Over the years I have seen some businesses that have fantastic ideas, products or services that just get stuck, stop growing and fade away.
I have seen families and businesses ripped apart by feuds or those that have experienced the classic ‘clogs to clogs in three generations’ whereby the hard work of the original owner is lost in the process of succession. I have also seen many lovely business owners unable to retire because they ‘are’ the business and know it will just fall apart if they were to leave. The examples go on and on. It is just such a waste of potential, not only for the individuals involved, but also for the business community, economy and wider society.
On the other hand, I have seen some businesses and owners who have just done it. They have seen and exploited the potential their business has and created sustainable long term wealth. Their business is exactly where they want it to be.
So what is the difference? For the last ten years, I have been striving to understand this better and help businesses achieve their potential. While doing so, I came to realise the importance of the driving forces behind most businesses and identified the stumbling blocks that prevent many entrepreneurs from effectively growing their business. The Levels model was born!
This journey started for me soon after I successfully sold Alexander Industrial Supplies Ltd (AISEL) to Bunzl plc in 2002 and has continued during my time as a business coach and advisor. The Levels model is in fact largely how I built up AISEL to a medium sized company with healthy profits and readied it for sale. At the time, like many other business owners, I didn’t realise exactly what I was doing and thought it was just common sense. Perhaps I am a slow learner or perhaps like so many things we often ignore the obvious.
So has this book been a labour of love over the last ten years. No way!
It has, however, been driven by the look in business owners eyes when, as their coach, I’ve explained the Levels. It’s the moment of realisation I see again and again. At last, someone has put into words what they are experiencing and the response is usually along the lines of “Yes, that is exactly where I am!” or “If only I had known this 30 years ago!”
So, the time is right for the Levels to be put under the spotlight. At its simplest, it is a manual for growth that focuses on the changes a business should put in place to make the difficult TRANSITION up from a small to medium sized company. At its most complex, it’s a guide to challenging and changing your entire way of thinking!
The Levels model has been presented to audiences large and small hundreds of times. It has been discussed at length with a wide range of business professionals and has stood up to academic scrutiny. Most importantly, it has been successfully put into practice by growing businesses with fantastic results over the last 10 years. So it works.
I hope you enjoy reading the book, but most of all I hope it enables you to change for the better and take your business to the place you want it to be. I would love to receive your feedback and, if you do find it useful, spread the word to other business owners because together we can unlock the potential of our economy for future generations.
If you would like to be notified when The Levels: Can Your Business Step Up to the Growth Challenge? Is available for order-