With 2012 complette and plans (vows?) are considered for the next 12month period, the business "To Do" list will consist of things that need to be better. Sales efficiency, equipment improvements, employee productivity, product or service short comings may represent many of the specific activities that need attention that leaders believe to be fundamental to improving the business and increasing the bottom line year-to-year.
One activity that is most likely missing is how the leader as the senior manager of the operation can be a more positive factor in the success of the business.
Many leaders in their minds clearly see how other people and things that need to change but do not turn that same scrutiny on their own performance and influence on the organization. It is the rare leader who evaluates their personal situation first. This requires a degree of humility and self-confidence that is typical of seasoned and mature leaders.
Many leaders mistakenly view such introspection as a weakness and exposure to criticism. They fear that subordinates would . . .
We are committed to annual physical checkups to make sure we are aware of any change that needs attention, moderate or health or unhealthy behavior and to establish a baseline for our physician to prescribe new miracle medications to make us healthier. However, we are less likely to apply such an invasive exam to our businesses. This article stresses the need to make at least an informal audit of your business as you prepare to commit to new plans and strategies for 2013.
There are four audit areas that Karen Klein suggests you examine:
- What stage is your business in? Growth, maintenance, or mature stage.
- Do you have the right commitment of resources for the stage you are in?
- Are your financials in order?
- Would the order of your financials satisfy an interested buyer tomorrow?
- Do you have adequate internal controls for the size and pace of your business?
- Are your tax payments current?
- Are your HR policies up to date?
- Inventory and Operations
- Are you taking adequate measures to streamline and cut expenses?
- Is your technology infrastructure appropriate to meet the demands of your business?
- Are you, as the owner or CEO, too involved in day-to-day operations vs. focusing on the big picture?
It is always productive to "audit" even informally what your business is doing as it causes you to step away from managing crisis and get the perspective needed to direct change to become more productive and profitable.
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Note: Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I perform an informal audit at least once a year?
- Do I take action on what this diagnostic process discovers?
- Do I follow up on the action plan to effect change?
If you are looking for guidance on performing a business audit contact Mike to learn about the Business Process Assessment services available from Brice Consulting for you and your organization.
One of the aspects being discussed is what "Honest Abe" was willing to do to make a deal. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens has a movie line that sums it all up: "The greatest measure of the 19th century," he says, "was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America."
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Inspiration: This set of inspirational thoughts for the new year will galvanize you into action.
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