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Management Consulting

Introduction

Phase III is able to offer a range of management consulting services to its clients, including:

Establishing a Business

Establishing a business is a process that is best done with careful planning. As a word of warning, 80% of small businesses fail within 10 years, while over 50% of those fail within the first 3 years. Analysis of these failures reveal some common themes:

     -lack of planning

     -inadequate financial planning and management

 Depending on your intended business needs, there are many issues to consider, including:

  • the type of business structure (sole trader, partnership, trust or company)
  • selection and registration of a business name;
  • application for a tax file number;
  • application for Australian business number (ABN);
  • registering for pay-as-you-go and fringe benefits tax;
  • application for workcover and other business insurances;
  • funding - how much and where are you going to obtain it?;
  • operational issues 

To find our more about how Phase III can help you establish your business, download our flyer - Establishing a Business.


Strategic Planning

 
Strategic planning is a continuous process that articulates a business's vision and values and provides the fabric by which all decision making should be guided. When implemented effectively, a strategic plan should lead to a sustainable competitive advantage. 

While there are many valid approaches and views on strategic planning, at Phase III we believe there are four core strategic outcomes of a strategic plan, namely the:

  • business's vision;
  • business's mission;
  • basis for growth; and
  • sustainable competitive advantage.

The business vision sets out the key characteristics of your business at some future point - perhaps 5 years. This might be defined by statements about the size of the business, the people it employs, the products or markets it operates in and perhaps even the quality philosophy the business will adopt.

The business mission succinctly describes the services it provides, the activities it undertakes and the markets within which it operates.

The basis for growth is important as it exposes potential risk and helps define expansion possibilities. The four classical options are shown below:

The fourth core element is the sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) - this answers the question - why will customers buy from you and not your competitors ? 
Sometimes the SCA is referred to as the 'known fors' - that is, your business will be known for:

  • service;
  • low cost;
  • quality;
  • timely delivery; or perhaps
  • innovation.

A business can only have one primary 'known for' and one secondary.

One of the biggest benefits of strategic planning is the process to develop the plan. The discussions, debate and soul-searching required to agree the strategic objectives are usually more powerful than the documentation of the outcomes themselves.


Business Plan Preparation

Few people would set off overseas on a holiday without planning their flights, stop-overs, hotel accommodation, local transport, travellers cheques / cash etc, yet significant numbers of people go into businesses without even the most basic plan for their business!

In many situations financial institutions/investors will not lend monies to a business until the business can show the financier/investor a business plan and accompanying cash-flow statement.

Business plans need not be voluminous documents, rather, it is the process of developing the plan that is usually the most enlightening. Being asked to think about:

  • business structure;
  • products and services;
  • production facilities;
  • sales & marketing;
  • administration;
  • financing;
  • location

can often bring some stark reality to an otherwise perfect dream. Avoiding thinking about where your finance will come from or how you get your product to market will not make the problem go away. Planning for it and making conscious decisions to address the issues is more likely to lead to a successful venture. If you'd like help prepare a business plan or just a copy of our flyer "Business Planning", click on the following link -Business Planning


Financial & Funding Applications

Need to apply for a loan, overdraft or other financial assistance ? Banks, leasing companies or investors usually want to know two key things before they will lend to you/invest in your business:

  • does your business have the capacity to make the repayments; and
  • what security is there to protect the capital value of the finance.

A number of businesses fail to secure the funding they require, not so much because they can't meet the above two criteria, but often because they fail to present the information in a professional format. Foreseeing the likely questions and addressing them in your funding application will often put your business in a more favourable light. Like many other aspects of your business,  you're competing for scarce funds and need to demonstrate your business in the best light. Phase III can help you identify the strengths in your business and document them in an application that helps lenders better understand your business and need for funds. 


Performance Improvement

Want to improve your bottom line but need help ? Often an independent set of eyes can see opportunities or deficiencies in your business that you can't. Phase III has a number of diagnostic tools it can use to review your business, including:

  • strategic focus;
  • product and service offerings;
  • sales channels and incentives;
  • marketing initiatives and measurements;
  • production management;
  • markets and competitive position;
  • administration, including IT;
  • finance, tax and accounting issues;
  • staffing

Any one of these could in itself be denigrating your business's performance, let alone if several of them have issues that need addressed.  Good sales staff may make some progress with a poor product, while a good product may make reasonable sales even with poor sales staff, but a poor product supported by poor sales staff is likely to have a significant negative impact on the business. Call Phase III now for a obligation free discussion.


Policy and Procedure Development

All businesses have some policies and procedures, it just many smaller businesses don't document them. As a business grows it becomes more important to provide clear and guiding policies and procedures. There are a numerous occasions where external parties, such as:

  • Australian Taxation Office;
  • Australian Securities & Investment Commission;
  • Equal Opportunity Board;
  • Unions;
  • Workcover;
  • financiers and investors

will expect the management of a business to have articulated clear policies and procedures to staff. Driving a business vehicle while intoxicated, using a business mobile phone for personal calls or sending inappropriate materials over the business's internet could expose the business to penalties and prosecution or loss. If staff are not clear about what they can and can't do because management hasn't told them, it's difficult to argue the staff should have known better and reprimand them. 

The production and circulation of a simple policy and procedure manual can help alleviate the most common areas of concern.


Recruitment (including Executive Search)

With respect to recruitment, Phase III works with a trusted, experienced associate - Argo Management Services, to ensure Phase III's clients receive continuing high-level service.

Argo Management Services was founded in response to a shift in client recruitment needs towards a more interactive search approach, and growing concerns surrounding the timeframes and efficiency of traditional search firms.  

Argo Management Services offers human resources consulting services, specialising in executive search and selection, with a capacity to recruit at all executive levels of an organisation, as well as offering a personalised consulting service on human resource needs such as executive contracting.

 

The culture of Argo Management Services aligns directly with that of Phase III, that is, one of providing the highest level of service, professionalism, integrity and confidentiality, with an innovative approach to all consulting assignments.  

The consultancy is based on high quality and rigorous research, extensive candidate networking and the application of local market knowledge and experience to ensure full market coverage.

Argo Management Services is unique in that it is able to combine the expediency of the very best recruitment companies, with the enhanced abilities of the executive search firms.  These significant benefits are achieved at highly competitive fees through its technology set up and research orientation, hence providing its clients with a distinct advantage.  Argo Management Services’ fee structure reflects efficient business and process design through its ability to deliver a search methodology at more competitive fee rates than traditional search firms.

In keeping with its philosophy to develop a very thorough understanding of our clients’ corporate culture and corporate vision, Argo Management Services' clients deal only with the principal of the firm who will manage all facets of the search or selection process. This is a key reason for Phase III choosing to work with Argo Management Services.

The Argo selection process is an extremely thorough, proven method of accurately identifying client requirements and of creating successful search or executive selection strategies.

More importantly Argo combines that with personal service and the attention to detail that you would expect from a specialist niche focused consultancy.

Argo Management Services offers a new and fresh approach to the search and selection process, furthermore it has established a joint venture and strategic alliance with the highly respected Royce Communications Group which gives it access to extremely professional research facilities and a unique business network.  While Argo Management Services can provide quality executive search capabilities across all industry sectors, it is developing a singularly strong and recognised niche market within the:

  • Professional Services;

  • Property;

  • Real Estate; and 

  • Financial Services sectors. 

The special skills Argo has been able to develop in meeting the requirements of these industry sectors are not only a matter of record but, more importantly, are available generally to all those companies seeking top level candidates for senior executive positions.

A new innovation has been the development of our graduate and postgraduate recruitment programme, aimed at identifying the best young talent in Australia and assisting them in developing their career paths.

In this capacity we are working with the leading Business Schools and many of the major business management consultancies in the region.

 

Profile : Andrew Tostevin

Andrew Tostevin is the principal of Argo Management Services Pty Ltd.  Andrew has had 20 years of business management experience at a senior management level in the professional publishing industry working for major international publishing houses; included in that period was the successful establishment of his own publishing and book distribution company.

Seeking further professional challenges, Andrew successfully applied his depth of managerial skill, business contacts and experience to human resource consulting, in particular, in executive search and executive selection.  After a period at two of Australia’s most prominent recruitment consultancy firms, where he worked with a range of clients in the IT & T, Professional Services, Telecommunications, Banking and Finance and Real Estate industries - Andrew decided to establish his own specialised executive search and selection consultancy.  Furthermore, this move has enabled Andrew to closely focus on, and personally service, the needs of clients whilst also utilising the wide range of contacts he has in the business community in Melbourne, Sydney and throughout Australia.

Property Investment
Many small-medium business operators and high wealth individuals use property investment as a mechanism for creating wealth. If you already own an investment property or need assistance to buy another, Phase III can help. We can:
  • clarify your financial position and capacity to borrow;
  • prepare a funding proposal for your financier;
  • prepare and lodge a Section 15-15 tax instalment variation on your behalf;
  • model your investment/proposed investment using a property-specific computer model.

See our flyer -Residential Property Investment for more details.

Property investment has though, as with every investment, pros and cons which need to be considered before any investment is made and even over time while the investment is held. At Phase III we've made property investment a focus for our business and invested significant resources in researching and understanding what makes a successful property investment. If you've made the decision to invest in property you may be interested in our flyer - Property Checklist - a handy prompt of some issues to consider when making an investment in residential property. You can download the flyer by clicking on the following link-Residential Property Checklist. 



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