James Murray

James Murray

25 year expert in technology. Specializing in mirroring business process into technology.

Recent Posts by James Murray:

I hear you want to buy a Brewery?

Before you buy, think Sell?

Wait, that’s confusing. Is this article about Buying or Selling a brewery? Even a craft brewery, a small batch distillery or a small winery is a business. You may love what you do, but eventually, the ownership will be transitioned. Either to your family, a buyer, or maybe even your employees. Let’s face it; owning a craft brewery is more than just a business it’s a lifestyle. In building your brewery, you are also creating a community that shares your passion for your beer. When your brewery is gone and after the last beer is finished that community will have lost something. Whether buying or building your brewery, before you buy, think about selling first!

Topics: Exit Planning IT Due Diligence Due Diligence

Mousetrap Marketing

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” was attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes the mousetrap as “…the most frequently invented device in US History.” The irony is that this is an Emerson misquote. Emerson was trying to discuss, with his 19th-century audience, the concept of innovation. He was saying that no matter what you sell, it is innovation and not efficiency that will have customers, “…beating a path to your door.” Mousetrap marketing focuses on marketing innovation, rather than developing marketing efficiencies.

IT Tribal Knowledge & Business Value

What does it mean when the key technology expert suddenly finds another job? Once or twice a year, for the last twenty years I get a call like this.

James, our top IT guy just put in his two weeks notice. I’m not sure we can function without him. What should we do? Could you come over and help!

What I’ve found is that there are three reasons key technical people leave:

  • About 20% of the time – The person is bored, went interviewing and got a much better offer.
  • About 40% of the time – The person realizes they are in over their heads in that the technology requirements have passed their understanding and experience. Unfortunately, the person is not able to express this to management (or management just won’t listen). So they abruptly leave.
  • Again about 40% of the time – The person was too ignorant to realize they were in over their heads. Later the IT Technician sees a major technical emergency in the company’s future. Something so bad, usually business impacting, that will get them fired. Instead of telling someone, they find another role at another company. It may be 1 week to 6 months later before everything begins falling apart at the original company.
Topics: Business Value IT Due Diligence Due Diligence Tribal Knowledge Investment Banking

The secret of 80/20 in IT Due Diligence

Which is better a $10,000 or $40,000 return for the same investment?

 

In the past, there have been ideas that were ahead of their time. So far ahead, that they were quickly forgotten. Then “re-discovered” decades later. An example would be Chaos Theory (1969) and the Pareto Principle (1941). At their core, both these concepts have their roots in the work of Vilfredo Pareto who first pointed out the 80/20 correlations in 1896. In 1941, Joseph Juran described the rule saying that “…80% of problems are caused by only 20% of causes…”. This has led to business axioms like:

    • 80% of Sales are made by only 20% of the sales team.
    • 80% of company purchases are made by only 20% of customers.
Topics: 80/20 Strategies Technical Advantage IT Due Diligence Due Diligence Pareto principle Mid-Market Investment Banking

M&A Due Diligence

Introducing, M&A IT Due Diligence

Due diligence is a comprehensive appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer, to establish its assets and liabilities to evaluate its commercial potential. M&A experts perform due diligence when they buy a business. Traditionally this due diligence has focused on the financial, managerial and business operations. The question for the modern M&A professional, "...is this enough?"

Topics: Customer Aquisition IT Due Diligence Due Diligence

Modern M&A strategies for business buying

The Survey:

In 2018 Deloitte surveyed the Investment Banking industry.  The survey asked Investment bankers, “What are the strategic drivers motivating your purchases this year?”  In other words, what are you looking for in your next business investment?  The top 5 results:

  1. 20% - Technology Asset Acquisition*(see note:)
  2. 19% - Expanding Customer Base
  3. 16% - Expanding product or services lines
  4. 12% - A Successful Digital strategy
  5. 9% - Talent Acquisition

*Note: This is up from 16% in 2017

Numbers 2 & 3 have been traditional strategies for buying a business. 

Topics: Business Transition Business buying strategies IT Due Diligence Due Diligence

Vision 2.0 “Center of Influence” Strategy

Centers of Influence (COI) is a new term for an old business networking strategy. We want to use traditional concepts that worked well before technology, then discuss how to use information and business technologies to take the traditional concept to the next level.

Topics: Business Networking Vision 2.0 Business Transition Centers of Influence Customer Aquisition

The Vision 2.0 Variable

Using the Vision 2.0 Variable

Do you own a successful business? Is your plan to keep growing that business? If so, then then the Vision 2.0 Variable can help!

Topics: Business Development Employee Productivity Capacity Planning Vision 2.0