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An Ideal Business Model for the Interim Manager – The SSB Model

Note 6.1.3

The original Statement was first drafted about 25 years ago by Charles Russam and Russam GMS and called the SSB Model.  Its principles are just as valid now as they were then although some of the metrics have needed to be updated.   It has stood the test of time.  It has had a few critics – from a broad range of stakeholders – who have occasionally described it over that period of time as simplistic, patronising, excessive or unnecessary.  Those who have been able to overlook any or all of these alleged characteristics have found the SSB Model statement amazingly helpful. They say that it goes very quickly to the heart of the challenge and points them towards the things that matter.

The basic SSB Model message is that, as an Interim Manager, you are not an individual. An Interim Manager is a business – a small business – a Serious Small Business.  You are, in fact, a professional services business – and you ought to run your Practice like the best professional services businesses do – irrespective of size.
The problem with becoming an Interim Manager is that it is very difficult to find out exactly how to make it work well at the outset. If you are doing the discovery process yourself, you never know when you know enough; getting external guidance is difficult as you very often don’t know what to ask and/or believe and authoritative sources of information and guidance are not plentiful.  What works for one person will not necessarily work for another person.  The reality is that it is a volume sales process and a quality one.
In developing yourself as a Serious Small Business, we would suggest to you that the answers lie in:-

  • Defining your ‘product’
  • Getting the work
  • Being good at what you do

Mainstream thinking is that the narrower and more focussed your ‘product’ is, the easier it is to identify your target market – being those organisations (and the executives within those organisations) who are most likely to want to buy your ‘product’.  This makes it easier to sell.

Your own Serious Small Business, like any business, needs to have all the functions and levels of activity necessary to succeed:-

  • Business planning & Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Selling
  • Accounting and Financial and Personal Financial Management
  • IT
  • HR & legislation
  • Operations

All of this tells you what to do and points to sources that are likely to be helpful. How to do it is a different matter. If you can’t find all the answers that you are looking for, get in touch with the Technical Topic Partner.

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