AFES Consulting

redefining business potential...

Beginning at inception, business owners have beliefs about the potential of their venture.  These beliefs will be adjusted as the business encounters positive and negative cycles, and are often adopted by employees.  This process takes place within the most successful enterprises, short lived business failures, and even the small business that has a long life span that appears to reside on a plateau.  The primary difference is the approach to the process, and the vast majority of business owners / managers mistakenly limit their potential based on perceived market “roadblocks”.  Roadblocks are only effective when we cease advancing, instead of navigating through or around them.  Even worse, we often will completely avoid successful paths upon the thought of a potential “roadblock”.

Every successful business recognized as a market leader would have never reached the level of accomplishment if they would have limited their vision because of potential market difficulties instead of strategically advancing.  AFES Consulting works with clients to identify optimal potential, develop a strategy to fulfill, and implement the procedures/tools to achieve.

AFES Strategy Consulting
Business Life Cycle Consulting

Startup

Whether a business owner is convinced his or her new entity will change the world, or simply provide a needed service to a community, the “startup” phase of the business life cycle is critical. Decisions will be made, and procedures implemented that will significantly impact the likelihood of long-term success of the venture.  AFES Consulting assists clients with identifying and implementing procedures that will promote growth.  We ensure clients meet regulatory requirements, and remain in compliance through the initial operating period. If more than advisory services are needed, AFES also engages as an external task owner in financial and operational management.

Plateau

A business may enter the “plateau phase” at any time subsequent to the startup period.  Defined by it’s name, the plateau phase is simply a period of time that operational revenues remain relatively flat, or without sustained increases or decreases.  This phase can be deceiving, and not initiate red flags if the business has experienced enough success to have reached an “acceptable” level of revenue. A business is only in a plateau phase on paper, but in reality the business is always either expanding or retracting.  Sales may remain at “x”, but activities within the business will demonstrate actual expansion or retraction was occurring in a later period.  It is critical to continue growth efforts in this phase to avoid transitioning into decline. AFES Consulting assists clients returning to an expansion phase.

Growth

As the business moves beyond the startup period, a level of fluid operation often referred to as the “growth phase” gains identity.  While the startup phase may be considered the most exciting, the growth phases of the life cycle are the most rewarding.  The positive aspects of the growth phase can potentially hide problems within the organization.  Maintaining adequate procedures and a forward looking strategy to sustain the period of growth is critical.  Common failures during a growth phase include utilizing large amounts of resources for revenue growth, but failing to provide resources to maintain support staff, equipment, and software to maintain an optimal operation.

Decline

It would be rare to locate a business owner or manager that would choose to operate in a “Decline Phase”.  As in life, in business we must operate in the environment as it is, not the environment we prefer.  The decline phase cannot be sustained, or the business will ultimately fail which requires actions to alter the trajectory.  Still, the decline phase can be healthy for the long term success of the business if appropriate action is taken. It provides an opportunity to evaluate the operation, and eliminate unproductive business elements.  The path that resulted in the decline should be investigated, specifically identifying problematic choices. In summary, it is beneficial to take action to strengthen the business foundation during a decline, but these actions are secondary to those that must be taken to transition to a growth phase.