Can we identify individuals in our business today who have opportunity to grow with and inside our business?
  5. Are we actively growing those individuals with potential for progression?
  6. In the past 3 years, have we changed the way we do what we do in a significant area in our business?
  7. In the past year, have we taken on a new client of the type that we want to deal with, that will be a significant customer for our business long term?
  8. In the past year, has the work I do myself personally changed and I’m operating at a higher level than I was this time last year?
  9. In the past 3 years, have we have adopted new technology which has lead to a significant improvement in productivity?

If you answered “Yes” to at least 7 of these 9 questions, your Family Business is Proactive and is a Growth Leader. You are propelling your Family Business to ongoing success and sustainability.

If you answered “Yes” to between 4 & 6 of these questions, you’re an In-Betweener and your Family Business needs to shift up a gear. Quick smart.

If you answered “Yes” to 3 or less of these questions, your Family Business is not only Reactive, but faces the prospect of slipping backwards over the next few years.

For those of you that answered “sort of” to any of these questions, that’s a No! Either you’re in or you’re not. You can’t be half Pro-active and half Re-active!

Why 3 years, which is a time frame that arose in 5 of the 9 questions?

Simple. That’s the period of time over which your Family Business should be considering its Business Strategy.

Which is a topic for another time.

This Week’s Tip

Proactive Family Businesses assess where they are at today, see where the world is heading and drive their business towards maximising the opportunities that are opening up for them. Are you doing that in your Family Business?