Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success – the last Three Steps


So now you have Appreciated, Optimised and Engaged – now is time to get Serious!

The next three steps are all about Raising Capital, Acquisitions and Exits.


So, lets tackle Step Four – Raising Capital

Growing businesses can find their growth restricted by lack of capital.  We all know how frustrating the banks are being at the moment, trying to reduce lines of credit instead of helping you grow by increasing them.  I share your frustration that the Banks are saying that they are open for business but once you engage with them, they find any number of excuses not to provide the capital you require or they make you an offer on terms that would make Shakespeare’s Shylock blush!

You may need capital to finance your increased sales and marketing effort, to enter a new market, to bring a new product into your sales mix, for research and development.  Whatever the reason, access to capital is critical.

I have been in the capital raising business since 1988 and I know how complex and difficult this can be.

In the Fourth of my Six Strategic Steps, I will teach you about the different sources of capital and how you organise yourself and your business to maximise your chances of raising the capital you need for your business.

You should think of Capital as the oil that lubricates your engine.  Without it your business will seize up and grind to a halt.  With sufficient capital of the right grade, your engine is capable of running at maximum revs and getting you to your destination faster.

Remember at this point you still have the choice of whether to hold or sell.  When your business is in a strong position, you are the one making the decisions not accepting other peoples.

Step Five – Acquisitions

Making an acquisition is not for everyone.  It carries considerable risk and takes up a significant part of managements’ time.  I have organised dozens of deals over the past two decades and am well positioned to help you assess whether you should make an acquisition and to guide you through this complex process.

Its not all about knowing what to buy.  When to buy, how much to pay, organising the negotiations, avoiding the pitfalls, closing the deal and implementing the post deal integration are all critical steps to a successful process.

Step Five will teach you all about this process and enable you to assess if and when you should consider making an acquisition.

While many acquisitions do not achieve their original objectives, you can reduce this risk by being well informed and prepared to take an opportunity if it presents itself.  Remember that you may not be the only interested party and if you are badly organised, you may miss an excellent opportunity to accelerate the growth of your business in a low growth market.

An acquisition is more than buying a second car.  It is more like changing the engine in your car for a bigger one with more power, more acceleration.  However, it will also require more petrol, more oil, more servicing and your may need to go on an advanced drivers course to be able to handle it.

Step Six – Exit

The final step is all about realising the wealth you have created by following the previous five steps.  Remember most overnight successes have been quitely grinding away for years before reaching their objectives and “suddenly” appearing in the limelight.

Selling your Company is a one off event.  Either you do or you don’t.  You need to have a clear view of whether your have achieved what you set out to do when you started the company.  If you have not followed Steps One and Two which set the direction for your business, how can you know if you have reached your destination.

Selling at the right valuation is also a challenge.  Each seller normally has a high target price seeking to get as much as possible for his business and a minimum beneath which they will not sell.

Each Buyer is trying to buy as cheaply as possible but has a level above which he cannot see any value in the deal for him.  Knowing where these boundaries fall is critical to getting a deal done and normally requires both sides to compromise on their ideal objectives.  As a seller, you should have a clear idea of where you stand.

Price of course is only one element of the deal.  The complex terms and conditions associated with the deal need to be understood and negotiated.  A clear understanding of what is reasonable and what is not reasonable is key here and knowing how to work with a good commercial lawyer can make a huge difference when selling your company.

A final point in this step and one often overlooked on the journey is the issue of ownership and dilution.  When you set your business up you start by owning 100% of the equity.  As the company develops and more people get involved, they often seek to get a share of the equity.  While the pie may get bigger, the real game is making sure you get as big a slice as you can and sharing equity and dilution by investors acts against this.

Of course, enabling your key management as staff to participate in the equity of the company is a major factor which promotes loyalty, performance and aligns your interests with theirs.  By understanding and keeping control of this process you remain in the driving seat right up until the point when you sell the car.

If you are interested to learn more about my Six Strategic Steps to SME Success I shall be launching a seminar programme both in London and down in Wiltshire where I live.  Take this opportunity to become one of the People who Make Things Happen.  Contact me today at jbdcolley[at] to find out how you can participate in the Seminar Programme.



Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success; Are You ready?


Are you running a business and do you want to know how you are going to be able to grow your business in these tough economic times?

Are YOU ready to take Six Simple Strategic Steps to achieve this objective?

I have already introduced my Framework in  a previous post entitled – “Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success – An Introduction” – which you can find here.

In this post, I want to share with you some further detail about the first three Steps – Business Appreciation, Optimisation and Engagement.   In the next post, I will tackle the second three steps which are Capital Raising, Acquisitions and Exit.

Taking the First Step – Business Appreciation

Remember at the end of each Step you always have the option to do nothing further, to continue to own your business or to sell it.  The choice and the flexibility are entirely yours.

This is not a prescriptive process this is all about putting you back into the driving seat of your business.

The First Step is entitled Business Appreciation. This means taking stock of what you have but not in a haphazard way, in a very structured and systematic way.

In the military, before setting off on a course of action, officers are taught formerly to “Appreciate their Situation” and the first heading is Enemy Forces.  We were also warned about “Situating our Appreciation” which means interpreting events with a closed mind to explain the mess we are in.

In order to move forward you need to create the platform on which your business will create your wealth.  This means really understanding where you are today and sorting out any immediate issues, some of which you may have been avoiding for some time.

Think about this like the MOT you have conducted on your car every year.  The mechanic goes over the whole of your car (for which read your business) with a carefully prepared and systematic check list and finds out what, if anything is wrong with it.  In order to pass your MOT, you have to put those things right.

Jeremy Harbour, the successful serial entrepreneur and turn around specialist, told me recently that the best time to sell your business is right NOW.  What he meant was that when presented with an opportunity to sell you must be ready to take it as you cannot be sure that another offer will come along later that will improve on it.

Whether you sell or not is up to you but your business must be in a condition that a seller, if he reviewed your business would want to buy it and not be put off by problem issues and skeletons in cupboards.  In fact, if you are well organised and prepared, he will probably want to buy it even more.

The First Step Business Appreciation therefore takes you through a systematic process to make sure that you are fully cognisant of your business, its scope and activities and its potential.  You will also be taken through a thorough audit of the business to make sure that you do not have any skeletons lying deep in that cupboard!

The Second Strategic Step – Optimisation

Once you have conducted a thorough appraisal and put your house in order, the Second Strategic Step teaches you how to optimise your business and prepare for the future.

Lets maintain the Car analogy.  Now your car has passed its MOT, a good service and tune up will make it run better, be safer to drive and in the long term, last longer and be more valuable when you sell it with a full dealer service history.  Your business is no different.

I will teach you how to conduct such a service and tune up of your business to make it more efficient, more profitable and to put it on the road to growth.

As part of this I will teach you the Six Key Metrics which I believe you need to understand and use in order to manage your business on a day to day basis and which will help you to be more successful.  Remember if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.

The Optimisation Step is focused on ensuring that you optimise the way you run your business and ensure that its financing and future are organised  and aligned with your strategic objectives.  This phase involves preparing a detailed cash flow forecast.

The Third Strategic Step – Engagement

In Step Three, Engagement, your business is now ready to grow.

This means increasing sales, increasing gross profit, reducing fixed and variable expenses, improving the return on your investment in your staff, meeting all your tax obligations on time and lowering your cost of capital.

If you do all this, your company will grow, will become more profitable and ultimately create real wealth for its owners.

Which of course is all very easy to say and much more difficult to do.   And it is, if you do not know how or where to start.

If you have completed Steps One and Two you will be on the Start Line to growth.  A bit like an Athlete in the 100 metres sprint.  You will have gone down on your marks and be waiting for the starting gun.

Step Three teaches you how to run and win the race.  If you were a decathlete having to master 10 events, technique and method would be critical, more important than strength, stamina or fitness.

In Step Three I will show you how to approach your sales and marketing in a more systematic way, show you how to master the techniques of inbound marketing and take you through the key steps to getting more out of your customers and give away less to your suppliers.

In the next post, I will discuss the second Three Simple Strategic Steps in more detail.  If you liked this, please subscribe to my email list to continue to get great advice on Business Strategy.


Where do you Grow from Here?

Iron & Stone, who supply metal window boxes were recently featured in the Weekend Financial Times Money section under the heading “Growth Strategy that fits on your Window sill”.

Founded by brother and sister team Rhyddian Gilbertson and Anna Hodgson, the company has successfully established itself as a niche supplier of aluminium flat pack window boxes.  You can find their website here.

Selling 10 boxes a week at an average price of £110 they are on track to make revenues in excess of £50,000 in 2012 which is a healthy 30% plus rise on Revenues in 2011.

In the FT Article, the experts, who had around 100 words each to comment, when asked suggested

  • Greater use of Social Media, the Garden Network for instance
  • Advertising
  • Customer References
  • Management Companies of Serviced Apartment blocks
  • Different products for different markets
  • More Effective Marketing – better understanding of the market
  • Definition of the Brand
  • Leaflet and Newspaper Advertising

So far so good but it got me thinking about what advice I would give them.  Thinking through my Six Simple Strategic Steps for SME Success methodology, I have picked out some specific areas and tried to provide actionable rather than general advice.

[Read more…]

Let me tell you about Six Simple Steps you can take…


Following on from my detailed blog post introducing the Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success, I have prepared a brief video for you to learn about the programme.



I hope you enjoy it.


If you would like to know more about my Seminar Programme, please contact me by email at jbdcolley[at]

Thank you for joining the Conversation.


Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success – An Introduction

If you run a private business with revenues between £500,000 and £20 million, I expect you are having a tough time of it.

Being at the top of a business, probably one you started yourself, can be lonely but also brings with it responsibility.

Responsibility to make the right decisions so that your business is successful, you continue to provide for your family and keep the jobs of your employees safe.

This programme which follows my Six Minute Strategist Methodology of One Topic into Six Issues in less than Six Minutes is all about helping you get a better understanding of your business.  The Six Topics of this programme are:

  1. Appreciation – evaluating your business as it is today
  2. Optimisation – making the most of your business today
  3. Engagement – growing your business today
  4. Capital Raising – expanding the capital base of your business
  5. Acquisitions – growing your business by acquiring another business
  6. Exit – Selling your business and maximising your wealth creation

I strongly believe in a hostile business environment like today, Entrepreneurs need to master these six topics to be successful with their business.  This programme sets out how they can achieve this and I hope will make a positive and long lasting contribution to their business success.

The Six Principles behind the programme are:

  1. Simplicity – making the complex easy to understand and implement
  2. Control – putting this back firmly in your hands – no more reactive decision making
  3. Planning – prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance
  4. Value Creation – long term for you and your family
  5. Choice – giving you options and opportunities and putting you in a position to take them
  6. Flexibility – this is not a dogma but a catalogue of strategies and tactics for you to adopt and adapt for your business

Do any of these six questions strike a chord of familiarity?

  1. Where is my business today?
  2. What is my business worth?
  3. Where do I want to be in 5 years time?
  4. How can I grow my business?
  5. How can I get more capital for my business?
  6. When is the right time to sell my business?

These are all major strategic issues which you face.

  • What are your personal objectives?
  • To run a lifestyle business?
  • To own your own business until you retire?


  • To accumulate capital and wealth and gain the personal freedom that provides
  • To Grow your business?
  • To Sell your business for a price that will change your life?
  • To work hard for the next three to five years to achieve these objectives.

Remember a salary is what you are paid – wealth is what you earn.  One happens to you the other you make happen.

How about these more day to day operational issues?

  1. What are my likely sales next month
  2. Do I make the right level of Profit?
  3. What are my operating expenses?
  4. Am I paying the right level of salaries?
  5. How efficient is my capital strategy?
  6. How much cash does my business have?

These are all key questions.  However, like most entrepreneurs you have bootstrapped your company and everyday you work fast and hard to try to make it grow.  It is often difficult to find the time to address these issues or know where to start.

So how can I help?

I have been advising companies for nearly 25 years and blogging for the past two years about Corporate Strategy.

I believe that there are Six Strategic Steps that an entrepreneur needs to master to be sucessful, particularly in todays challenging business environment.

Starting today you can either start on the road to managing these steps or you can do nothing and at some point in the future sell your business for what someone is prepared to offer you for it.  A purely reactive situation which you will not control.

Someone observed that there are four types of people in this world

  • People who make things happen
  • People who watch things happening
  • People who wonder what happened
  • People who do not realise that anything has happened.

I want to make you wealthier and more successful and to do that I need to make sure that you are one of the people in the first group and not one of the people in the other three.

So lets agree that the Do Nothing Scenario is a poor way to start.

In my next blog post I will discuss with you the first of the Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success – Appreciation – evaluating your business as it is today.

If you want to know more about my content then why not sign up to my mailing list and start enjoying a more frequent conversation with the Six Minute Strategist.

Can you tell your PEs from your VCs? Part 2


In the first Part of this series I examined the  different types of Venture Capital and Private Equity firms.

In Part 2 I am going to discuss the factors which make up their investment criteria.


So, having worked out the type and stage of deal you want to organise, what else do you have to think about?

Size of Funds

It is important to find out the size of the current fund that the investor firm is currently working with.  This dictates the next two factors.  As a rule of thumb, take the fund size and divide by 20.  This will give you an idea of the ideal size of “equity check” that the fund would like to be investing.  I say “Equity Check” because the investment can be increased by syndication with other investors, mezzanine and debt finance.

Minimum Investment

This is the minimum equity check.  If your deal is small than this, you are talking to the wrong investor.

Maximum Investment

There will be a limit to how much an investor will want to commit to a single deal.  Again as a rule of thumb, divide the fund size by 10 as most funds will have a formal limit preventing them from investing more than 10% of the fund in a single company.

Fund Life Cycle

This is important.  Funds typically have a 10 year life span.  In the first four years the investors work hard to invest the fund. In years 5-7 they will co-invest but probably not invest in new deals.  The final three years are years of harvest, selling the companies they have invested in and returning money to their investors.  You can see from this why these investors aim to invest in a company for three to five years.


This of course is critical.  A Cleantech fund is not going to invest in a manufacturing business.  Find out what the investors sector preferences are.


Funds nearly always specify which countries they set out to invest in.  This may sometimes be couched in vague language, asking for “operations in the UK”.  Often UK funds specify that the company must be headquartered and incorporated in the UK.

Office Locations

On the face of it this is not a major issue but investors do not like to invest in companies where the operations are a long way away.  Again as a rule of thumb, the smaller the company and the earlier the stage, proximity is a distinct advantage.  For a major Leveraged Buyout, distance is less of an issue.


Finally, you might have lined everything up but now you need to approach the investor.  It is a distinct advantage to either know someone or to get a warm introduction to the firm.  I have spent many years cultivating contacts in VC and PE firms for this reason.  That having been said, if you have a great track record and a brilliant business opportunity, they are not going to turn you away.

In the next part of this four part series, I will discuss the approach to investors, what they are looking for and 6 reasons why Business Plans are rejected.

What Next?

Take a look at my FREE video Tutorial “How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Business” which is all about Starting a Business and Raising Capital.


How I CAN help your Startup Raise Capital – An Offer for UK StartUps


Are you a UK StartUp or Early Stage Company seeking Capital?

I know how difficult and expensive it can be when you are starting up a business and have very limited resources.

This is how I want to try to help you.

For a limited time only, I want to extend a special deal for UK based early stage businesses.  I want to offer you  very low cost, low risk access to my personal UK Venture Capital and Private Equity Investor Database containing nearly 1100 firms to help you identify some suitable investors.

Here is my Offer how it works.

You email me at jbdcolley[at] and send me a brief profile of your business.  Include with this the names of the VC firms you have already approached or already know.  This will form a “Red List” of firms that I will not feed back to you.

I have a database of over 15,000 investors globally which I have built over the last 10 years so I probably know these investors already.

If I think your business is fundable, I will send you a brief 10 minute questionaire of key criteria for you to fill out.  This requires simple very brief answers.

I will then screen your criteria against my database of investors to produce a short list.  I will then tell you how many names I have found and these are available to you at £10 a name.  

I will provide you with the name of the firm, its address, telephone number, website and the names of its executives.  If I have a personal contact there, I will also tell you that to help you with your approach.

If I do not think your business is fundable, I will email back with some brief but direct reasons why not.

You tell me how many names you want to purchase, there is no minimum and you can come back to me three times to purchase names (this is only to minimise drip feeding one name at a time).

I will also require you to sign a contract that you will pay us 1% in cash of any funds raised from these investors as any time in the next two years.

The normal cost of fund raising is 5%-10% of funds raised so I believe that is represents very low risk and exceptional value.

The period is 24 months because investments will take time to arrange and can often be staged against milestones.

Would you like more information about raising Venture Capital or Private Equity?

I am publishing a series explaining on Venture Capital and Private Equity which will cover:

  • How to identify types of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms,
  • How to understand their investment Criteria
  • How to approach investors
  • What they are looking for
  • Six Reasons Business Plans are rejected
  • The Key aspects of a Financial Model

When these posts come out I will link to them here. The first of these will be published on Monday 20th February 2012.

Six Minute Strategist PRO

I will be making more detailed information on how to raise capital for StartUp companies through the Six Minute Strategist PRO – my membership section of my site which will provide entrepreneurs will detailed checklists and guides to help and this will be available in the near future for a low monthly fee.

Need some Consultancy Advice?

However, if you want some consultancy advice from me, I am prepared to offer a limited number of  one hour sessions at £97 per hour to help you get started in your funding process.  These consulting sessions will be conducted over Skype so there is no travelling involved.

You apply for a slot, we agree an agenda and a time.  You transfer the fee to my PayPal Account (details of which I will provide to you) in advance and then we do the call.

Thats is – simple, direct and fair.

If you are a StartUp, particularly a Technology StartUp get in touch with me now.  jbdcolley[at] or check out my contact details on the site.

May 2012: This offer is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated.






Starting a Business – Objectives and Strategy – Part 2


In Starting a Business, it is important to carefully evaluate your business objectives and strategy at an early stage.  Using the Six Minute Strategist methodology, six factors have been identified to bring structure and clarity to this process.

In this post, the second of two on this subject,  I want to discuss three strategic frameworks for formulating a business growth strategy.  These theoretical frameworks enable an enterpreneur to apply structure and rigour to setting out his strategic objectives for his business.

The first of these is Competitive Advantage which was proposed by Michael Porter in his book of the same name in 1985.

Competitive advantage is defined as “the strategic advantage one business entity has over its rival entities within its competitive industry. Achieving competitive advantage strengthens and positions a business better within the business environment.”

Porter argues for that there are four generic strategies that a business can follow:


Companies set out to offer the market a product or service with specific characteristics unique to themselves, including branding.  Using these key differences, the company can charge a premium price to reflect the additional costs and value associated with those specific factors.  This is typical of the market position of luxury consumer goods businesses.

Cost Leadership

The objective of the company is to be the lowest cost producer in the market.  If the company charges prices equivalent to the “going rate” the company should then benefit from the best profit margins.  This strategy is normally achieved through economies of scale.  Associated with this is discount pricing to put higher cost competitors under pressure and subsequently take greater market share.  Examples are large supermarket chains and OEM computer manufacturers.

Differentiation Focus

With this strategy, companies aim to dominate a small or niche market with a clearly stated set of differentiating factors.  In doing this, the company aims to compete against larger companies who may be striving for Cost Leadership or Differentiation.  Niche retailers often adopt this approach

Cost Focus

Here the low cost strategy is applied to a limited part of the market or a niche.  The product may be basic and not as fully featured but as a “me-too” product appeals to consumers on the basis of price.  “Own label” products can fall into this category.

BCG Matrix

This tool was designed to assist businesses to allocated resources.  It is also applicable when considering strategy when starting a business.  The founder should be aiming to build a company which can take a significant market share/position in a high growth market

Stars – are high growth businesses in a market where they are comparatively strong.  They require investment to maintain this position

Cash Cows – are low growth businesses in a market where they have a relatively strong position.  They require relatively little investment and tend to be cash generating

Question Marks – are companies with low market share but which are operating in higher growth markets.  The challenge for these companies is to justify further investment

Dogs – low market share in low growth markets.  Probably breaking even, these business cannot justify further investment.

The strategic response is again fourfold

  • Build share
  • Hold
  • Harvest
  • Divest

McKinsey Pyramid

This model proposes that a business should develop growth strategies based on

  • Operational skills – core competences in the business
  • Privileged Assets – these differentiate the company from its competitors
  • Growth Skills – needed to enable the company to implement a growth strategy
  • Special Relationships – with external parties, giving the company privileged access to markets or customers.

The model argues that there are seven ways of achieving a growth strategy

Existing Products to Existing Customers – lowest risk, greater frequency of purchase by the customer and based on customer loyalty

Existing Products to New Customers – finding new customers for existing products

New Products and Services – increased risk by developing new products and services which can be sold to both existing customers and new customers

New Delivery Approaches – using new channels to market to reach more customers

New Geographies – this can be one of the most opportune routes to growth but involves higher risk and is more difficult

New Industry Structure – involves consolidating the industry through acquisition thereby changing the competitive dynamics.

New Competitive Arenas – involves possible vertical integration or taking the business into completely new industries.

Six Minute Strategist Start Up Course – Is this for you?

Are you struggling to get your Start-Up Started?

Do you need to learn more about Business and Financial Plans

Do you need to learn how to pitch to investors?

Take a look at my brief Video…

Now go and check out the Course at

Thanks for joining the Conversation!

Starting a Business – Objectives and Strategy – Part 1


In Starting a Business, it is important to carefully evaluate your business objectives and strategy at an early stage.  Using the Six Minute Strategist methodology, six factors have been identified to bring structure and clarity to this process.


Strategic Planning is at the core of any successful venture.  At the core of this is establishing the objectives for your business.  These objectives may be financial but equally they may be subjective or aspirational.

Examples of Objectives include:

“To achieve turnover of £1m in the first year”

“To provide the best customer service”

“To become market leader in…”


In order set out the Goals of the business, consider the following hierarchy in turn:

What is the Mission of the business? What is its overall purpose, what are you trying to achieve?  You should try to distill this down to a mission statement which is clear and concise.

What is your Vision for the business? Steve Jobs had a clear vision for Apple – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  In setting out a Vision, the founder of the company needs to  communicate his passion and drive to make the business successful to customers and employees alike.

General Aims or Goals:  These are more a more granular checklist of what the business aims to achieve.  They should cover all areas of the business and range over period of time, several years ideally.

Objectives:  Once you have thought through the points above, it is possible to focus on some measurable and achievable specific objectives.  These should as far as possible be used as milestones to judge the progress that the business is making as it develops and grows.

MBO – Management by Objectives

In his 1954 book, the Practice of Management, Peter Drucker set out a process called Management by Objectives in which he set out how to define objectives within an organisation so that management and employees clearly understood their roles within a business.

He believed that these should cover all areas of the business:

  • production
  • sales
  • marketing services
  • HR
  • finance
  • information systems, and
  • research and development.

He argued that there are eight key areas to be addressed

  • productivity
  • innovation
  • market standing
  • physical and financial resources
  • profitability
  • management
  • employees, and
  • public responsibility.


Another methodology for developing objectives is commonly referred to using the acronym – SMART

Specific – clear and unambiguous: what, why, who, where and which? Significant, Stretching, Simple

Measurable – objectives should be capable of measurement – how much? how many?  Meaningful, Measurable, Manageable

Attainable – must be realistic – How can the goal be accomplished? Appropriate, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Aligned

Relevant – the objective should be one that the goal setter must be willing to work towards and believe that it is worthwhile. Realistic, Resourced

Time Bound – setting target dates are crucial.  When?  6 months? 6 weeks? 6 days? What can I do today?  Trackable, Time oriented, Timed

You can also add – ER

Evaluate – the objectives should be holistically evaluated in the context of the whole business. Ethical? Enjoyable? Engaging?

Reevaluate – periodically, the whole process should be reviewed for progress and the objectives rebalanced and reassessed to ensure they continue to meet the requirements of the business.  Rewarded, Reassess, Recordable,

Six Minute Strategist Start Up Course – Is this for you?

Are you struggling to get your Start-Up Started?

Do you need to learn more about Business and Financial Plans

Do you need to learn how to pitch to investors?

Take a look at my brief Video…

Now go and check out the Course at

Thanks for joining the Conversation!


Announcing the Six Minute Strategist Strategic Audit – How can this help YOU?

I am delighted to announce the launch of the Six Minute Strategist Strategic Audit

In discussions with clients we are frequently asked a wide range of strategic questions about their business.  We have spent a considerable amount of time collating these in order to produce a coherent and holistic approach to Corporate Strategic Evaluation.

Using a broad range of tools and drawing on over two decades of advisory experience, we have drawn this together into an organised and comprehensive programme.

We are therefore very excited to be launching the Six Minute Strategist Strategic Audit,  offering client companies the opportunity to work with us to conduct a comprehensive Strategic Audit of their business based on the Six Minute Strategy methodology

Who is this intended for?

We believe that this is most applicable to growing privately owned companies or divisions of public companies who want to gain a real insight into their business, how it is positioned and how it is performing.

What does the Audit Cover?



The six segments of the Six Minute Strategist Strategic Audit comprises of six modules – all designed to really get under the skin of the business.

  • Strategic Position
  • Business Analysis
  • Financial
  • Valuation
  • Competitors
  • SWOT

A little more about each of these, although of course, we can’t give you all the detail here.

Strategic Position

How do you stand in the market? We shall look at the position of the company in its market, taking in products and services, customers and competitors

Business Analysis

Is your Organisation unto the challenges of today’s business? A close look at Management, Staff and Shareholders as well as the company’s go to market strategy and competences will come under the microscope.


What do the numbers look like? What do they mean? The goal here is to evaluate past, current and future performance and prospects.


Am I creating real value for shareholders?  How can I do better? The key question that every Entrepreneur wants answered.  We delve deep into the valuation issues which are applicable to your company


Have I got the right strategy to compete?  Otherwise known as Know Your Enemy, using only publicly available information, we make a structured appraisal of your top 20 competitors to help you become more effective.


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  The so what analysis from all the digging and delving above.

Will this be Confidential?

Yes.  John will engage with you as a Partner of IAF Capital.  IAF Capital is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority

How do I find out More?

To sign up to the Six Minute Strategist Blog List and reach out to us to learn more click on this link.  If you are already a subscriber or do not want to join the list, please contact John directly by email at john.colley[at]iafcapital[dot]com.  We will get back to you quickly to tell you more about the Six Minute Strategist Audit and how we can work together.

When you call, I will tell you about our introductory time limited Offer on the Strategic Audit Programme.

Oh yes, there are some BONUS elements too….but you need to ask me what they are by emailing me or calling me.  All the details are on my contact page here.