Know Your Business Inside & Out

Knowing your business is more than just knowing the financial aspect and keeping the funds up. It’s also about the time spent using that information to progress your business.
Cost is one of the big factors to getting to know the business and how it operates. It would be wise if you looked at other avenues such as the venue or area.
Is the business actually situated in the ideal location? Find out if is not, list the faults and fails. These are areas you should seriously consider spending time of solving. If we are not coming to you because you are in a hard to find or in a building that does not support the type of work you do. It could be as simple as paying for parking or no lift access. The small things usually make people think twice about coming to you and that is something you should be wary of.
How well is the business doing on a yearly, monthly and daily basis? Are you keeping track of your times and daily events. Keeping a journal of events throughout the day would allow you to look back later on and spot trends and recurring problems. All this info can go a long way to solving issues later on.
As of recent, there are many business owners who operate on a either outside or inside influenced corporation. Do you listen to your customers, do you try and please them and them only and do you strive to do all you can to satisfy them regardless of request. This puts your business into the outside influenced category. You take the opinions of others very seriously and do anything you can to please them. If you only work from board meetings and take advice from staff only. Customers are second to staff and the majority of the business is governed and run from internal decisions. This would put you later category. You take advice from staff and directors and act upon that, customer relations are not important and you have little need to market or even attract customers, convenience store or supermarket. Everyone needs to eat…
Speaking of eating, many business owners are too busy worrying about the business to look after themselves. They spend too much time working for the company and not enough time working on it. Don’t spend your day on operational issues and solving staff quarrels. You need to have management staff to solve these daily issues for you.
As a business owner you should be critically evaluating the business and looking into key things:
  1. Evaluate the key market position.
  2. Critically evaluate key operational aspects to work on and provide support to accomplish the work.
  3. Breakdown the supply chain and present it in a manner that is easy to follow.
  4. Meet with shareholders and stakeholders to evaluate needs and create ways to solve them.
  5. Manage the cash flow, make sure you understand exactly who you owe, who owes you and how much. Create procedures to deal with these issues as soon as you can before they become problems.
  6. Create a strategy make the business more efficient and lucrative. Don’t spend money on things that are not necessary and evaluate the costs associated with daily running.
Listen to your employee’s and try and understand their situation. Many times the people, who you would benefit most from, are the ones to leave first. If you have staff that is coming to you with problems they are having be it in a personal capacity or professional you should listen. Many people would dismiss the personal issues and have the attitude of not being able to help because it is not company related. Too many managers are too eager to dismiss any problems that don’t directly affect the business but this would be a mistake. When staff feel that they are being messed around or made to do something unreasonable even if it is their job, you need to address the issues otherwise you may lose a good employee that just needed a little more encouragement.  In many situations money is a problem. As soon as a member of staff mentions they would like more money you should listen. To them very carefully because as soon as you say no they will look elsewhere to find it or look for a new job all together and every business owner knows it cost money to rehire personal. Evaluate the risks in denying staff anything ( legally ) and consider your staffs need very carefully because in the end they are human as well and have needs.
However, there are times that some staff just has requests that cannot be met and requirements unsatisfied. If this is the case then allow that staff member to come to you in a constructive and honest manner to air their grievances for you. Give them the opportunity to explain why they don’t want to work with you and find out what they have planned. Give advice where possible and help them move on. It may not sound like it but it is your responsibility as an employer to look after your staff and their well-being.