This document offers different templates for the ongoing diagnosis of a business. The templates are suggestions on how to collect information and to take decisions in a formalized way. The templates can support the business consultant in his/her decisions, but subjective and reflected thinking will always be decisive.
There are several ways of making a diagnose of a company – In Early Warning we try to look at the human side as well as the company.

Starting with the person:
Always start with open questions in order to make/build the trust between you and the business owner. Always be positive and aware of even small things to complement. Ask about the family and the closest relations. In order to create a good feeling between the consultant the person in distress. 

Try to look him/her in the eyes – are they firm or avoiding eye contact. Remember that we have two eyes and only one mouth 😊

And now to the factfinding:
In order to help the company we have to know “all about the company” and it is helpful to work with the process in a structured way. Which topic you start with does not matter – as long as your cover them all. Make sure that the interview is carried out in a positive way

How is the company organized?

  • Who are the owners – are there a board of directors – good/bad
  • Structure of employees – how are the company organized – the right persons?
  • Partners – mayor suppliers – important business partners
  • Administrative procedures/routines
  • Legal matters – IP – important contracts

Customer relations:

  • Marketing – do you know your customer – why do they buy your product/service
  • How do you make your sales – the process – speech
  • Communication and PR – who – how – why
  • Branding – how is your brand?

Operation of the business

  • How do you handle/control the company?
  • Financing – bank – investments – risk management
  • Ongoing/current projects
  • Software and IT
  • Facilities

Business Concept/model

  • Mission and vision of the company
    The story of the company
    The idea behind / why are we here
    Senariobuilding – what will and when will it happen
  • Product portfolio/design/innovation
  • Business model
  • Customers – segments – top 10
  • Market position – competitors

Company economy / Financial statement / Numbers

  • How is the result
  • Cash-flow
  • Current balance
  • Debtors and supplier debts

For further information please consult tool no 45