Answers From Contributor – Lowri Bolton
Sarah-Jane Peterschlingmann was the guest speaker at the ACS Gold Coast Chapter event – Leveraging Diversity to Increase Business Value.
The degree of diversity within a business could be the difference between success and failure for every company. Last month, the Gold Coast Chapter of the Australian Computer Society was delighted to present Ms. Sarah-Jane Peterschlingman, Managing Director of ATech, an award-winning international online services and cloud company based in Australia. Sarah-Jane is an entrepreneur and business growth specialist and it was our pleasure to welcome her to speak about business valuation and the impact of diversity on a business’ bottom line.
Introduced by ACS Women’s Board member and experienced management consultant, Enid Hughes, Sarah-Jane led a discussion on what diversity means, resulting in a diverse range of definitions. From differences in values, cultures, genders, skills and experiences, to multiple avenues to conduct business and related activities, it was a unanimous agreement that diversity is people, products and business processes are important for business survival.
A business can be valued through the following model: value = annual profit x risk factor. To gain a better risk factor and raise value, a business needs to undertake mitigation strategies, and Sarah-Jane highly recommends diversification of key business aspects. Sarah-Jane stresses diversity in four core areas of business; finances, marketing, operations and human resources. The idea is, by not putting all your eggs in one basket, the business gains fall back options when facing difficulties and this can greatly mitigate risks.
“Don’t rely on one Big Fish. If it dies, it will kick up a stink.”
You can’t rely on one or a few major clients. If they buckle, you are sure to go under with them. Sarah-Jane suggests having no more than 10% of your revenue to be sourced from a single client. Diversify your client mix to provide diversity to your business ‘finances.
“Have more than one pillar holding up your business.”
Diversify your marketing channels to reach a wider audience. If you rely on only one or maybe a couple, you are missing the opportunity to speak to so many more people and losing potential business.
“When a bridge to your goal crumbles, have a boat ready!”
Diversification in all business operations allows a business to continue working in the face of adversity. A second or even third method to complete a task provides much needed redundancy to avoid business stagnation and collapse. Identify potential bridges in your business and have boats at the ready to cross them.
“You need to remove or be aware of unconscious bias.”
Most of us have an unconscious bias towards or against certain people. It is important that we learn to identify this and stop it from affecting our choices. We can often miss out on amazing opportunities to work with talented people because of this unconscious bias affecting our employee decisions. By implementing these contingency measures into your business through diversity, Sarah-Jane believes that risk mitigation will improve along with business value and long term success.
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