Drive thy business

“Drive thy business, or it will drive thee” – Benjamin Franklin
Owners of less successful businesses work just as hard, and usually even much harder, than owners of successful businesses. For the latter, their hard work is justly rewarded by increasing profits and a growing business. While for the former, the reward is frustration, exhaustion and stress.
It is understandable for entrepreneurs to run everything in the business, especially in the early stages. You run the production, marketing, distribution, purchasing and finance. For a very small business you can manage. But as the business grows, so do the tasks that need to be managed; and it becomes overwhelming for one person.
Some entrepreneurs, even after hiring workers, continue to micro-manage every aspect of the business. Employees cannot make even small decisions or perform any work without your direct authorization and supervision. The day you fall ill, business grinds to a halt.
Such is the scenario at the majority of SMEs. As such, the business has no value without the owner. You cannot sell it. The day you die is the end of the business. There will be nothing left to show for your long years of hard work. If you are in such a situation you are no different from a self-employed person.
But I’m sure every entrepreneur wants to grow their business, make money and retire early. To do that, learn from how big companies operate. Look at a company like OK Zimbabwe. The executives are not involved in the day to day activities of the company. There has never been a day when OK branches failed to open because Mr. Zireva was sick or had to attend a funeral. Top management can go for a two week strategic planning session and no-one will notice their absence. This is because the company has in place business systems that enable everything to move like clockwork without management’s daily direct involvement.
As you grow your business, you need to have in place business systems covering the Key Business Areas and the Key Result Areas. Properly set up systems that are followed and monitored give you peace of mind. Your employees enjoy their work and are more confident because you give them power and responsibility.
Many studies have shown that businesses with weak systems seldom achieve efficiencies above 66%. While 100% efficiency is impossible to achieve, a good system can easily increase efficiency by up to 30%. The financial cost of not having a good business system is obvious. What is not so obvious is the impact of poor systems on your customers. The total profit lost can easily be double this amount when you account for the loss of sales.
When you have a good business management system, you will:
• Increase Your Productivity
• Reduce Your Costs
• Reduce Staff Turnover
• Increase Your Profits and Value of Your Business
• Reduce Your Business’ Dependence on You
• Create a Salable Asset
Ultimately, you will Have a Business the Runs Without You.

My next article will explain the components of a good business system and how you can start developing one for your business.

BusinessLink CommunityNewsletter 03DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK’S BUSINESSLINK NEWSLETTER HERE.

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