When you have your business up and running, it is good practice to ensure the health of your business is in good order to ensure it remains profitable and growing and that it is ready for any market change that may affect business. Some business owners can get caught up working ‘in the business’ and neglect to work ‘on the business’. With this attitude, growth will be hindered and market or business changes will not be forecast, let alone planned for. These few tips are to help ensure your business is in business for the long-term.
“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan not the goal” - Unknown
Tip 1: Use Accurate Information
Small business owners can often waste valuable time in working with inaccurate or not up-to-date information. Ensure your data is being collected and recorded accurately and efficiently before you analyse it. Real time financial, sales or processes information can greatly assist in making right decisions and planning the future based on trends. If you can report real time decreases in sales consistently over the last 6 months then you are in a better position to explore the reasoning than if this data was unavailable, inaccurate or available too late.
Tip 2: Standardise Processes
One great recurring tip, that has proven successful for many businesses, is to standardise processes. A few of the advantages of documenting business processes and procedures are as follows:
Tip 3: Business Model Re-Examination
With accurate information and standardised processes you are able to tell where your business is at any point. As the world, technology and markets change rapidly, re-examining your business model should occur at least annually, preferably quarterly. You must ensure that your business is still relevant for the current market and it is still producing you the results you expected, if not it is time to change. This may not need to be a wholesale change of your business model, but could be changing from shop-front selling to online selling or expanding or niching the target markets you sell to.
Assessing your business health and business model may not be on the top of your agenda when you are busy filling orders or making sales, however, it is much better to be pro-active and check so you can plan rather than be reactive and lose revenue as you attempt to change.
These tips do not cover all the areas you should be checking, cash flow (see our blog on Improving Cash Management) and your ability to expand are also important when assessing the health of your company.
We hope you have found these tips useful and are able to use them to improve your business and investments. Don’t miss out on future tips - subscribe to Turner Invest newsletter on turnerinvest.co.uk and follow us on social media.
Empowering People to Live the Life of Their Dreams
Turner Invest Directors Catherine & Stephen Turner