The importance of focusing on goals
All businesses need to evaluate their business performance periodically. This is necessary because competitors are constantly innovating and evolving their offerings in the market place. New products and services are continually offered and this is reshaping consumer expectations.
I remember an accountant who spent a lot of his time creating his own accounting templates using spreadsheet software to help his clients organise their accounts. However, there are a number of accounting software packages readily available for purchase at an affordable cost. The same can be said of business management documentation such as business plans. Such software when utilized well can help clients to utilize the services of their advisers and consultants more effectively.
Status Reports and Benchmarks
It is essential to measure the status of your business periodically across areas such as finance, customer relations, product quality and relevancy as well as the efficiency of your business in delivering to customers.
Put in place realistic benchmarks to measure efficiency in delivering to meet your business goals. Get your team to identify any inefficiency and to make suggestions as to how best to overcome the identified inefficiencies.
Measuring Impact of Solutions on Business
Before deciding on solutions to identified inefficiencies, you need to measure the impact of the inefficiency as well as the impact of the suggested solution on the overall efficiency of the business.
A good business solution is one that both removes the inefficiency and improves the business performance overall. The financial cost has to be justified by the probable return on investments.
For example, a manufacturing company found that the fleet of delivery trucks it had was constantly breaking down, costing too much in down time and repair cost.
The possible solutions that appeared at a first meeting of managers were:
1) Buy a new fleet of trucks; or,
2) Out-source delivery to an independent trucking company.
After calculations and consultations with outside consultants and the staff in the trucking division a third solution was arrived at and acted upon.
The company would instead shut down the trucking division and, help the managers and staff whose employment would be terminated to start their own trucking business. The company would then become the principle customer of this new trucking business.
Stay Focused on Business Goals
In identifying and rectifying inefficiencies it is important to stay focused on the vision and goals of the business as set out in the business plan. In our example of the manufacturing company their core business was in manufacturing products not transportation.
By shutting down the trucking division the company was able to focus all its resources on improving manufacturing efficiencies thereby increasing their competitiveness in the market.
International Business Consultant
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