How does your current executive leadership team score on these 20 key parameters?


Scaling an SME, restoring it to good health or positioning a business for sale, exit or growth involves much more “than meets the eye”.

To illustrate, below is a non-exhaustive list of the skills required to scale an SME:

1) Business Strategy (Vision, mission, values, purpose)

2) Growth mindset: People, skills, expertise, goals, KPA’s and the business capabilities

3) Leadership requisite to inspire the team and customers

4) Management skills

5)Financial Acumen; (systems, skills, processes, measurement)

  • Reporting
  • Accountability
  • Cash flow
  • Cash flow acumen, skills and modelling
  • Forecasting expertise
  • Working capital planning

6) Business Systems and controls including ERP, CRM and Sales and Operations planning

7) Contracts and commercial law

8) Negotiation, expertise and skills

9) Executive reporting

  • Shareholders
  • Investors
  • Management team
  • Board reporting

10) Selling expertise

  • Processes
  • CRM
  • Management
  • Recruitment
  • Lead generation
  • Incentives
  • KPA’s
  • Sales structure / Channel Management
  • Export; Incoterms; insurance; road, rail and ocean; breakbulk; containerized; costing; Forex and Treasury

11) Marketing

  • Strategy
  • Brand positioning
  • Segmenting and targeting
  • Promotional plan
  • Value propositions
  • Promotions
  • Marketing plan

12) Costs in the bottom quartile vs competitors are required for sustained success,

13) Together with effectiveness that scores in the top quartile vs competitors

  • Fixed costs
  • Operations
  • Manufacturing
  • Delivery

14) Procurement

  • Buying skills, sourcing, cost, quality
  • supply chain
  • Stocks
  • Forecasting
  • Importing, Incoterms, road, rail and ocean, breakbulk, containerized, costing, treasury

15) Operations

  • Sales and Operations planning
  • World class manufacturing
  • Stock holding
  • Warehousing
  • Business process optimization & Continuous Improvement
  • Distribution

16) Market offering in the top quartile vs competitors

  • Value propositions
  • Customer service
  • CRM

17) PR, plan, communications and Crisis Management

18) HR

  • Labor Law
  • Employment contracts
  • Role clarity
  • KPA’s
  • Alignment
  • Recruiting talent, hiring for attitude and aptitude

19) Deal structuring, sale, acquisitions, mergers, IPO, Relevant law, NCNDA’s…

20) Sectors, Markets, Products & Services experience and skills.

Only if the executive team has the skills, time and capacity can one consider a combination of outsourcing, coaching and consultants to position the enterprise for growth or scaling.

If you are serious about fixing, scaling or setting up the business for sale the enterprise will require a seasoned and successful Managing Director or CEO with an SME track record.

Brian Wright has relevant SME experience and a track-record leading and guiding enterprises to success.