Sunday, January 17, 2010
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Monday, January 4, 2010
As we enter the new year, we all make resolutions about change we intend to make in our lives. So why not give some thought to those resolutions we need to make for change we need to make in our business. Here are some I think many small business owners will benefit from:
- Cash is king, so why don't we resolve to implement a comprehensive cash planning process. Large companies do this, but most small business owners fly by the seat of their pants, and too often get caught with them around their ankles. Using data from their own accounting system, it is a really simple process to define who can be paid and when, but most importantly to also signal when problems are on the horizon.
- Organization makes the business work smoothly, so lets resolve to check that every employee has a current job description that sets out not only what his tasks are but also what his authority is, what measurements will be applied and what satisfactory performance is. Doing this lays the groundwork for creating an accountable workforce. While we are about it lets review the organization chart and make sure everyone has a clear idea of who their boss is, and that they are assigned a job only because they are the best person in the company for that position,
- We all want to maximize profit, so a resolution to ensure that our accounting system is working smoothly and providing us with the information we need to run the business, not just the information the CPA needs to file the corporate tax return. We must make sure we have a costing process that tells us which parts of our business is doing well, and which is not, what gross margin we need and when we are achieving it and when we are not.
- A final thought may be a resolution to ensure that we are providing our employees with the feedback they need. A formal evaluation process sometimes seems cumbersome for small businesses but the benefits are enormous. But don't let it stop there, make sure you and all your senior staff recognize good performance when it happens, and of course do not shy away from criticism when performance falls short.