How is your business functioning: face the facts

Understand Your Business – Taking a Critical Look at Your Business is Always Important!

Many of us realise the trajectory to success isn’t always a steady rise to the top. From very early in our business careers this is something we ‘all have to come to grips with’, whether we are business owners, entrepreneurs or investors. 

Every business is going to have some areas of business operations in which they are either struggling, or there are growing pains, or a slow down.  Some will have many such areas. With limited time and resources, often needs we have are typically under-addressed. It’s natural for us to spend most of our time in looking at the positives in our businesses, wishing, hoping for more success. Yet it is not good enough for our responses to issues to be a reaction! Instead our potential issues must be something we plan for, seek out and determine the best approach to, even before we recognise them.

If we don’t monitor or seek them out, but rely on dealing with problems as they arise, we may not be prepared to save our business when it is under threat.  Some warning signs will be obvious, while others may be brushed aside with the thinking that ‘she’ll be right’.  Short-term, this might be okay, but it may leave us with some glaring problems that can spell disaster if left unaddressed. So, to prevent a lack of preparation bringing our business down, it’s important to take a critical look at the business and confront the areas that may not be functioning effectively.

Do You Understand Your Business

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for business owners is often a misguided belief that they are ‘financially savvy,’ for this isn’t necessarily the case.  Being a good salesperson, product designer or customer relations expert doesn’t mean you are also a sound financial manager. Furthermore, not all of us have the good fortune of inheriting sound business acumen through the family business. So let’s face it, our first, even our second and third ventures into business, will face many challenges – because often it is learning by experience that teaches us. 

According to the Small Business Association (SBA), 50% of businesses fail within their first 5 years. This is for numerous reasons, but typically involves the inability to maintain cash flow among numerous financial issues that are more prevalent, and more significant, than we’d like to believe.

The fact that some business owners aren’t as equipped for managing the finances of a business as they might like to believe isn’t surprising. When unobserved, small issues within a business can become insurmountable over time and without good reporting may be flying under the radar. This can lead to ‘points of no return’, where management issues lead to long term financial instability that can take down a business from the inside. This can also lead to business owners not getting what they want in the future as the foundations of their venture aren’t stable enough to plan for that future.

An important concept for people in business is to believe in yourself, and in your goals being within reach. It can happen. It will happen. Know this. But only if you fight to improve your business, not through luck or good fortune. 

A Holistic Approach to Business is a Healthy Approach

To quote author Catherine Asaro; “To solve math problems, you need to know the basic mathematics before you can start applying it.”

Delegate. This is often said to be at the heart of any successful business operation. A growing business takes a lot of moving parts and it is near impossible for you to take all of them on effectively as an individual. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of operations within your organisation.

A typical business has various sectors. Even if your sectors rarely interact or collaborate with each other, they are no less a part of the overarching whole that is your business. Having an understanding of these sectors will allow you a more educated insight into needed areas of improvement. This is true for even the smallest of practices or operations. The moment you aren’t controlling the outcome of a situation, no-matter how small or petty the circumstances – you really are not in control.

None of this is to say that you should be looking over staff members’ shoulders like a vulture on the hunt for inefficiency. What it does mean is that a basic understanding of how each discipline within your business operates will allow you to notice and flag issues more effectively.

So how do we do it?

Running any sort of venture necessitates juggling of responsibilities. One person is never going to be able to do everything, so why not concentrate on what you are good at. If you are gifted in your service but not at, say, cash flow management, our experts can take that stress away so that you can do more of what you love.

If you’re worried about the financial management of your business, or simply feel that your financial knowledge is too limited, there are options. Accru provides businesses with management planning, strategies and solutions across the financial spectrum. The range of the services we offer encompasses all aspects of your business from monthly management reporting to tax compliance, and more. Allowing our specialists to take the reins and help manage your finances will give you the peace of mind to focus on growing your business.

Understanding Your Customers

The 21st century has witnessed an explosion in the number of options customers have for virtually any service. From the medical industry to hospitality to retail, the competition to win over new clients is fierce. Other businesses may provide some services better than you do. And with more and more individuals becoming savvy with online tools it’s easier than ever for potential clients to see potential failings in the form of customer reviews. Understand your customers. They shop around and you not only need to be good, you need to look good also.

If you feel like your business is falling behind, all is not lost. However, before you start trying to remedy these issues you should ask yourself:

“What is it that my customers value from my products or services?”

If you are looking to develop business relationships with clients over the long term, ask them for ways in which your services could better serve them. By doing so, you are adapting to the needs of your customers, rather than simply hoping that they will see your product or service as superior.

The ability to acknowledge and remedy issues within an organisation is one of the most important, yet undervalued aspects, of being successful. For more practical financial advice and management options, contact our Advisory Specialists today. Alternatively, you can complete your contact details below or give us a call on (03) 9835 8200.

About the Author
Accru Melbourne , Melbourne
Accru Melbourne, part of the Accru group, is an award winning financial services organisation. Our highly personalised approach and dynamic advice makes us standout in the fast paced, ever-changing business world.
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