No matter where your business stands today, you’re likely to agree that change is once again in the air, and that optimism is prevailing.
Reflecting on a year of change, I have witnessed survival of the fittest in full effect. The companies who have prevailed were already carefully handling all aspects of their business, many with contingency plans in place. I’ve seen astounding resiliency and creativity – businesses adapting operations and evolving to find new ways to reach customers. The challenges have certainly strengthened many businesses.
In this month’s Navigator, we sit down with Robert Davis, CEO at Network Security Associates, to gain the perspective of a business owner who has worked closely with Eagle.
Also, we cover the topic of when is the best time to hire and promote staff, in light of this past year’s events.
Eagle Corporate Advisors
Business owners ask Eagle Corporate Advisors some seriously great questions. Our team wants to share them from time to time.
Following the uncertainty of the past year, how should employers determine whether it’s a good time to once again hire, rehire and promote staff?
This question is about investing in your people, which happens in a number of ways, and should be a constant in your business. Employers should approach this matter in the same manner, all the time.
- You should always be supporting your people.
- You should always be training your people.
- You should be continually promoting your people based on established roles, responsibilities and career path accomplishments. And be sure to promote people only after they have trained their replacement so that their seat is not left vacant.
- You should hire at times when cashflow and profitability can justify adding another person, or when new hires can be leveraged to improve productivity (thus increasing profitability).
Each of the above factors can and should be tracked.
Improving NSA’s Operating Systems
The Navigator sat down with Robert Davis, CEO at Network Security Associates, to gain the perspective of a business owner.
Hi! Please introduce yourself and share what your company, NSA, is all about.
“I’m Robert Davis, and I’m CEO at Network Security Associates. We’re a provider of managed IT solutions, many of which are cloud-based. Currently a ten-person team, I’m proud that we’ve maintained our size through the events of the past year. We started in 2003. Customer service is our top priority– we absolutely jump through hoops for our clients. In fact, before starting my own business I was managing a local IT company and my boss said I was spending too much time on customer service! Now we do it my way.”
How did you learn about Eagle Corporate Advisors?
“I met Chuck Mohler in 2015 at an event where he gave a presentation on business valuation. I was very impressed. It was at a time where NSA had hit a growth plateau, and I felt uncertain about our path to continued growth.”
Businesses are complex– where did you and Eagle start?
“I initially brought in Chuck’s team to perform an assessment to identify key areas for improvement. I’m not sure what I expected, however what they did was extremely thorough, starting with hundreds of questions. Frankly, that part was a bit painful. The questions are hard.”
Which types of projects did you and the Eagle team work on from there?
There have been several, yet a couple examples are:
“The assessment results held a couple big surprises, primarily in financial areas. I learned that my books were in really bad shape – I had no idea how bad they were. I had really put a lot of trust in my bookkeeper.
Chuck was able to identify the problem, uncover its source, and help me fix it. It became clear that changing bookkeepers and tax CPA firms would be necessary, and Chuck guided me through the transition. We continue going over the books on a regular basis. Since Chuck is also a CPA, he has been part of the discussions as we’ve implemented in proactive tax strategies as well.”
“Through collaboration we’ve developed personality profiles for key staff, which has been extremely helpful. This added to our existing company culture comprised of a service attitude, no geek speak, and no condescension.”
What difference has Chuck’s team made?
“There are many areas that Chuck’s team has helped with, and what’s huge is the peace of mind that I’ve gained. I’ve started sleeping better for the first time since I opened the business, and that was years ago.
The documents and procedures that we’ve developed really work. Each plan is customized after the assessment phase– it’s not cookie-cutter.”
How does Eagle stand out from other business advisors?
“I’d worked with business advisors in the past, and I wound up feeling like we were making business decisions based on false information. This has not been the case with Eagle. Chuck is honest and flexible, and communicates with kindness, compassion and empathy. Eagle truly wants to help.”
Entrepreneurs, when starting out, wear many hats and perform many tasks. However, for the company to grow and evolve over time, the owners will need to shift from performing hands-on work to process-driven managerial work to strategic ownership work. How do they break out of their rut to make that leap?
These changes may require the expert, professional help of an objective outside specialist. This is one of the reasons Eagle Corporate Advisors was founded — to provide challenged business owners with the best knowledge and wisdom from continued learning and decades of experience. We show owners a new way of doing things, putting them on the right track, no matter their goals.
Seek expertise. Reap long term benefits.