Venture capital, private equity and business service firms (accountants, lawyers, etc) have a vested interest in their client companies succeeding.  When your client's business is running well, audits go more smoothly, they are paying your invoices on time - and most importantly for investors, when your portfolio company is running well and on a growth track, you are far more likely to get a return on your investment. 

A friend of mine, a business lawyer, recently asked me what kinds of things she should look for as 'clues' that her clients may need some operational help - here are a few examples:

* Missing deadlines for deliverables and projects
* Spending is consistently over budget
* Not meeting strategic objectives
* Trouble hiring new staff
* Not meeting revenue targets
* Increase in internal costs with no associated revenue growth
* Not getting repeat business
* Unhappy employees
* Issues with project execution
* Sudden/unexpected changes in senior leadership

These could be signs of existing underlying operational problems or signs that operational problems are on the horizon.  Depending on the depth of the issue and the company, they may need a full-time operational leader or someone to come in for some one-time adjustments.  

What other issues have you seen as indications of operational issues? Leave a comment and share your experience.

Debbie Millin is President/CEO of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim COO services, operational assessments and executive project leadership.


11/03/2014 4:46am

When your company is doing better all the stakeholders are satisfied with its performance than no one have any issue. This benefit all the stakeholders of the company because they are getting something form it. So we all need to have the best planning for what we are doing and what we should need to do.

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