OUR ESSENCE

Heron Business Services Limited has a 15 year track record of consistency and excellence in the advisory industry and specifically for delivering high quality communications results in the private / public partnership space.

Relationships with clients and media have been nurtured over the years resulting in a professional intimacy with the key stakeholders that is based on mutual trust and respect. The client knows that we will deliver, on time, and at high standards.

But more than this, the team members love what they do, relish new opportunities, rise to the challenge that those new projects present and live to see their clients succeed.

Heron has matured as an Advisory and communications company as industry as developed and matured. This maturing phase is starting to produce some exciting and innovative ways of working and a new confidence in assuring clients of highly effective results.

Strategic thinking is the order of the day at Heron and this encompasses a true business understanding of a client s needs, integrating that thinking into the desired output and finding the right angles that will excite the client. Broader advisory and communication methods are now considered such as lobbying, networking, advertorial, media bartering and electronic newsletters along with the strongly focused editorial path which the company has always taken.

Responding quickly continues to be of paramount importance at Heron and despite unprecedented growth in the past 12 months, the company prides itself on its unequalled delivery levels for clients.

With international links now forged and a growing network of tried and trusted partners in Africa and the rest of the world, Heron has arrived at a position where it can confidently take on the communication and advisory challenges of multinational and local companies with a passion unmatched in Zambia.

OUR FIRM

As the nation s foremost expert in consulting for emerging companies, Heron Business Services has worked with CEOs and management of emerging companies, helping them clarify their objectives, address their challenges, and achieve their company’s growth and profitability goals. We help our clients not only identify the issues that may be preventing them from achieving breakaway performance, we help them develop and implement the right strategic decisions to successfully reach new levels of profitability.

To do this, we rely on our two sources of competitive advantage. Our knowledge and our people;

OUR KNOWLEDGE

Since inception, Heron has been following the journeys of growing companies from inception to maturity. We have seen both tremendous success and disappointing failure. We have seen what works and what doesn’t. We are able to help our clients anticipate forces in the road, and can sit down with them at any point in their entrepreneurial voyage and show them the map. Heron not only taps into, but also expands upon, this existing knowledge base by delving deeply into growing companies to identify best practices and turn them into usable information and methodologies for managers and their organisations.

OUR PEOPLE

Each Heron Consultant brings an average of 10 years of experience to assisting our clients in dealing with their issues. Many of our consultants are seasoned entrepreneurs themselves, having owned or managed their own business so they are keenly aware of the challenges that face today s growing company. We know that when companies search for a consultant, they not only want someone who s skilled and knowledgeable, they want someone who has walked the walk.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to provide emerging and middle-market clients with information, strategies and tools to build value in their organisations and better manage their own destinies.

OUR VISION

Heron Business Services vision is to be recognised as the leading resource for building the most successful emerging and middle-market growth companies in Africa.

We intend to achieve this goal by providing quality service to growing companies as a recognised leader in professional services. We are also establishing ourselves as an international presence as we begin to open offices across the continent.

By identifying ourselves to consultants as a great place to work, we attract the best talent possible.

Based on the reputation of our cutting-edge strategic alliances and the success stories of our clients, Heron Business Services Limited is mentioned in some business publications.

Ultimately, our primary goal is to have our services sought by the world s leading growth companies to establish ourselves as the market leader in professional services for growing companies.

OUR VALUES

Heron Business Services is based on a set of values. We know that the most successful business relationships occur when the interests of all parties involved are accounted for. We want what is best for our clients, our employees and the company.

At Heron, we listen to our clients, and we put their needs first. Once their expectations are set, we service not only to meet, but to exceed them. This desire to exceed our clients expectations keep Heron committed to hard work, innovation and creativity. In addition, we are always trying to profitably build our partners business along ours.

We know that everyone is different, so we dedicate ourselves to team work by respecting each other s unique abilities and contributions. We conduct our business with honest, integrity, professionalism, and mature respect.

OUR CAPABILITIES

STRATEGY

Strategy is an integrated set of actions designed to create a sustainable advantage over competitors. These are strategic thinking creative, entrepreneurial insight into a company, its industry, and its environment. Formal strategic planning systematic, comprehensive approaches to developing strategies. Opportunistic strategic decision making effective responses to unexpected opportunities and problems. Under pinning these are; market understanding, major environment trends and competitive analysis.

COMMUNICATION

Companies can generate more profit by balancing the emphasis between customer retention and customer acquisition. It is more powerful to capture a share of mind through consumers positive word of mouth than through the crowded world of advertising and promotion

In many cases the customer not the competition is the key to a company s prospects.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

The role of sponsorship in building brand equity is fast eroding the domain once reserved for advertising. Sponsorship is now growing at a faster rate than advertising, and taking a larger share of marketers demand creation investments. With this prominence, sponsorship is now also getting the attention of both the regulators and the consumers, for its impact on the people and planet in which we live. Astute marketers will leverage their investment in sponsorships not only for profit and brand, but also for the benefit of their communities

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

A minor but pervasive frustration that seems to be unique to management as a profession is the rapid obsolescence of its jargon. As soon as a new management concept emerges, it becomes popularized as a buzzword, generalized, overused and misused until its underlying substance has been blunted past recognition. The same fate could easily befall one of the brightest new concepts to come along lately: strategic management. In seeking to understand what strategic management is, we have developed a method of planning systems at large corporations. This method is unique in that it attempts to pass judgment on the quality of the business plans produced rather than only on the planning process

FACILITATION

The word facilitate means to make easier, and facilitation in a business setting is simply getting a group to their desired endpoint with less effort, less pain, greater speed, and greater reliability.

Facilitation VS Consulting

There is a basic difference between the job of a facilitator and a consultant. A consultant is a subject matter expert that can provide answers directly. A facilitator is an expert at group communication problem solving. Provided the expertise is within your group, a facilitator will provide solutions better suited to the environment of your company and a greater ownership of these solutions.

Our solutions are tailored with deliverables in mind. The agenda is a roadmap. Alternate routes will be considered when necessary to get to the deliverables .The key is to understand the deliverables and to drive the team towards them.

RESEARCH

The Heron problem-solving process begins with research. Before a team can construct an initial hypothesis, before it can disaggregate a problem into components and uncover the key drivers, it has to have information. At Heron we spend most of the time gathering data, whether from one of the firm s libraries, from Heron s many databases, or from the internet. Gathering, filtering, and analysing data is the skill exercised by all our consultants.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Knowledge management is leveraging of information to add value to the organisation. Knowledge that has not been shared or re-used is considered tacit. But it is by making this tacit knowledge explicit that its optimal value can be released to generate business gain. A company s knowledge is an asset, which if managed properly can make a significant contribution to improving business performance and growth through getting the best out of our people and our physical assets.

Within every company, an enormous amount of data and information is created everyday. However, most members of staff do not know what information is available, where to locate it, who the subject matter experts are and how to make it available to others. In addition, the high internal staff movements erode the knowledge base.

Due to the absence of Knowledge Management in most business, a large proportion of the information, which is stored on employees desktops and their intellectual capital, moves on as well. As a result, a great deal of time is spent everyday locating information or re-creating what already exists; thus re-inventing the wheel. Considerable time and resources are spent on external resources (when internal expertise exists) and on external information sources, which are then not shared appropriately within the company. It is clear that there is a demand for information and knowledge within the Business Unit, but the supply of such information is disjointed and needs to be logically organized, stored and managed. A company s knowledge needs to be systematically managed and packaged such that the true value of our knowledge is realized.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

At Heron we divide projects into stages, each of which corresponds to a key decision point.

Appraise — determine project feasibility and alignment with business strategy. Select — select the preferred project option(s). Define — finalise project scope, cost and schedule and get project funded. Execute — produce an operating asset consistent with scope, cost and schedule. Operate
evaluate asset to ensure performance to specs and maximum return to the shareholders. We call this Heron Capital Value Process – CVP

Each stage has a Gate, which forces the Gatekeeper, and project team to make appropriate decisions. Decisions and the rationale behind them, including associated uncertainties, are captured in a Decision Support Package (DSP). The stage activities are those necessary to develop information required for the DSP. Successful implementation requires appropriate supporting behaviour (e.g. effective cross-functional teams). Process has the flexibility for the content to vary according to the project size and complexity. Assurance provides confidence CVP is followed and that projects will deliver business results (benchmarking, peer reviews, etc).

COMPANY CREDENTIALS FACT SHEET

Heron was established in 1992 and has a 15-year track record of service to both local and multi-national companies in Zambia. Heron has built its reputation through the provision of specialist Advisory services to companies operating in the private / public sectors of Zambia.

Heron is a wholly-owned Zambian company.