A number of lessons learned were gained from identifying strategic management issues at BrixTec. First, we learned that financial leverage is critical. BrixTec had not made the most of its financial resources and had accumulated some short-term debt with a negative $4,000 in its checking account. It had not accumulated any long-term debt, which might have gained it financial leverage at a lower interest rate than short-term debt. The company did not seem to keep close account of its financials, and this illustrated the value of handling financials weekly and ensuring that there is always cash on hand to run the business with.
Another lesson was acknowledging and dealing with competitors and threats. Our client at BrixTec was unreceptive to discussions that we tried to initiate with him concerning his competitors and what they had to offer, preferring instead to brush off the threat, merely criticizing his competitors as a poor choice for customers because of their inferior product lines. He did not seem to understand that his personal tastes were not the issue and that tastes and financial resources differ among customers. Ignoring the competition does nothing to defuse its impact on a business, and the lesson here was that an objective analysis of competitors is a must for understanding how oneÆs company is positioned in the marketplace.
Third, a business owner must remain cognizant of his business at all times. This client managed three disparate businesses simultaneously and had given very little time to the one that we were evaluating, resulting in overpayment for equipment and a negative cash flow. Where it is not possible for the owner to give sufficient time to a business, it is a must for him to hire someone who can.
Fourth, employees are the companyÆs most valuable ôcapital.ö Motivated employees can win and keep customers for the business, while demotivated employees can disenchant customers by the drove...