CASE STUDY: MANAGEMENT BY COMMITTEE

Consulting firms who want to post a case study must complete on of our two standardized forms dependent upon whether or not the client has waived confidentiality.  Contact us at 303 338 9300 or by email at admin@tfginfo.org to post your case study.  Use the same format to contact this consulting firm about similar issues.

The Fremont Group works extensively with franchise owners.  In a recent engagement they encountered a franchisee who, despite being in the franchise’s top quarter of producers, had been losing money for the past year.  The initial assessment showed that morale among employees was very low; theft had occurred but not acted upon; their volume had significantly fallen off after their purchase one year prior; and three of the four owners had very little confidence in the fourth who handled the daily operations.

The Fremont Group immediately implemented actions to improve morale and terminate the employee who had been stealing.  Communications were significantly improved and employees were given a daily “focus point” for their work.  A monthly meeting was implemented to reward good performance and to obtain their “buy in” to improvement.  The managing partner was evaluated and found to be competent but not a strong “leader” in part because of his age and also due to the family situation that he faced on his board.  The company had no real concept of how their financial statements worked so sessions were done to teach them what they mean and to create key profit variables that they would track in a flash report.  This was implemented but two larger problems emerged: (1) the four owners were all family members and had a very difficult time putting aside their “baggage”; and (2) the accounting upon which the flash reports were based was extremely inaccurate.

Counseling the owners improved their ability to function.  They communicated better and were able to put aside some of the family issues.  Unfortunately, the partner responsible for accounting (also the daughter of one owner, sister of another, and sister-in-law of the managing partner), simply was not capable of producing accurate statements.  Both the managing partner and the accounting partner were being paid in excess of what the company could pay to have their services performed by third-parties—but this was in part why the four of them bought the business to begin with!

Recommendation:  Significantly cut the hours of the managing partner, pay him hourly, and have him complete the essential functions that the current employees could not perform.  Terminate the services of the accounting partner and contract for them at market.  These actions will reduce the overhead of the company to a level where profitability can be achieved.  All four partners must then cooperate to implement a marketing plan.

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Who Ya’ Gonna Call?

Your general manager just quit; you need emergency surgery; a fire has destroyed your inventory; your computer system has crashed; your wife has filed for divorce; the bank has called your line of credit; or any of a thousand other possible crisis has just slapped you in the face—you need help and you need it now! You might need only the reassurance of a phone call or you might need someone in your office for the next week. The Fremont Group is announcing the formation of their “911 Crisis Management.” Small business owners in need of emergency support of any kind are encouraged to call The Fremont Group at 303 338 9300 for and ask for Crisis Management or email us and put Crisis Management in the caption. Together we will immediately assess the situation and get you the help that you need.

Your emergency becomes our emergency. You will be pleased to know that for members of The Fremont Group, Crisis Management services do not carry emergency pricing. Members who use our emergency services are charged only our basic rates. Of course, for non-members there is a premium for rearranging our schedules, however, in a time of crisis, the focus should be on the amount “saved” as well as the amount invested. This benefit of membership can be the difference in your company’s survival.

The Fremont Group is a non-profit organization supported by donations and memberships. Memberships start at as little as $9.99 per month. For more information look to the Membership pages on the web site.

Fall Webinars for Business Owners

The Fremont Group is offering to small business owners high-quality, yet inexpensive, webinars. Sessions are on Monday’s at 11:00 am MDT. The fall 2011 schedule is as follow:

Only $25 per workshop!

Show Me The Money August 8, 2011

Techniques and tools to allow the small business owner to gain financial control of their company. Budgets, cash flow projection, break even and other tools are provided.

Get Bang For Your Payroll Buck August 15, 2011

Owners learn the foundation of their organizational structure. Examine the elements of accountability and incentives and their relationship to your budget.

Leadership Starts With You August 22, 2011

A hard look at what it means to lead a small business. Workshop dissects the famous Theodore Roosevelt quotation on leadership.

Selling In A Recession September 12, 2011

Owners examine their company’s sales effort in terms of a system and learn the role of pricing in that system—particularly in a recession.

Change Your Company’s Culture September 19, 2011

Owners learn how hiring, employee “buy in” and the establishment of a management team can change their company’s culture and results.

Cash Is King September 26, 2011

Workshop goes through a checklist of ways to change your company’s cash flow. A guaranteed method of achieving adequate cash on hand is presented.

Selling Your Employees October 3, 2011

The use of internal communications to sell your employees on doing what you need done.

Minding My Own Business Workshop October 17, 2011

The full, two and one-half hour workshop based upon the book, “Minding My Own Business” examining the six responsibilities of a small business owner.

To Register for the webinars, pay on the “Pay Now” icon to the right. Be sure to include your name and phone number, the webinar(s) that you are registering for, and your email address.

Membership in The Fremont Group

The Fremont Group is a membership organization which means that we are supported by individuals and companies who support our mission. Integral to our organization is our network of volunteers and consultants. Our volunteers are analysts and project managers who donate their time for initial consultations and business reviews for our Corporate Members. They are trained in our proprietary Advisory Board of Directors system and agree to provide management consulting services in this format and at a significantly reduced hourly rate. Our consultants provide consulting services generally from their offices but also on the site of the business owner.

Sustaining Members

Sustaining Members are individuals or businesses who donate $10,000 or more in a year. Sustaining Members are introduced and recognized during our annual meetings in Denver, Colorado.

Corporate Membership

Corporate Members are businesses who donate $1000 or more in a year. Corporate Members are eligible to receive an initial consultation (or an annual business review if they have already received services) from one of our volunteers.

Associate Membership

Associate Members are members who are past Corporate Members who continue to donate a minimum of $500 per year. Associate Members are eligible for an annual business review and for the same discounted consulting services.

Individual Membership

Individual Members are members who donate $250 or more in a year. Individual Membership is also granted to Fremont Volunteers.

All members receive regular invitations to our events.  Please direct all questions to Dirk Dieters, Executive Director, The Fremont Group.