Built Intelligence

One of the most important things to know about business skills by Terry O'Mahony

One of the most important things to know about business skills by Terry O'Mahony

Many years ago I had watched an episode of a television programme called ‘Dragons Den’. During the programme one of the ‘Dragons’ berated a contestant because of his lack of business skills.

Since watching that programme, I have spent many years trying to improve my own business skills.  I have gone from someone who was almost ignorant about business to becoming extremely astute, knowledgeable, and business savvy.  Today, I want to share one of my key business insights with you –  a fully thought-out business model will save 1,000 hours of wasted time!

Saving time and money

These days I am always helping people to focus their thinking correctly to save them time, money and to improve their chances of success.  For example, a coaching client of mine is the owner of a twenty-person strong architectural practice.  One day he asked me to help him review the state of his business and to give him some pointers as to how he might grow and develop the practice further.

Secretly, I was excited to introduce him to one of the most useful and powerful business tools I use to help clients and their teams to jointly find improvements to their business practices.

So, I introduced him to the renowned Business Model Canvas a tool designed by Alex Osterwalder, a theorist and entrepreneur.  It’s a tool that prompts business leaders and their teams to review their businesses using nine connected boxes that represent all the key elements of any business:

Filling out the canvas with relevant concepts, ideas and information can take as little as 30 minutes or it could take many hours over an extended period.  The canvas will help any team to understand their business model better, how it hangs together and what are the most important elements within it.

The canvas makes the evaluation process simple, clear, and straightforward.  I normally recommend that teams do the following:

  • Have a copy of the canvas printed on paper at a large scale.
  • The paper should be pinned to a wall.
  • Members of the team review the business as the notes accompanying the canvas recommends.
  • Use Post-it Notes to record key insights, impressions, questions, and possible actions; and attach them to the canvas in the appropriate boxes.
  • Then share it with everyone that can further contribute to it or will possibly be impacted by it.
  • List all the actions required together with responsibilities and by when.

When I observe teams taking this practice seriously, I recommend that they merge their findings into their Strategic Plan or Business Plan in a way that makes sense to the whole team and anyone they share it with.

About the author

Terry O’Mahony, M.Sc, MCIOB, Construction Leaders Club

Terry has significant leadership and business management experience within the construction, property and investment industry. He graduated with an MSc in Construction Project Management and has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) for several decades. Having started his career with a national building contractor, he went on to hold several senior management positions in the industry in a career that spans over four decades. During the past forty years Terry has been engaged in the strategic growth, marketing and selling of goods and services within the construction industry. He has worked in a variety of businesses including small, medium and large national construction businesses, managing business and teams to deliver multi-million pound projects.

Terry is a highly experienced and respected ‘Business Growth Coach, having been the principal Midlands-based construction growth coach and consultant on the government’s accredited ‘Growth Accelerator’ programme.


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