Jan 18

“Do you have an exciting One Page Strategic Plan and engaged Senior Management Team (SMT) driving innovation for 2017?”

“I need to clone myself to get stuff done!!!” is a lament we often here.

Do you feel the same way?

Back in 2007 I took my CEO and CFO of Greencross Limited to a Verne Harnish seminar in Brisbane. I was the company chairman at the time. I had been using tools promoted by Verne for decades so wanted to expose my colleagues to his teachings. Here’s a brief summary of what we were exposed to.

“Do you have a Big Exciting Audacious Goal for your company?”

We wanted to grow to 10% of the veterinary market in Australia and New Zealand. It meant growing our turnover and profits by more than ten times!!! We did better than that.

“Do you have a passion and purpose that unites your team and focuses them on innovation?”

We wanted to provide the most professional veterinary care and advice for passionate pet owners.

“Do you have a great team meeting often enough to create a sense of urgency to implementing actions to improve the business?”

We created a Senior Management Team or executive group, met daily for 15 minutes to identify what’s happening for you, how are we going against our daily targets, and what roadblocks exist?

We referred folk to where they could get help, allocated resources to assist, and got actions happening to unblock solutions.

These meetings were no more than 15 minutes…debate solutions elsewhere. This is a SMT download on stuff to be done and where to go to get help.

Refer debate on process changes or new opportunities to the Weekly SMT Operational Meeting for detailed discussion and action planning where there is time to do so.

This meeting rhythm allowed us to improve communication between the SMT members and actually saved time for all team members. We set priorities for unsticking customer and team member concerns and created a more dynamic decision making process in the company.

SMT members then added daily stand up huddles with their direct reports and took the same lessons into their teams.

Front line team members in sales, admin or “job doing” in its many forms in different parts of the company then were listened to daily and got immediate encouragement to fix stuff instead of waiting weeks for it to go up to SMT meetings and struggling to get the go ahead.

We found the quality of debate around improving the company and developing smart strategies to deliver what customers really valued also improved.

It sure beats trying to run a company on your own and feeling you have to make all the decisions and do all the stuff that needs doing.

It engages and energises all your team members.

But it is not about simply delegating responsibilities…it is more about creating a faster pulsing communication process between front line team members and your SMT.

This approach allowed us to grow from a micro listed company to the top ASX 200 over 10 years.

We’ve taken the lessons from Greencross and all the other businesses we’ve been working with into our new “Leadership for Profitable Business” workshop.

The next one is scheduled for February 21st in Auckland.

It’s a one day learning experience…click here for a detailed programme and registration process.

Bring your senior team members and create a SMT to work on improving your business and finding you time.

Then set an appropriate “Pattern of Meetings” and meeting rhythm to get decisions happening much faster than before.

You’ll profit from this experience.


Andrew Geddes 17th January, 2017.

Feb 26

Understanding your business 'Why'

Posted by Robert Drum at Thursday, February 26, 2015

We have been working with our clients on refreshing their strategic plans for 2015 and that's always a great reason to re-examine the 'WHY' of their business. 

And again we are finding that exploring the WHY of your business reignites your passion and energy around why you created your business in the beginning and when you articulate that WHY it inspires your team, your customers and everyone's greater success. 

Simon Sinek, the Master of Why, reminds us all that we don't buy What businesses do we buy the Why they are in business. View Simon's TED talk on Why HERE and be inspired. Then WATCH his next TED talk on "First the Why, then Trust" to get more insight into why your business needs more real leadership to be more successful.

The WHY of your business is the bedrock that your business success is built on. Take the time now to re examine and reignite the WHY of your business and adopt the behaviours of real leadership in your business to engage your team and get them to live the WHY and generate more success for everybody.

We can help you on this journey and invite you to join us at our next Workshops. The First is in Niseko followed by Brisbane

Apr 15

Lessons on job profitability

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lessons on job profitability from the recent March “Profitable Business Management” workshop.

Please select one of your recently completed (and hopefully billed) jobs.

What was the fee net of GST and disbursements?

How many real job hours (not necessarily the WIP hours of course) went into it?

For example, a net fee of $15,000 divided by 100 real job hours gives a Job Yield of $150 per hour.

Is this Job Yield high enough to produce profit for the firms’ owners?

We asked the participants at our March “Profitable Business Management” workshop to do this analysis on their jobs.

Some jobs had a Yield that delivered a breakeven result…no job profit.

Some jobs delivered moderate profits.

Some jobs delivered bloody good profits!!!!

What % of your firm’s jobs are in each category?

How can you get more jobs into the “bloody good profits” category and few/none in the “Breakeven no profits” category?

This is a very powerful analysis to do.

It will give you a lot to think about.

Let’s use a case study based on one of our consulting assignments to illustrate the lessons from this type of assignment.

Profit profile for 2013/14…

Fees (net of GST)  $1,460,000

Salaries (inc owner) $850,000

Overheads                  $360,000

Net profit                    $250,000

Analysis of production and hours worked and recovered on jobs…


Actual Firm Yield…

Fees / recovered job hours

$1,460,000/ 8,012 is $182.22

This is an excellent result for a small firm like this.

The total return to the owner (sole practitioner) was salary package of $180,000 plus net profit of $250,000 which gave  total return of $430,000.

However, it could have been much better as indicated by the results from the top profit smaller firms in our benchmarking studies ($565,000 for engineering firms; $660,000 for architectural firms; and $540,000 for surveying firms).

So we asked more questions…

1. Breakeven no profit job yield?

Current turnover $1,460,000 less profit $250,000 is breakeven t/o $1,210,000 divided by current job hours 8,012 is $151.00 per hour.

Any job with a lower yield runs at a loss!!!!

2. Moderate job yield … $151.00 through to current job yield $180.00

3. Bloody great job profit yield … anything above current job yield of $180.00

 And then some more questions…

1. What % of jobs were breakeven (no profit jobs less than $150 per hour) … 23%

2. What % of jobs were moderate profit jobs (yield between $150 and $180) …57%

3.What % of jobs were bloody great profit jobs (yield above $180) …20%

And further questions…

If we said a polite “No thank you; we cannot do that job for that price” to the no profit jobs, could we use the labour resource to do high profit jobs?

Could we increase the % of top profit jobs by being aware of our breakeven hourly rates, our moderate profit rates and our “bloody great job profits” rates and using that insight in our job discussions with our customers?

Particularly the customers who want something in a hurry?

Or haven’t paid their prior bills?

Or require our unique expertise to achieve their desired job outcomes?

Could we use modern Digital Marketing tools and techniques to position our firm brand so that we attracted more of the type of clients who were prepared to pay our “bloody great job profits” rates?

The case study firm is now running at an average job yield of over $190.00 and heading towards an improved profit result.

Do you know your “breakeven/no profit” average hourly job rate?

Do you know your “moderate profit” average hourly job rate?

Do you know your “bloody great profit” average hourly job rate?

What % of your jobs are in each category?

How can you improve your % of jobs in the “bloody great profit” category?

Answer… register for our free webinar on May 21st; and register for our next “Profitable Business Management” workshop Sept 15/16…early bird rates are now open.

Click here please.

Happy Easter everyone.

Please drive with care if you are out and about.  


Andrew Geddes.