The Deep Dark Secret of What Drives Value in Your Company

This is the second in a two-part blog entry.

In the last blog entry, we discussed value drivers and defined them as the tangible and intangible elements, which enhance the perceived value of your company’s product or service. You can think of Value Drivers like a packing list.  By making an exhaustive list of the things that drive the value of your company, you are building consensus with your leadership team on the items of importance in your journey to build a more valuable company. Value drivers help you gain insight into every department, division or business unit of your enterprise and how they work together and impact one another.

There are 8 internal value drivers and 6 external. Both sets are crucial in helping leadership teams determine the value of their company, and focus on the positive.

Let’s start with the internal value drivers; these are special because they are under your control. In order to drill down one more step, each value driver has a special area of focus – also known as a dimension. By taking a more granular look at each driver, it’s easier to put a value on a concept that can be abstract at best.

Here are the internal value drivers:

1. Financial performance & management
2. Corporate structure, ownership & legal
3. Asset base
4. Product/service development
5. Delivery
6. Business management
7. Information systems & internet
8. Leadership, management, & HR

Scoring each value driver with your leadership team presents a clear, and accurate, picture of where you stand. Consensus is key in order to continue moving forward. Rating these value drivers will provide a baseline, and also direct your attention to the transformational initiatives which are crucial to success.  I use a 1 to 5 scale with 5 equating to an industry high benchmark and 1 representing a absence of knowledge or a real company weakness.

The external value drivers are representative of how your company is perceived by outside stakeholders: this includes the competition, your bank, as well as current and potential clients. In most cases, the big leaps in enterprise value will come from changes to the external value drivers so pay special attention to these.

Here are the external value drivers:

1. Markets & marketing
2. Sales & channel management
3. Product/service offerings
4. Pricing
5. Customer base
6. Customer support

These value drivers offer you and your team the opportunity to take a critical look at your services and/or products and how they perform in the market. You’ll also determine if you’re selling them at the right price, through the right channels and to the right customer base.

Understanding your company’s value is critical to any strategic planning process since it guides decisions that will have the biggest return on investment (ROI).

Remember, this exercise can’t be conducted in a vacuum. You’ll need to include your entire leadership team (and perhaps external stakeholders) for their input and experience – and to make sure everyone is on the same page. As you tally up the scores for each section, you’ll be able to build a consensus and see where you are, and where you need to be.

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