Tidy up your operations to improve performance and value
Are you operating at maximum efficiency? Does every staff member know their role? Are your contractors and suppliers reliable and consistent? Are there any obstacles in your business to effective performance?
These are nuts and bolts questions and they require diligence, discipline and attention to detail. If getting into the nitty gritty of daily operations is not your strength it is vital that you consult or employ someone to assist you. This is important at all stages of your business development but especially if:
• Your business is undergoing a significant growth spurt
• You want to step away from daily management
• You are considering selling your business
Growth can overhwelm your business if there isn’t underlying structure and systems
The analogy of a house built on poor foundations is tried and true. If you try to build a business that does not have thorough systems and procedures supporting it, the business will fall apart at some stage.
Unfortunately some business owners confuse growth with success. They assume once the business is growing they don’t have to worry about mundane things such as inventory management and policy manuals. The obvious truth is that this is when your business will be relying most heavily on its systems on structures. New staff, busy staff, external pressure, an increase in customers – all of these create pressure on your business and it must be strong enough to sustain.
You’ve heard about working ON the business rather than IN it
This saying is not just a cliche. There comes a time when you need to be able to step away from daily operations so you can see where the business is heading and (more importantly!) where you want it to be heading. And you can’t step away if no-one else knows when to order supplies. Or your book-keeping system is ‘quirky’. Or your client data base is inside your head.
Document your operations. Make them visible, trackable and accountable. Create the instruction manual for your business and make absolutely certain it is in language and format that other people can step in and understand.
When it comes to selling time your operations manuals are the key to your business
A buyer is interested in your business. They love your product. They see that your sales and projections are healthy. If they can’t walk in on day one and get a complete picture of what happens day to day and week to week it doesn’t matter how much they WANT to run your business. They won’t be able to. And that will cost enormous amounts of both time and money. For this reason any smart buyer will be wary of a business without transparent and documented systems. So make sure the key to your business is easy to find and unlocks its true potential.