This may come as a surprise, but most business owners mistakenly don’t assess their current business position. At Elite Business Brokerage, we consult many owners in a variety of industries that have a keen understanding of their trade, however, other aspects of their business sometimes lack the proper care and devotion. Taking time to look through every facet of your business will allow you to gain a better perspective of where you may have fallen short in the past and which areas you should improve on in the future. Establishing goals and setting checkpoints throughout the year will help gauge your continued success and put your company ahead of competitors.
As the owner and founder of the company, you have been there since its inception.
Over time, new departments of the company emerged and have blossomed under your management style. Two important factors of running a business well are using effective decision-making skills and employing an encouraging leadership style. These two principles go hand in hand in developing the business model and are conveyed throughout the life of the company. For example, look at a non-profit organization. They are created with a specific passion in mind while supporting a worthy cause. This takes a sense of generosity, integrity, and kindness. These are traits that illustrate the goal of the organization and it comes to fruition through the business model and philanthropic services provided. Using compassion and fairness to communicate with employees and clients is a leadership style that exemplifies the empathetic tone of the non-profit. It is crucial for the leader of any company, no matter the industry, to gain respect through professional and appropriate behavior. Using self-control and determination when making decisions, even during stressful times will yield a more successful outcome than decisions made with dishonesty and pettiness as core values. More importantly, these values will prevail in the reputation of the company through referrals, reviews, and throughout the industry network.
Employees are the lifeblood of your business.
Whether they are billable employees that focus on the core service of your business, or operate in the customer service department, they are the most integral part of the company. It is essential for each employee to have the same vision and goal as the owner. Going beyond the obvious need for erudition in each respective role, ensuring there is trustworthiness, loyalty, comradery, and happiness are key to a thriving business. This atmosphere can be attained through employee appreciation tactics. Celebrating birthdays, highlighting excellent performance, and the most obvious, financial compensation in the form of bonuses are all ways of showing employees their worth on a personal level as well as their positive effect on the company.
As much as owners enjoy rewarding good efforts, there are also times with the need for rebuke. How you choose to handle a situation determines if the lasting impact on the company is positive or negative. You have the power to set the tone for company performance and reprimanding an employee does not have to spell doom for workplace morale. This is where an employer’s leadership style and decision-making process comes into play. Understanding the issue, and carefully addressing it in the appropriate manner that caters to the personality of the employee will encourage a lasting effect in preventing reoccurrence. The ideal outcome is for a continuation of a pleasant work environment for all employees with little to no disruptions.
Aside from just successful conflict resolution, there are ways wherein a boss can periodically assess workplace morale and listen to the wants and needs of employees. Implementing monthly or quarterly growth assessment meetings is a viable way of measuring continued success and improving areas that are lacking. This provides a good stage for sharing innovative ideas, strengthening co-worker unity, and retaining focus of short- and long-term goals. Your company culture may need a reboot and looking at other business models can help you assess employee needs. Maybe your workers need to destress during business hours due to the nature of their jobs. At first glance you may see this as a frivolous practice but remember that your workers are the backbone of your operation – their emotional wellbeing is critical to the quality of their work. Some companies, including industry leaders such as Google, offer employees in-office activities such as rock climbing and bowling to melt stress away. While your business may not be able to achieve something that cost-intensive, you should compile feedback from workers about what changes they would like to see in their work environment and brainstorm possible solutions that work within your limitations.
In order to keep the business profitable and stable, a boss should have all financials in order and organized.
Compile all your financials and pertinent documents and go over them with your accountant. Some business owners don’t take advantage of the extensive knowledge a tax professional has to offer. They know and understand the new tax laws in place and could give ideas and advice on trimming unnecessary expenses within your business. Taking some time to discuss specifics will help you prepare for the upcoming filing year. Once you have your financial paperwork in order, you will have more freedom and security. This allows you to dedicate more time to creating a rigid budget, an important asset that many companies allow to fall to the wayside. You want to ensure that cash is being allocated correctly and being used in the most beneficial way. While you have your tax professional’s full attention, ask to go through the proper allocation of funds and the average or regular amount that should be used for different areas of the business. Setting up an annual budget will keep you on track to hit your marks and make monthly bookkeeping more organized.
General Business Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
Creating a SWOT analysis chart for the company with give a good perspective on the business. SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.” This is a great way to pinpoint where the company excels, falls short, revealing options for expanding, and possible risks. It is important to be totally honest and analytical when compiling this list.
- Strengths – Hot selling products and services, innovation
- Weakness – Customer Service, marketing budget
- Opportunities – Addition services to broaden demographics
- Threats – Newcomers to the industry; existing competition
2. S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Looking at your company status and making S.M.A.R.T. goals will give you a great outline to abide by during the year. S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.” This model for goal-setting is widely used and many find it helpful for articulating their business dreams. This continues to be one piece of advice we love giving to all business owners, both big and small. When there are definitive goals set, it promotes adherence in attaining desired results.
Here is an example:
Specific (your goal should be narrow): I want to become proficient in Microsoft Excel and be able to complete tasks that require calculation within this software.
Measurable (you should be able to track the progress of your goal): I will complete Excel proficiency courses on a weekly schedule for a two-month period and practice my skills on my own time.
Achievable (you must be able to reach your goal!): I can achieve my goal because I have the training available to me, I just have to dedicate my time to this endeavor.
Relevant (is your goal worthwhile?): If I become proficient in Excel, I will be able to accomplish more complex tasks for the company.
Time-bound (what is your deadline?): Although my goal is not affected by a strict deadline, I want this done in a 5-month period for personal accountability reasons.
Our clients often find the S.M.A.R.T. method to be extremely helpful. When you consider your own goals you most likely go through a similar process in your head but writing it out can help you organize your thoughts and make your plans concrete.
No matter how well your company is doing, there is always room for improvement. To keep your business thriving, you must continuously ask yourself the hard questions and assess what is and isn’t working. Business is a machine; if one part–no matter how seemingly insignificant– breaks, the entire thing can come crashing down. You have the tools at your disposal to lead an innovative, top of the line operation in whatever industry you choose, just remember to adopt an analytical mindset and constantly focus on what you can do to be the best!