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SME CEO Issues

View Peter Black's profile on LinkedIn     E: peter.black@peterblackcoaching.com   M: 0419 510 955  T: @PeterBlackCoach

Every month from March 2011 to July 2021, I had the opportunity and privilege to meet with each of my SME CEO members of The Executive Connection for a 1:1 coaching session. The purposes of this session were to provide an impartial sounding board and maintain accountability towards his or her own business and personal goals.  I did not provide advice or consulting services - although did ensure that the member was accessing appropriate professional resources in addition to the peer mentoring the TEC Group provides.

In the time I wasdoing this, I can summarise the key issues that I discussed down to the following 10 key themes (and these are irrespective of the business, industry or gender of the CEO):

  1. People, people, people - recruitment, induction, onboarding, development, performance and expectation management, termination
  2. Mental health issues - business owners, significant others, employees
  3. Prioritisation and time management - dealing with the strategic as well as the operational/tactical, carving out planning time, maintaining focus, dealing with distractions, managing multiple stakeholders and priorities
  4. Strategy and change - focusing on the medium to long term sustainability and viability of the business, looking for new markets (China/Asia?), products, services etc, and exploring the possible impact of demographic, economic, political and technological change
  5. Technology, Social Media, Cyber Security, Privacy - what technology to adopt, in house server or cloud based, which social media sites to be on, preventing attacks on and integrity of data, ensuring privacy of employee and customer data, BYOD
  6. Funding, cash flow and financing - a perennial issue for many businesses.  Exploring the terms of business, alternative funding sources, separating business from personal if possible, managing taxation liabilities
  7. Exit strategies and succession planning - how does the CEO/owner ultimately exit? Does the business have a sale value? Does money have to be made on the way through? Who will succeed the CEO/owner? Is succession planning in place?
  8. Processes, procedures and compliance - using technology to have effective and efficient processes, ensuring clear policies are in place to provide clarity and manage risks, meeting statutory compliance obligations
  9. Business/personal/life integration - balancing what could be the 24/7 demands of a business, ensuring investment in personal relationships, planning holidays, actively managing health
  10. ????? - the X factor, the Black Swan event, the impact of "unknown unknowns"
How does this list compare to what is going on in your business?  Would you benefit from a monthly session with me or someone like me together with a group of peer mentors?  If so, please call or email me.