Case study 2
Developing a Family SME

SBC were invited to work with a SME supply company run by two brothers, who had significant growth over the last few years but were finding it difficult to deal with staffing levels and creating a healthy culture. This was resulting in stress in the business and a constant cash flow crisis.

Initially, a 1-2-day exploratory project was undertaken to ascertain the overall health of the company. This health check covered five main areas:

1. Finance

2. Hierarchical structure on functionality of staffing

3. Internal and external systems for operation

4. Communication architecture

5. Culture of the business

After this initial exploratory phase, a report was produced outlining areas of concern and a comprehensive plan detailing how to resolve those issues. In this particular case, it was a classic example of a small business growing very fast, without putting the internal structure in place on a financial and operational level. These problems were further intensified further by the brothers running the business both having very different outlooks and goals.

The solution proposed included separating the business into two different divisions, which allowed each brother to take control of one division. There was then an overhaul

of the accountancy system with an Excel spreadsheet expert brought in, as well as different financial controls. Executive coaching was put in place for the brothers to facilitate having ‘difficult conversations’ with each other. Finally, a 180 review system was implemented with a reorganisation of the company hierarchy that had a significant impact, on improving efficiency of the company as well as the culture and atmosphere.

This is an example of the SBC four-quadrant approach, it focuses on helping to develop the internal soft skills of the business owners, to help change the culture of the

entire company and upgrade both the specific skill sets of some of the both the specific skill sets of some of the hard skills that the company needed, as well as improving the overall financial and operational systems. This combination of dealing with both the individual and the collective layers of a business, as well as dealing with the soft and hard skills that a business requires to be successful enabled this particular company to improve its double bottom line. This is an improvement in the overall profitability of the company as well as an improvement in the emotional well-being and happiness of its employees.

Next case study >