Whole Business Assessment for Risk Management

Often as business leaders, we are driving growth plans with great energy; however, we also experience many unintended consequences from these efforts. I can think of the small business reinvesting everything back into the company with the sole focus of accelerating top and/or bottom-line performance, increasing market share, or expanding into new markets. However, how often are we formulating and implementing risk management plans? Are we planning organizational interventions or simply making wholesale changes? It is easy to get caught up in simply managing numbers and losing the vision you have for your company.


Regardless of your industry, every business has a synergy throughout all of its segments. This allows the business to carry out its mission and operations. Accordingly, at Westport Business Management, we believe in a whole business approach that combines rigorous financial strategy (the hard side) with unified values, people, and skills (the soft side). This is also commonly taught as the McKinsey 7S Model in business schools. If you have experienced unintended consequences from growing your business you are not alone. However, a whole business approach integrates risk management planning to help ensure a sustainable path forward.


We recommend the following considerations when assessing your whole business:


Hard Side: Strategy, Structure, and Systems

  • What historical data do you have to compile statistics about previous results?

  • How does the company make decisions and how does the process flow?

  • Can the company make thoughtful decisions from data? If so what are the options and how can we can achieve the best one for us?

  • How do you allocate cash flow and what are your reserve requirements?

  • How have you assessed the external environment and how does this impact your business? Do these trends present new opportunities?

  • What tools are in place for risk management: avoid, reduce, transfer, or accept?

  • What is your FP&A process, methods, and who is the team?

  • Is your current capital structure suitable for your goals?

  • Where is your top-line coming from and how diversified is revenue?

  • What happens if we lose our biggest account?

  • How do you conduct new business venture analysis?

  • Why are you using your current financial metrics?

  • Have you received a second opinion about the checks and balances in the company?

  • Are the internal resources, tools, and capabilities adequate to support initiatives?

  • Last but not least: Do we have enough cash or liquid vehicles to survive at least one year?


Soft Hard: Skills, Staff, Style, and Shared Values

  • Do you have the right people who share your core values?

  • Do you have a succession plan in place?

  • What skills are you missing throughout the organization? Have you conducted a gap analysis?

  • How do you recruit, train, engage, retain, and support the growth of your team?

  • How are you listening to your team? And what results from this feedback?

  • What are the norms, standards, and expectations that guide the business each day?

  • Do you enjoy the climate each day? This will tell you about the culture.

  • Has Covid and/or working remotely impacted your business in any way?

  • What happens if we lose that one key staff member? Do we have someone ready and trained?

We ask you to take these questions one step further. Are the answers to these questions – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats for your company? These insights can transform your business, but we have to be willing to adjust and change. Live in the facts of your business.


We ask all business leaders to go back into their organizations and take a whole business assessment. There is no better time than now to objectively evaluate your company! Please reach out with any questions about how we can help your team.


Stay safe, take care of your people, and do what is right for your business!


Best regards,


Ryan Forrestal

President

Westport Business Management, LLC


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