Many business managers only look into the health of the business when something has gone wrong, or when they detect the early (sometimes not so early!) signs that something is not right.
The cost of correcting an issue after the fact is typically much higher than preventing the issue from occurring in the first place – studies have shown that this can be a factor of ten or more depending on the complexity of the situation and how quickly it is tackled. The longer a problem is allowed to continue unchallenged, the more difficult (and expensive) it becomes to resolve. The chances are that if the banks are already hammering at the door, you have missed the opportunity to prevent the problem, or at least mitigate it. So what should you do?
The most important thing to do is act in a timely manner. An independent health check will help you to identify potential issues in time to enable preventative or corrective actions to be taken early in the process. Those actions need to be implemented quickly and efficiently, so be honest about your own capabilities and availability – if you need help, get it!
Even if there are no major problems uncovered by the exercise, there is almost always a payback in terms of opportunities for improvement. This is where the external perspective can really help. By working closely with your own in-house talent and by involving all key stakeholders, the independent consultant can help you to quickly refocus and redirect efforts to the areas that will start to deliver immediate improvements.