90-Day Sprint – Accumulate Company Information

Step 1: Accumulate Company Information (Week 1)

Whenever we go into a company, the first thing we want to do is find out where they are, what they have and don’t have, and really get an idea about the issues. In doing this, we accumulate general information. Some of the questions we ask include:

  • What kind of legal entities do they have?
  • What kind of taxes do they pay?
  • What is their organizational chart?
  • How they make money.

When we get a sense of how organized the company is in general, we generate ideas about how we can add value.

The first priority is for you to see the big picture, and to start to get your arms around the legal, financial, operational areas in the company. We don’t want you to be a bean counter or a number cruncher any longer.

Instead, we want you to be leading your company forward.

Strategic Intake Evaluation

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Over the years, we’ve developed a type of questionnaire. The Strategic Intake Evaluation, to keep you on point. It’s not meant to be “all-inclusive”, because there’s always something unique to every company. What do you do with this intake evaluation? Start by going through, marking your important points, and then move on to the next part of the evaluation. This is a way to quickly move through that process.

Interview the CEO

Where does he or she see the company in 3-5 years? This is one of the biggest questions you should ask a CEO before anything else. You need to know what the vision is so you can support them in the growth of the company. If you make choices without any real vision of what direction the company is going, then you will waste time, effort, and company money.

As the financial leader, your goal is to be the wingman to the CEO – to help the CEO grow the company. If you don’t know where he or she is going, you can’t be much support. Some questions to consider are:

  • What keeps you up at night?
  • Where do you see the opportunities?
  • What are the issues you’re currently facing?
  • What are you trying to accomplish in the next 90 days, working together?

So, not only do you have issues that keep you up at night, but you also have opportunities that you would like to captivate.

Interview the Key Management Team

Recruiters checking the candidate during a job interview at officeOnce you have established an understanding of the CEO, you need to contact their key management team and find out from them what their priorities and challenges are. Typically, I interview and ask the same questions:

  • Where do you see the company in 3-5 years?
  • What opportunities do you see?
  • What challenges have you faced?

If the management team has similar answers, then that usually means that your efforts are on track. However, if they have other answers, this might mean that they have valuable ideas or issues that the CEO didn’t think of that should be brought to attention. Having a 360ᵒ view of the key management team helps you crystallize what the goals should be in 90 days on broad terms. Is it to increase profitability? Or is it to increase liquidity? Is it to get a forward vision of projections?

Establish Goals

Start to establish major goals with no priority in mind. We have developed a tool, the action plan, to help accomplish this goal. An action plan is nothing more than a to-do list whereby we communicate with everyone what the goals are, and it holds everyone accountable. You can create this action plan using an app or preferably a spreadsheet.

When utilizing the action plan, first write down all types of ideas, without any timeline, order, or assigned duties. Don’t remove any task off the list once it has been completed. Eventually, you’ll organize them, but as you go further into the 90-Day Sprint and complete these ideas, you’ll have accomplishments to show your executives.


Resources:

Know Your Economics

Strategic Intake Evaluation

Creating an Action Plan

Guiding Principles for Recruiting a Star-Quality Team


 

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