Strategic & Succession Planning

Finding Time

Key issue: The Finding time of a business owner usually decreases proportionately as a company grows in size and complexity.

Risk: The ability of the business to grow and to succeed is at risk when the Finder begins to be pushed into Minding and Grinding activities.

The strategy: Create a strategic plan that will help the Finder spend 70% to 80% of his or her time in Finding activities.

Finder: The entrepreneur, the visionary, the leader, the idea generator and the catalyst for future change. Finders work in the future.

Minder: The administrative and accounting staff of the company. Minders are historians who mostly work in the past and are not very concerned about the future.

Grinder: The operational people in the organizaiton as well as the people that do the physical work of the company. Grinders may be construction workers out in the field or telemarketers at a desk. Grinders work for today and are not concerned about the future or the past.

Most important: The most important function in the organization is that of the Finder. The following are some of the attributes of Finders within an organization.

  • Visionary
  • Idea generator
  • Innovator or dreamer
  • Catalyst for future change
  • Relationship builder or creator
  • Strategic planner

From Finder to Minder: There are many Minding activities that cause a Finder to move into Minding. The following are a few of those activities.

  • Managing cash
  • Meeting with and supervising adminstrative staff
  • Hiring and firing people within the organization
  • Collecting receivables and working with customer disputes
  • Payroll reports and employee time issues
  • Meaningless meetings with operations
  • Reviewing erroneous or meaningless reports
  • Time spent on past due or erroneous bills from vendors
  • Governmental and regulatory issues
  • Solving computer problems

From Finder to Grinder: Most Finders began their careers as Grinders. They usually know the business of creating and delivering their product or service. It is very easy for a Finder to work on-site with the Grinders to make sure the product or service is created and delivered to the customer within the time frame and quality that was promised. Such a break-down usually means that managers and/or supervisors are not doing their jobs correctly.

Sales: The Finder is not the key sales person in the company. He or she may have started out in sales, but sales is a Minding activity that should be delegated to others.

Strategic goal: The strategic goal is to train or hire people, create or implement internal controls and to fix the infrastructure of the business to allow the Finder to spend 70% or 80% of his or her time in Finding activities. Some of the results of the shift in the Finders time should be as follows:

  • A more relaxed and happy leader
  • Increased sales volume
  • Diversification in products or services
  • A strategic plan to take the company to a higher level
  • Increased market share
  • More difficulty for competitors to erode the company's market share
  • Happier customers
  • Newer customers that pay a higher margin for products and services
  • A clear and focused company vision
  • Employees are happier to work with the company because of the future vision
  • A balanced company that has good cash flow and cash management

And, finally: Each of us eventually, if we are lucky enough, gravitate to those things that we enjoy or love. It is our experience to discover that business owners who are Finders did not create a business in order to do accounting, human resources, cash collections, cash disbursements and other Minding and Grinding activities. Their energy and creative level is at its highest when they do Finding activities. That is where they find their business satisfaction level at its highest. Everyone who surrounds the business owner who is the Finder has a responsibility to help that person to do Finding activities and to avoid Minding and Grinding activities. This should be the goal of the strategic plan and the goal of every person associated with a privately-held company.