Magazine article Management Today

A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Building to Last - It's a Tall Order

Magazine article Management Today

A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Building to Last - It's a Tall Order

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: This could be it, the big breakthrough we've been waiting for - the biggest and most prestigious order we've ever had. The team is so excited. It's great. Well, it would be if I wasn't so terrified that we won't be able to handle it. If we turn this down, our competitors will have a field day. If we take it on and can't hack it, we're dead. What should we do?

ISSUES: This is a big judgment call. How are you going to establish a process that is well informed, considers all the options and has the support of the top team?

A realistic assessment of the opportunity, your current capabilities, your competitive position, the additional resources re- quired, the financial implications and the key risks is essential. Gather all the relevant facts and opinions. Be clear which are most important and be cynical about prestige.

How profitable is the order? Is it priced right? Pricing to win with no margin for error could prove fatal. Can you drop less attractive business to reduce the operational stress? If it means a steep increase in costs for a one-off order, how will you adjust costs later? Will additional finance be required? If so, how easy will it be to raise? …

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