Get the weed sprayer onto your business processes

Hamish Mexted Business Strategy & Planning, Time Saving & Processes

For many businesses, internal processes and accounting systems grow a bit like a weed.  In the beginning they’re relatively straight forward, easy to manage and simple to follow.  However over time, like weeds, the number of processes grows.  They spread into areas you didn’t want to them to go, their management becomes harder and untangling them becomes close to impossible.

Take for example a wholesale business.  When the business first opened it was run solely by a husband and wife team.  As they were both in the store 100% of the time, between them they knew exactly what their stock levels were, how quickly each item in the store was selling, and what their cashflow situation was.

As the business grew and took on staff, the husband and wife couldn’t quite put their fingers on exactly how much of each product they were selling, and how their cashflow was tracking.  To counter this, they introduced an accounting system, a stock control system, and a separate debtor management system.  None of these three systems were linked meaning everything was triple handled (three opportunities for people to stuff it up!).

Fast forward a few years and they’re still using the same three systems as when the business first setup.  The husband and wife team, like anyone in this situation, would receive significant benefits from a review of every system within their business.  From stock ordering to staff rosters, product delivery to client relationship management and more – by looking at the effectiveness of each process, and how it relates to every other system in the business, the overall efficiency in the business will be increased.

Many business owners think they’ve already got their systems spot on, or that their business is too small to worry about.  We take the opposite view – there’s always something within the business to tweak or work on.  Ultimately this will help you keep running at 100% productivity, and help you take a back seat from the business come exit time.

It’s also important to keep abreast of new technologies as they come onto the market.  Xero for example was barely known a few years ago, now it’s common place.  New Xero add-ons are becoming available all the time, each able to improve one or more processes within your business.

It’s safe to assume there’s at least one process in your business which isn’t as efficient as it may be.  By looking at new technologies and examining how everything is done in your business you’ll become more productive.  This means more profit, less downtime at work, and more time at the beach this summer.