As a business owner, it’s your job to oversee everything that goes on with the company. There’s no way that you can do all of the work yourself, of course, so you’ll need to delegate to your employees. What you can do, however, is make sure that you are in the know about everything that’s going on in your business. How can you make sensible decisions about the future of your business if you don’t know everything about it? That means knowing about your sales figures, employees, assets, and marketing strategies in detail. You’ll never get anywhere if you sit back and let things run themselves.
It’s also important to keep abreast of your business so you can identify and rectify any problems that might come up. Employees are often reluctant to go to their boss about problems until they get really bad, however, if you’re having regular meetings with them about their progress they’ll be more inclined to bring it up. If you think that you’re out of the loop when it comes to the day to day running of your business, here’s how to bring yourself up to speed.
Regular Employee Meetings
It’s important to trust your employees to run their respective departments but that doesn’t mean just leaving them to their own devices all of the time. It’s their job to direct their team in the day to day running of the department but it’s your job to direct them. Having regular meetings with your heads of department is vital if you are going to understand the direction that your company is headed in. When you have meetings, ask all of your heads of department to give a short presentation on their progress so you know exactly what’s been going on. It’s also important for you to ask them if they’re having any problems or if they have any changes that they would like to suggest. Listening to your employee’s concerns and acting on them is the best way to make sure that your company is working as efficiently as possible. Culminate an open environment where everybody feels comfortable speaking up about their problems.
It’s also a good idea to meet with low level employees on a regular basis as well. They might be reluctant to speak to their direct manager about any problems that they’ve got but if the CEO of the company speaks with them directly, they’ll feel more comfortable being open. It also shows them that you value their contribution to the business and a happy employee is always more effective.
Finally, you should be meeting with your financial department on a regular basis and asking them in detail about your accounts. Don’t make the mistake of just asking about profits and leaving it at that. Even when profits are increasing, there could still be problems on the horizon. For example, profits could be increasing but the sales from your most popular products might be dwindling. In that situation, you should be changing the focus of your business and putting your resources into the products that are making you money. Unless you’ve got a good understanding about exactly where you’re making your money, you won’t have the foresight to make those changes.
When you first start a business you won’t have that many assets so it’s fairly simple to keep track of them using a simple spreadsheet. A few years down the line after you’ve seen some growth, you’ll start to find that a spreadsheet just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you don’t even know how many assets you’ve got, how can you possibly know whether they’re being used effectively or not? Tracking your assets doesn’t have to be difficult if you use asset tracking software. They can track all of your assets in real time and the data is accessible from anywhere. The best part about it is that you don’t need to install any expensive software because it will run on any existing computer systems that you’ve got. It uses barcodes, qr codes and geotags to keep track of all of your assets seamlessly. Checking that data regularly can help you to identify any efficiency problems and rectify them.
When you’re reviewing your assets don’t forget about your most important one, your staff. You need to know exactly what your employees are bringing to the business and if they’re actually making you any money. If they aren’t doing well in their current position, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t valuable. It might just be that they would work better somewhere else in the business. Review their skills and consider transferring people to departments where they can work to their full potential.
Company policies are a bit of a double edged sword. If you get them right then they can help to streamline your business and reduce waste, but if you get them wrong, they’ll just slow everything down unnecessarily. The main problem that businesses have with their policies is that they don’t review them regularly enough. When you first put a policy into action, it might work wonders. But if you completely restructure areas of the business, it suddenly becomes a massive hurdle. Policies that have been in place for a long time are often forgotten about and because employees are so used to dealing with them, the idea of changing them goes out of the window. You should be reviewing every single one of your policies at least once a year, and especially every time that you make any structural changes to the company.
One of the main driving factors behind a customer’s decision to use your company is the public perception of it. Consumers are increasingly swayed by the environmental responsibility of a company. If you aren’t manufacturing and packaging your products in an environmentally responsible way, the public perception of your company will be bad. That’s going to turn customers off and you’ll see a decrease in sales. You need to do regular research into your customer base and make sure that people still have a positive view of your company.
Follow these steps and you’ll get to know your business inside out, which is the key to success.