If you took over a company...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Connemara, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    I would also start thinking about the more strategic issues - why does the company exist? what are the advantages and disadvantages? why do people buy the product/service? what are the most expensive parts of the processes - both in making the product/service and the selling. what are the most/least profitable parts? what can be outsourced, what can't, at any cost, be outsourced. who are the most valuable members of the team
    I would assume you would do a lot of this BEFORE you took over the company, no?

    the other sections of your post I completely agree with.
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I would assume you would do a lot of this BEFORE you took over the company, no?

    the other sections of your post I completely agree with.


    well, depends what "taking over the company" means - before I bought it, yes. if I was offered the job of CEO, maybe not. or I would do it in a very superficial way. I mean, really going into depth on these points in an organized way.


    I've been very successful in the position I am in, and in one other position I have been in (when I was in India). in both cases, one of the keys, was to really take apart the sales process in a formal way, and re-think who should be doing each part. and it wasn't a short exercise. and nobody had ever done it before, in either company. so, If I were running a company, I'd do that with all the elements, but I don't think that I would be able to do it before I took over.
     
  3. gort

    gort Senior member

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    My company has a casual dress code. I'd immediately outline a written standard that all employees must conform to so these slobs would stop showing up to work in cargo shorts and flip flops during the summer time. Probably something like jeans being the bottom of the barrel and no frayed/torn clothing.
     
  4. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    -Visit key vendors, essential suppliers or talent and customers
    -Meet regularly with employees to communicate decisions and vision for the company
    -don't promise anything you can't keep
    -Do a financial review
    -If you are going to layoff people, announce who they are ASAP to get it done and out of the way.
     
  5. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Size/scale makes a huge difference too.

    Gerstner's book on IBM (who says elephants can't dance) is pretty good about describing the scale of the thing and highlights how you could never really know the details of any company that size. If the company is big enough, even once you're there, you are not going to be able to learn all the areas where you do business.

    +1 on talking to your key customers, They'll tell what your key strengths are and why they buy from you and also give you ideas on what else they want or what interests them about your competitors. Internal staff really don't know, or may apply a filter to it.
     
  6. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Size/scale makes a huge difference too.

    Gerstner's book on IBM (who says elephants can't dance) is pretty good about describing the scale of the thing and highlights how you could never really know the details of any company that size. If the company is big enough, even once you're there, you are not going to be able to learn all the areas where you do business.

    .


    good point - I could see, conceivably, finding myself the CEO of a company the size I work for now. although that is a stretch. being the head of sales of a company a little bigger than mine would be more likely. but if anybody offered me a significantly bigger company, I might be flattered but I wouldn't want it.
     
  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Some really good stuff here, particularly by GT and Douglas.

    First thing I would do though is...nothing. In fact, I would make a pledge not to make changes for three-six months, as long as the company was a going concern (if it wasn't, I probably would not have "taken it over" unless I had already done extensive due diligence).

    Why nothing? No one will trust you yet. Do the stuff GT, Douglas, and PSG said and get some cred and trust first. Get that and staff will offer up good suggestions for change. Find out why things are done the way they are done before you go changing them.
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Some really good stuff here, particularly by GT and Douglas.

    First thing I would do though is...nothing. In fact, I would make a pledge not to make changes for three-six months, as long as the company was a going concern (if it wasn't, I probably would not have "taken it over" unless I had already done extensive due diligence).

    Why nothing? No one will trust you yet. Do the stuff GT, Douglas, and PSG said and get some cred and trust first. Get that and staff will offer up good suggestions for change. Find out why things are done the way they are done before you go changing them.


    good point - when I started in my present job, my CEO didn't let me change a thing for 6 months. nada. I was totally freaked out - I said "Where I come from, if you don't bring in results in 90 days, you're out of a job" and they said not to worry. but I was really worried. it was a very smart way of doing it. but its also not a publicly traded company. the CEO is the owner
     
  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    good point - when I started in my present job, my CEO didn't let me change a thing for 6 months. nada. I was totally freaked out - I said "Where I come from, if you don't bring in results in 90 days, you're out of a job" and they said not to worry. but I was really worried. it was a very smart way of doing it. but its also not a publicly traded company. the CEO is the owner

    I learn from my mistakes. Be the new guy, start changing things and pissing off established direct reports, and you're usually dead in the water. Get trust, insight, and buy in? You're golden.
     
  10. celery

    celery Senior member

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    Be the new guy, start changing things and pissing off established direct reports, and you're usually dead in the water. Get trust, insight, and buy in? You're golden.

    + a million

    I've seen this many times, new guy comes in, wants to play hot shot and shake everything up, ends up pissing everyone off and is canned.
     
  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have owned three companies and sold two of them. I think it is not only OK but positive to make changes right away if you are the new owner and as long as it is in your specific area of expertise. I have seen very successful changes made for the better when that was the case.

    What is a mess is when a financial guy comes in and starts telling creative what to do and then you see an exit of talent. Or, a Marketing guy telling finance how to organize. That sort of thing is usually the beginning of the end.

    Any company to grow or remain successful needs to maintain momentum. Anything you do to remove positive "MO" will kill ya. Often, after a sale, you need to show the industry that "things will be as good or better" and that requires a few bold moves in new products or services. You can rarely do that without at least some change.
     
  12. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    + a million

    I've seen this many times, new guy comes in, wants to play hot shot and shake everything up, ends up pissing everyone off and is canned.


    Of course, there are times when this is the intended outcome. Bring in an outsider to make the difficult / unpopular choices, then give him the axe once he's done his job.
     
  13. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Of course, there are times when this is the intended outcome. Bring in an outsider to make the difficult / unpopular choices, then give him the axe once he's done his job.

    We usually call those folks "consultants." [​IMG]
     
  14. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Agreed. I read a book a while back about a guy (name escapes me) who has a consulting firm that goes in to businesses and makes them run as efficiently as possible. Pretty interesting book; lot of instances where they have fired leeching family members in family-run businesses, and completely crumbled family relationships, but made the company 2x more profitable as a result.

    This is exactly what is happening right now in a small insurance company my dad's insurance company just took over. They went in, investigated (dad investigated all aspects of claims), and decided that if this company simply modernized and cut out all the dead weight (i.e. brothers, cousins, aunts, etc.), it would be greatly profitable.
     
  15. gort

    gort Senior member

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    We usually call those folks "consultants." [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So what exactly would you say, you do here?[​IMG]
     

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