Acumen Management Group, Ltd
Business Management Assessment
Ken Thoreson

Confidential Property of Acumen Management Group, Ltd All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Authorization

Vision and Strategy
Management has a clear vision of where they want the company to be in 5 years?
The 5-year vision is defined in terms of:
              Sales growth (e.g. We will reach revenue of … )
              Market position (e.g. We will be serving the needs of … )
              Competitive position (e.g. We will be known for our unique expertise in … )
              My definition of success (e.g. Retire & leave the business to my management team)
The company's primary strategic differentiator is
Primary strategic differentiators include:
  • Responding to the needs of a specific niche market
  • Product or service superiority
  • Efficiency/low cost
  • Favorable location or famous person
  • Market dominance
  • Harvesting short-term profits
  • Method of sale
  • Distribution method – more products to existing clients
  • Advantage in technology
Anyone on the management team can describe the business strategy in three sentences or less.
There is a written, up-to-date business plan.
The business plan includes:  
              A marketing plan
              An organizational chart
              A staffing plan
              A financial forecast/budget
Total Points(53 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Target Market and Competition
The core value proposition of the business is described as a solution to a problem.
The company knows:
              Present size of the market
              The projected size of the market 5 years from now
The company plans to be one of the top three competitors in the market as measured by market share
The company can clearly define the target market for its product/service.
              The customers have been identified by demographics/firm characteristics.
              The buying behavior of customers is known.
              The driving factors behind customers ’ choice of brands/products/providers are known.
              The key sources of opinion & info for the target market (e.g. journals, industry experts) have been identified.
              Customers are regularly interviewed and their feedback has been recorded
Competition consists of:
              + Well-established incumbent companies selling an alternative solution
              + Well-funded start-up(s) with a well-publicized product/service
              + In-house departments providing the service (e.g. in-house security experts vs. an outsourced service)
              + A very fragmented market with multiple companies providing a variety of solutions with no clear winner
              + Two or three major players and the company is one of them
              + Two or three major players but the company is NOT one of them
Total Points(59 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Marketing Organization
The company has identified how many customers need to be reached by marketing and what methods.
The company has developed a realistic marketing budget.
The company has identified ratios to track effectiveness of marketing efforts.
The company has developed a Web presence that can be used in a sales process.
The company has developed an active public relations program.
Marketing personnel attend sales meetings on a regular basis.
Marketing personnel actively work trade shows and hold focus group events.
The company ’ s marketing budget as percent of total sales is
Greater Than 7%
Between 5 & 7%
Less than 5%
Total Points(24 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Strategic Sales Management
Management knows what percentage of the pipeline in the current category is required to ensure the sales budget is exceeded?
Management knows the pipeline value potential in the 30, 60, and 90 categories and correlation required to exceed future monthly quotas?
Management knows what percentage of projected revenue is required in each category to ensure enough opportunity to exceed the quota?
Management can visually see all your 60 major forecasted accounts, from my desk or my portfolio?
Management has all key accounts targeted? Do they have a plan to attack them?
Company has an ongoing sales recruiting plan in place that ensures they have qualified candidates available?
Company has an interviewing process in place that ensures the best candidate is selected, not the best available candidate?
Company has a salesperson personal business plan implemented, that is reviewed each month?
Company has a 6-month sales-training program defined and implemented?
Company has a CRM sales/client/prospect database system in place?
Company has a sales compensation plan that is in alignment with management ’ s strategic objectives?
Management has appropriate sales effectiveness or leading indicators measured and " dash boarded " ?
Management has regular scheduled and unscheduled " coaching " sessions with each salesperson?
Management has fun sales contests and business games planned to promote revenue and teamwork?
Total Points(56 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Management Team
The following positions are filled permanently (zero is interim)
COO/VP of Operations
VP of Marketing/VP Sales
An organization chart has been developed identifying the decision making responsibilities and information flow
All management team members are the best for their position to fulfill the company Vision
All key decision-makers in the company meet regularly to coordinate plans and make decisions
There is a clear hierarchy in the team or there is a clear mechanism for decision making (e.g. majority voting, consensus, etc.)
The company holds monthly and quarterly management review meetings
Total Points(54 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Human Resources
The company has developed job descriptions for each and every position
The job descriptions include:
              + A clear description of responsibilities
              + A list of the required skills and experience
              + Understanding of whom the position reports to
              + A list of the criteria used for evaluating performance
              + The performance criteria are measurable
The company has compared compensation for all positions to industry compensation studies
The comparison to industry studies did not find any positions below the median for the industry
The company has an incentive compensation plan
Select all that apply
Discretionary bonuses decided by owners
A formula driven profit sharing plan
Tied to individual performance measured by formal evaluation process
Tied to company performance
Tied to team performance
The company has a formal employee evaluation process
The employee evaluation plan includes:
              + Employees are evaluated by their supervisors
              + Employees are evaluated by their peers
              + Employees evaluate their supervisors
              + The evaluation includes goal setting
              + The evaluation is delivered during a coaching session
There is a clear career path for every position in the company
Total Points(135 Possible):
Total Percentage:
The company as developed financial projections for the next 3 years
              + Monthly statements for the first year
              + Includes all three: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement
              + Significant assumptions have been identified and documented
The company can easily prepare monthly operating reports and information requests
The company prepares monthly departmental tracking and measurable performance ratios
The planned exit strategy for the owner
              + IPO
              + Sale to a competitor
              + Sale to a consolidator
              + Sale to management team
              + Majority ownership has already transferred to a parent company
              + Undecided
The company's operating profit margin before taxes is
              + Greater than 10%
              + Between 0 and 10%
              + Less than < 0%
Total Points(44 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Strategic Partnerships
The company has identified potential partners
The company can list the compelling reasons why they are a good partner in less than five minutes
The company knows why the other company is partnering with them
The company has a 6, 12 month " agreed to Partnering Plan " with each Partner
Total Points(20 Possible):
Total Percentage:
Corporate Governance
The company has a board of directors or outside Advisory Board
The advisory board provides a " go to " resource for functional managers
The advisory board and/or directors provide vision about the future of the industry/technology/market
Total Points(14 Possible):
Total Percentage:

Your Total Score

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