THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM
Some small businesses fail not from the lack of customers, but from far too many. In their attempt to attract an influx of customers via smart branding, they erect, whether intentionally or not, a façade.
This façade becomes a problem when their inability to align capability with capacity becomes the norm and not the exception. Is it possible to save these fast-growing businesses from implosion?
THE FAST GROWTH PREDICAMENT
The author, Alicia Butler Pierre, draws on her 13 years of experience as both a consultant and an entrepreneur to answer this very question. She describes this type of hyper-growth as a “predicament,” suggesting that there is hope. Behind the Façade is a guide on how to prepare for (and recover from) the fast growth predicament.
The desire to hide the painful realities of fast-growth finds business owners at the mercy of their customers and other stakeholders as they struggle to fulfill orders and meet deadlines without compromising quality. Alicia argues this is the result of an imbalance in one or more of three laws: Supply & Demand, Conservation, and Polarity.
Unfortunately, when these owners proactively seek resolution, they often find that manufacturing and larger enterprises have access to the lion’s share of operations management resources. The solution these small businesses require lies in a business infrastructure that defines the people, processes, and tools necessary to match customer perception to operational reality.
THE METHODOLOGY AS A SOLUTION
Alicia presents the Kasennu methodology as a cohesive framework to build business infrastructure. Specifically, it offers a way to link people, processes, and tools together so a company can effectively “clone” itself and repeat success profitably.
BEYOND CASE STUDIES
Behind the Façade uses unconventional storytelling, rather than traditional case studies, to demonstrate Kasennu's application and maintenance. Through the businesses profiled in these stories, you will follow along in the footsteps of the owners as they learn:
- Why task, department and role identification is critical to establishing a foundation;
- How disaster recovery and business continuity considerations impact records management;
- Why the layout of your workspace affects productivity and efficiency; and
- How to identify and document business processes for consistent results.
“The book strips away the ‘façade’ of competent management operational command to discuss how many companies literally use proverbial ‘duct tape’ to patch together client fulfillment, while struggling to keep up with the opportunity’s most basic requirements. The true genius of this book is how Ms. Pierre explains these potential problems with precision, and illustrates, in some instances, dilemmas with succinct diagrams that can illuminate the problem for even a too-busy-to-read CEO who needs to be rescued. I highly recommend reading this book as both a solution for stumbling business managers grappling to catch their breath and survive, or as preventive medicine for those managers that recognize the need for some real-world tactical lessons that didn’t come with their MBAs.”
—Charles H. Green, small business financier; author, Get Financing Now (McGraw-Hill, 2012)
|Publisher:||Eagle Eye Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)|
About the Author
During the starup phase of her company, she first formulated the Kasennu methodology for her clients. She has since successfully applied this methodology in over 30 different industries and counting. Alicia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Tulane University. She is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has authored over 200 articles, case studies, videos and white papers in the areas of business infrastructure, process improvement and operational excellence. Combined, her content has received over a quarter of a million views on SlideShare.net alone. Her ability to blend scientific, business and mathematical methodologies to solve complex operational problems enables her to bring a unique, tactical and realistic perspective to her clients, who have also included larger enterprises like The Coca-Cola Company, Lowe's and Shell Oil Company.
Alicia recently began hosting a podcast where in only two months it rose in popularity, gaining hundreds of downloads, plays and subscribers - all with minimal promotion. She lives in Georgia with her husband. Committed to doing the right things the right way, Alicia's mantra is "to leave it better than you found it."
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments i Introduction vii PART ONE: INTRODUCING THE METHODOLOGY 1 Emerald City 3 An analogy to a fabled city foretells that all that glitters isn’t gold as discovered when peeking behind the curtain of a fast-growing small business. A case is made for using the Kasennu methodology for business infrastructure as a way to match the tactical, operational back office to the strategic, marketing front office (façade). PART TWO: APPLYING THE METHODOLOGY 2 Identity Crisis 27 An appearance on a daytime talk show puts a non-profit on the map, but also exposes the founder’s weakness. What is interpreted as an impending coup d’etat threatens to undermine what she’s built. Implementing the Business Parts Analysis helps secure her future and reputation. 3 Child’s Play 55 A software company’s popularity is beginning to expand beyond its local market. You would never know the brains behind the operation is a teenager, that is, until he speaks publicly at a conference. The Business Design Blueprint is used to prove scalability to investors as well as his desire to show that this is more than a hobby. 4 The Princess vs. The Politician 90 Feuding siblings, equally smart and ambitious, are blind-sided when a malicious virus attacks their furniture store’s network. Desperate to save face, they leverage an Electronic Records Management system as a preemptive strike against future disasters and as a tool to see who is really fit to succeed their father as CEO. 5 The Levee and the Levy 126 Twin sisters receive unexpected but welcomed attention to their mental rehabilitation facility following a cataclysmic natural disaster. Patients aren’t the only individuals drawn to them; regulators are too. Taxes resulting from a failed audit forces them to develop a Paper Records Management system to avoid a shutdown. 6 Red Pill or Blue Pill? 158 Demand for a mortgage company’s promise of fast loan processing is skyrocketing thanks to their recurring role on a new reality TV show. Unfortunately, customers are suffering because of the trio of business partners’ conflicting objectives. Their Service Delivery Blueprint allows them to keep their promises and set priorities. 7 Veni, Vidi, Vici 184 Diversifying the client portfolio has proven to be a wise, and lucrative, move for an optimistic CEO. His company projects a “well-oiled machine” image and the contracts are pouring in. He wants to up the ante by taking his food distribution company public, but first he must battle some personal demons. The Work Space Logistics helps him tackle this head on. PART THREE: MAINTAINING THE METHODOLOGY 8 Emerald Tablet 223 All entrepreneurs convene at a workshop to learn how to identify and document their business processes into a Business Process Manual. They each receive a coveted Emerald Tablet containing a signpost that at first seems cryptic, but toward the end of the workshop, they realize its clarity in revealing the keys to maintaining their business infrastructure. 9 Sankofa 262 Building a business infrastructure is a dynamic, not static, endeavor. Moving forward and upward requires reflection on the past in order to maintain the methodology’s results and stay true to a company’s purpose, as evidenced by several examples of well-known companies. APPENDICES A Simplified Steps of the Kasennu Methodology 271 B 29 Processes Every Small Business Should Implement 273 C Standard Process Mapping Symbols 274 D Example Key Performance Indicators for Small Businesses 275 E 10 Factors to Consider When Outsourcing Process Design, Documentation and Optimization Work 276 Notes 279 Index 285 About the Author 291