operation

Implementing standard operating procedures can help companies move from chaos to consistency especially when business is growing.  Learn how they can also help save you time, money and headaches in your own business.

To listen to the episode right now, hit the play button above.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

In this show we look at something that is often ignored by first time entrepreneurs that can help them manage their business more effectively.  Implementing standard operating procedures can help companies move from chaos to consistency especially when business is growing.  Learn how they can also help save you time, money and headaches in your own business.

Key Points

*Hear why Lisa decided that this topic deserved attention in the show and how this business tool can help growing companies.

*We share a few examples of how lack of procedures or not following them can lead to costly problems for businesses.

*There are benefits that procedures can bring to a business that help manage and monitor the operation and provide opportunities to save time and money.

*Things like government regulations can require you to have procedures and processes so that you are meeting the standards the government sets.

*Standard Operating Procedures help create consistency in your business which can help with customer satisfaction and reduce errors and defects in your business process.

*Lisa gives her top 5 benefits of implementing standard operating procedures in a business.

*She shares how to begin implementing procedures, what should be included and how to research what regulations may apply to your business.

*Lisa also shares how things like internal controls can be built into the procedures to ensure accuracy, adherence to policy and safeguarding assets.

*Standard Operating Procedures helps CEO’s to move from chaos to consistency in his or her business by streamlining and controlling the business operation.

Resources and Links

Small Business Administration (SBA) – List of regulations https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/learn-about-business-laws

You might also want to check out this recent article on building a healthier business  https://www.bizrx-advisors.com/build-better-healthier-business-new-year/

Quick Care Consultation – If you’d like to talk to Lisa about this subject or any operational issue you’re having in your business then set up a time to talk with her here.

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Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

How to Successfully Manage Uncertainty in Your Business

Ask any business owner, they’ll tell you that uncertainty in business is one thing that will never truly go away. Uncertainty is the one constant that was there, is there and will be there in the future.

There will also be something that will “upset the apple cart” and we as entrepreneurs must be ready to manage through it.

However, there are many factors that are out of our control and yes we have to manage those too!

Entrepreneurs can never know what the next thing is that creates questions and uncertainty in our businesses. Factors like the economy, politics, world events and technology have certainly created uncertainty in business a lot lately.

What Keeps You Up at Night?

That’s a favorite question that people ask entrepreneurs. You hear it asked by reporters, investors and anyone trying to get at the answer to the question – “what are your most pressing business problems’.

Entrepreneurs politely answer the question but we know that none of us wants to be kept up at night worrying about a problem, much less one that we have little chance of controlling. Those things like the economy, politics and changes in the world are for the most part not in our control and thus create uncertainty for us.

How Do We Manage Uncertainty in an Uncertain Business World?

Whether we want to admit it or not, uncertainty in business will never go away. The best thing to do is to admit it and move on.

It’s hard to figure out in an uncertain world when to play it safe and when to get aggressive. For years due to the economy, technology and the geopolitical environment these things have made it harder for businesses to make decisions.

So why is it that some entrepreneurs manage uncertainty better than others?

Since we can’t control things like the economy or politics, we have to focus on what we can do in our own business.

Control What You Can

There are plenty of things that you can control in uncertain times. Two things to control are you and your management team. Maintain focus on the things you and your team can control and don’t waste time, money and energy on the things you can’t.

Focus on controlling your business; your finances and your operations. Know where you stand financially, fix what may be broken in your operation and make improvements to build an even stronger business in that can weather uncertain times.

Stay Current on Issues Affecting Your Business

I’ve mentioned things like the economy, politics and technology that can largely be out of our control, but not all of it. It’s important to stay up to date on issues that can directly affect your business.

Do your best to stay on top of the issues that affect your market and your industry. Whether it’s joining an industry association, doing research or just staying current in business news, it’s important to know what could impact your company.

Know What You Don’t Know

It’s hard to know everything there is to know about running a business. Entrepreneurs need the help of experts from time to time to help them deal with challenges and uncertainty.

Be honest with yourself about what you don’t know and get help when you need it. It’s okay that you are not the smartest person in the room. Experts can help clear up ambiguity or answer questions about issues your business faces. They can help you remove doubt and set you on a path to effectively manage the uncertainty.

Maintain Good Networks and Relationships

Having good networks will help you with knowing what you don’t know. Connecting with professionals like bankers, accountants, lawyers and other experts helps get answers to questions, lessen the uncertainty you’re feeling or can at least put your mind at ease.

Maintaining good relationships with your network as well as your customers, partners and employees is another way to successfully manage uncertainty. When things in your business are uncertain it’s good to have people you can rely on to keep your business steady and moving ahead.

Manage the Fear

Uncertainty and doubt are springboards for fear. It’s easy to let one emotion begin to control your other emotions. Fear can lead us to do things we ordinarily wouldn’t do. Don’t let the fear lead to making bad or irrational choices.

In addition, don’t let the uncertainty cause you to overreact and make kneejerk decisions. When uncertainty in your business rears its head, take time to analyze what is really going on and decide what impact it has on your business. It’s true you may not have all the answers but reacting for the sake of doing something about it isn’t always the right choice either.

Stay Calm

Uncertainty can create a feeling of overwhelm and downright frustration when you don’t know what to do about a given situation. Employees pick up on those cues and can begin to worry about what is wrong with the business. That worry can lead to an unfocused staff and things can start to slip through the cracks.

Be sure to remain calm in uncertain situations and communicate to your staff so they understand the issues you face. Your staff can be a source for ideas and solutions in uncertain times. They can also help you stay focused on the things that matter most in your business and help you stay on track running the operation.

Stay Positive

Managing uncertainty means that sometimes things aren’t going to go your way and can set your business back. It’s important to stay positive when your company faces an obstacle. It may be the first real setback you face but it probably won’t be the last.

Once again, your staff will take cues from you when your company hits a roadblock. They’ll react to your reaction and will follow your lead if you don’t manage it well. Stay positive and use the opportunity to make your business better. Instead of dwelling on a setback, just learn from it and move on.

Uncertainty is Here to Stay

There’s no way around it. Entrepreneurs have dealt with this for hundreds of years and will continue for hundreds more.

Successfully managing uncertainty means staying on top of what’s going on inside your business and in your industry, controlling what you can, knowing when you need help and managing your relationships and your own actions.

Controlling costs is difficult in a growing business.  Your company culture can impact your success in managing costs find out how.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts. Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on Apple Podcasts.

Show Notes

Trying to control and manage costs is always difficult in a growing business.  Your company’s culture can affect how your organization approaches spending and cost control.  As a business owner who wants employees to “think like an owner”, he or she needs to set the example when it comes to managing costs in the business.

Key Points

*Cutting costs in bad times are evidence that a company doesn’t regularly manage and monitor costs.

*Companies sometimes treat cost cuts with an “anything and everything” approach. Lisa refers to the ax approach.

*When companies make cost reductions, they need to take time to understand the impact of cuts on the business.

*Regularly monitoring financial information and managing costs can help avoid some those types of approaches to cost control.

*Keeping some perks or nice-to-haves at the expense of essential costs sends a bad message to your staff.

*Having select people in the company responsible or only certain areas impacted by cuts can also have a negative impact.

*Ignoring long term savings opportunities is another way entrepreneurs can get cost control wrong.

*Culture is a company’s approach – what it believes, values, and how it behaves to get work done.

*Culture can influence cost control both positively and negatively.

*Lisa explains how bias can impact how you approach costs and also impact the culture as well.

*Process improvement initiatives with a teamwork approach can benefit both culture and cost control efforts over the long term.

*The entrepreneur can positively impact a cost focused culture by being consistent in the way he manages costs and reinforce cost conscious behavior.

*Creating a cost conscious culture – or any cultural attribute – entrepreneurs need to make sure that it lines up with his or her own beliefs, behaviors and values and lines up with his or her actions.

Resources and Links

Struggling with this in your own business?  Set up a Quick Care Consultation with Lisa Roberts here https://www.bizrx-advisors.com/quick-care-call/

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Prescription for Success

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

Healthy Business Healthy Profits podcast is on a break for the summer.

In the meantime, Lisa is lining up a lot of new guests and information to help you lead, run and grow a healthy business.

Stay tuned for the next episode in September!

To be sure you don’t miss an episode, sign up for Prescription for Success, my monthly newsletter, in the sign up box.

New to the podcast?

Check out some of our most popular episodes below.

Prescription for Success!

Sign up to get Lisa’s newsletter Prescription for Success to stay in touch with her and to be sure to get word when the next episode is released. Lisa also shares other great information and practical tips to help you run a healthy business.

Follow her on Twitter @BizRx.

Top 10 Most Popular Epsiodes

Managing and sustaining a family business can be challenging especially as it moves from one generation to the next. In this episode, the 2nd generation owner of a nearly 100 year old business shares his secrets for success.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

A family businesses can be challenging to manage and sustain especially as it moves from one generation to the next. According to several studies the chances of survival of family businesses decreases as companies move from one generation to the next. In this episode I interview the owner of a company that has been in business nearly 100 years.  I wanted to find out what the secret for his success has been as he moves his company into its third generation. You’ll also hear some good tips about managing seasonality in business too.

Key Points

*Henry Satt, the president of Seashore Food explains how the company started from its humble beginnings as a chicken and egg store back in the 1920’s.

*The family business has evolved into a regional food service distribution company selling 5,000 different items.

*Henry tells us about his thoughts and considerations about his business and how he decided to continue to run it for the next generation.

*He tells us how he got his experience in the family business and some aspects about running a business that school didn’t prepare him for.

*Henry shares how he trained both his son and son-in-law in various facets of the company’s operation watching for their strengths and weaknesses to determine the right positions for their skillset.

*Listen to the great advice he gave to his family members before coming into the business about support in good times and in the rough times.

*Henry tells us how his family maintains good relationships inside and outside the business and how they enjoy a very healthy balance of business and family life.

*Find out why Henry likens his family to the family on the TV show “Blue Bloods”.

*Hear how this business owner handles things like compensation, performance reviews and other potentially sticky issues that can come up in a family business.

*Since his business has a seasonal aspect to it, Henry gives us tips on how he manages the seasonality and find out how a recent acquisition is helping to manage it even more.

*Pay special attention to some common themes for success surrounding relationships in this episode.

Resources and Links

About Our Guest
Henry Satt is the president of Seashore Food, a food service distribution company located in Southern New Jersey.  As a second generation entrepreneur, he has been in his family’s business for most of his life.  He has also been involved in the hospitality industry and in real estate and served on several boards of local organizations. Henry graduated with a BS in Business Management from Farleigh Dickinson University and is married with two children and six grandchildren.

To Learn More Seashore Food

Seashore Food is a food service distribution company established in 1920 and located in South Jersey.  They market and sell products to food service operators in the Southern New Jersey region.  Check out their website SeashoreFood.com  to see how their products and service can benefit your food service operation.

 

Sign Up to Get Updates

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

Years ago, a company I worked for saw tremendous sales growth in a pretty short period of time. It was an exciting time for all of us. But it got a pretty crazy too!

When your company starts to see exploding sales, you really have to be ready in order to deliver. Your company will experience times during rapid growth that you’ll have setbacks and make mistakes.

Being ready to deliver also meant for us that we needed to be ready to correct problems quickly to manage growth and also try to maintain our momentum. We needed to make sure we were looking for those signs that our business was becoming overwhelmed by our own success.

Here are 20 signs that sales growth may be about to overwhelm your business. Have you seen any of these in your own company?

20 Signs Sales Growth is Overwhelming Your Business

  1. Your staff is rushing to complete and fill orders.
  2. At the end to the production process, products have problems and must be reworked to get them right.
  3. A product that is complete doesn’t work properly and must be scrapped or redone.
  4. You receive orders from customers but your back-office has questions about them because they have incomplete or incorrect information.
  5. You experience inventory shortages and cannot complete orders on time.
  6. Your company has deliveries to customers that are incorrect or incomplete.
  7. Your beginning to miss promised delivery dates and not meeting customer promises.
  8. You have a sudden drop in the quality of the product or service you sell.
  9. You have a spike in customer calls and/or complaints.
  10. The number of returns from customers is on the rise.
  11. The number of customer callbacks (calls after service is completed) is increasing.
  12. Sales from existing customers are decreasing without a corresponding decrease in the customer’s own business.
  13. Your staff is showing signs of fatigue, stress and frustration.
  14. Your company’s absentee rate is rising with no apparent reason.
  15. Costs for production are increasing due to production errors and reworks.
  16. Your cycle time for fulfilling of orders is increasing due to errors in processing.
  17. Overtime for employees is becoming the norm rather than the exception.
  18. Costs for inventory are increasing due to fees for expediting purchases.
  19. You are starting to miss sales opportunities because you cannot meet customer’s demand and timeframe.
  20. Long- time customers are threatening to find alternate suppliers.

If you want to hear more on this topic, listen to the Healthy Business Healthy Profits podcast about managing sales and maintaining your brand promise here.

Want to get tips and information on managing and leading a growing business? Then sign up to get my newsletter here.

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The phrase scaling a business is one of the latest catch phrases that describe growing a business in a profitable way. In Part 2 of this 2-part series, we cover the process and profit factors important for growing your business.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

The phrase scaling a business is one of the latest catch phrases that describe growing a business in a profitable way.  Planning and managing growth involves many important factors.  In Part 1 of a 2 part episode, Lisa talked about some of the people factors related to scaling your business successfully.   In Part 2, Lisa covers the process and profit factors that are important for scaling and growing your business.

Key Points

*When scaling your business, spending will be greater than sales as you invest in the growth of your business.

*Investments in infrastructure like information technology, accounting systems, CRM and other things will be needed to support more people and production.

*Spending, cash and financing need to be planned and managed effectively to avoid cash crunches.

*Processes that worked when you were a smaller business may not be as effective in a larger more complex business.

*Process that is not well-defined and systematized with break under the added pressure of more employees, more customers and more volume.

*Entrepreneurs need to carefully estimate the impact of increases in their business and how he affect the amount of time, equipment and people needed to support the additional business and how profits may be affected.

*Weak functions and processes will magnify problems in your growing business.

*Having a plan and budget to help manage your spending and cash during your growth will help avoid the common problems companies experience when trying to scale.

*Entrepreneurs also need to plan cash and financing so that the funds are available to finance their plan for growth.

*Be prepared to slow down or throttle your growth if things are not going according to plan.

*If outside financing is needed to support your growth, determine potential sources for that cash.

*Lisa touches on the impacts of getting financing through debt or equity types of financing.

*Identify those key processes in your business that will need to be improved to a larger scaled business.

*Businesses also need to estimate the impact on the business systems and include that in their plan to scale and grow.

Resources and Links

Questions to Answer before Scaling Your Business – Tip Sheet   Sign up to my list and get the tip sheet here

Download Link to How to Scale Your Business Part 1 of this 2-part series

Link to article and related video about the company Lisa mentioned in the episode – “Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holzman: ‘It Was Moving Faster Than We Could Keep Up With'” – check that out here

Would you like to work with Lisa to get advice about your plan to scale your business?  You can sign up for a Quick Care Session. Find out about that here

Sign Up to Get Updates

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

Get Your Business Under Control with Processes

Find out how growing companies use business process to manage work and their own growth  more effectively.

You can listen to this episode by hitting the play button.

To download this episode, right click on this link and choose Save Target As. Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes. Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred device so you can listen to them where and when you want. And hey if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

Entrepreneurs in growing companies must often confront situations where it feels like they are losing control. Fast growth creates a pace where employees are hired quickly, workload increases, decisions must be made quickly and if things are left unchecked mistakes can be made. It’s a constant struggle to manage the operations effectively while maintaining profitability. In this episode, we’ll talk about how growing companies use business processes to help manage the work effectively.

Key Points

*There are many things entrepreneurs need to watch out for as they begin to feel that they are losing control of their business. Inconsistencies, errors, inefficiencies, missed deliveries and duplication of effort can all result without good business processes.

*It costs time and money to put process in place, but there are real business problems that can be avoided in business by having processes in your business operations and we explore those.

*We also look at how processes can actually save money in the long run and create value for your company with process improvement.

*We also look at instances where process may be required to comply with regulations and even where customers may require it.

*We look at where to look in your business to begin to put processes in place in your operation and what areas are ripe for needing process.

*Some of the skills needed to be able to take on a project of documenting processes are reviewed to help entrepreneurs decide who can help them either internally or externally.

*The steps to outlining and documenting your processes as well as testing the process are discussed.

Additional Reading on Process:

Policies, Process and Procedures are Not Just Big Company Stuff
People Process and Systems are Keys to Running a Healthy Business

Sign Up to Get Updates

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits Show!  You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most you’ll get something from me every few weeks.  So sign up using this link !

You may have read some of my previous articles where I’ve noted that having the right people, processes and systems in place can help your business grow in a healthy way. Well, when I use the term processes, I include 3 inter-related things and they are policies, processes and procedures.  They are defined as:

Policies to create standards, rules and boundaries for how you operate.

Processes are the high level tasks for how the work gets done.

flow-chart- porcedure150x150[1]
image courtesy of Pixabay
Procedures are the detailed steps that employees take to get the work done.

A way to look at it is that policies are across the organization, processes typically involve one or more functional areas and procedures are related to one specific functional area for a set of specific duties.

Let’s take a purchasing example for a company to help explain the difference.

The Policy may be that all company purchases must be made using a purchase requisition and all purchases over $5,000 require 2 signatures. (Applies to all in the organization)

The Process might be the department requesting the purchase sends a signed requisition to purchasing clerk who obtains quotes and places the order with the selected vendor. (Applies to Department that needs the goods and the Purchasing Department)

The Procedure might be the purchasing clerk enters the requisition into the accounting system, places the order with the vendor and notifies the receiving clerk of the order placed. (Applies to Purchasing department only)

I’m sure when I mention things like the policies, processes and procedures some of you, well, you yawn, thinking I don’t need that. That’s big company stuff!   Maybe. Maybe not.

Some Real Life Examples

Check out some examples of operational problems I’ve seen in my own work with businesses that may have been avoided if one or more of the 3 P’s were in place.

Executive Theft by Power and Intimidation

A bookkeeper for a small non-profit notices her boss, the Executive Director, was submitting expense reports that look inflated and didn’t seem right. She’s convinced the expenses are fraudulent but she’s afraid; he has the power to fire her. Fearing retaliation, she reimburses him for the expenses. With no direct line to the Board and veiled threats by her boss to keep her line, it goes on for months.   Finally, with no one else to turn to, she seeks help from the outside auditors to investigate it and to catch the fraud.

Turns out, he was submitting expense reports that included personal expenses as business expenses. As a result, the non-profit developed a policy that the Board would review and approve the high level executive’s expense reports. Ultimately, the Executive Director was fired, the bookkeeper kept her job and a procedure allowing her a direct line of communication to the Board for certain transactions was also established.

Risk of Losing Their Biggest Customer

A growing company was stressed under the weight of its own growth. Sales grew quickly but operations became inconsistent, inefficient and costs were growing unchecked.  The quality of their products began to suffer in the midst of big rushes to just get product out the door.  Finally, the company’s largest customer threatened to drop them because of the quality problems. Immediately, they set out to put operational policies, processes and procedures in place to create consistency, quality and contain costs.

The company spent countless hours detailing and verifying their policies, processes and procedures which helped build in better quality in their products and also provide better customer service. Once they demonstrated that, the customer decided to keep them on and they were able to maintain a large revenue stream that they counted on for 20% of their business.  In fact, as the company continued to grow, new customers pointed to their 3 P’s as one of the deciding factors in choosing them as a new supplier.

Servicing Without Payment

A customer service department continues to service a customer even though the customer hasn’t paid for their service agreement. In this case, there was no firm operational policy or procedure in place to stop this from happening. Thousands of dollars were spent servicing the customer without the corresponding revenue to match.  Finally, after several months, the company was able to get the customer back under service agreement but gave up a few months of revenue.

To prevent this in the future, a policy was put in place that withheld services until a customer had their service agreement renewed. A process was also set up to coordinate both the finance and service department on customer warning and hold notifications.

It’s Not Just Big Company Stuff

In these examples, the first company had about 20 employees; the second about 100 and the third about 250. All companies at some point need some policies, processes and procedures in place to help them manage their operations effectively. And as you can see, it’s not just a big company problem. The policies, processes and procedures in these cases could have helped avoid employee theft, maintain and enhance revenue streams and keep costs in check.

 

Related post People, Process and Systems are Keys to Running a Healthy Business

 

I was in a meeting years ago with the “higher ups” of a company who were making big decisions about changing how the company sold its products.  Problem was, no one consulted anyone on the front lines.   Group think took over and everyone in the meeting thought great, we’ll move forward and do this.  There was one problem. They wouldn’t be able to execute because the company’s infrastructure, procedures and business practices that existed couldn’t support it effectivelyBusiness meeting
Decisions are sometimes made in a vacuum at companies and some of the simplest ways to avoid problems are often overlooked.  It’s great to have big ideas but it’s even better to execute on those big ideas.

Get the information you need to make good decisions in your business.

Talk to Your Staff

It’s easy for business owners or heads of companies to think they need to be the smartest people in the room.  But sometimes you need to get the right people in the room who are close to the problem and get their advice and ideas.  Your staff knows the process, the priorities and the pitfalls.  They can add insight you may not be aware of and help guide your problem solving to help make the best decision.

Consult Experts Inside Your Business

If your business has inside experts that can help with the problem, use them.  Business owners and leaders need to get the right people on the problem. Subject matter experts bring their own specialty and viewpoint to the problem.  If you have a personnel problem, make sure the human resource expert is involved. If its an operations problem, make sure you have your operations expert involved. People with different experiences and expertise can look at a problem and bring diversity and unique points of view you may not have considered. Sometimes ideas and insights can come from the least likely sources because of the perspective they bring.

Tap into Experts Outside the Company

Don’t have expert help inside, then go outside to your team of expert advisors.  You most likely have professionals that help you with your business like accountants, lawyers, insurance and other consultants.  Depending on the problem you’re trying to solve or decision you need to make, they can provide expert advice and insight. They also provide a fresh objective opinion that can help you make better decisions.

Ask Other Stakeholders

Besides your staff and other experts, customers and suppliers may be able to help guide you in the decision process.   Recently, I spoke with someone who thought of a way to change how they ordered to save money with bulk purchases.  They spoke to their supplier and got an added bonus as a result.  The supplier offered to make deliveries for them, saving them even more money.  Your customers could also be a source for information and advice especially about decisions that affect them. Talk with your customers to find out what is working well, what could be improved and what else they may need.  Customers and suppliers can be a good source of information, advice and ideas.

Making a Big Decision? It’s Ok Not to Have All the Answers

Running a business is demanding.  We struggle to do make decisions about the right course of action. It isn’t always easy since we can’t know everything. If you’re running a business, it’s ok not to be the smartest person in the room.

Really, it is ok!  

What’s not ok is to ignore valuable advice and input that others can bring to the table.

Seeking information, expertise and input….that will make you the smartest person in the room.

 

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