This could be a very long list, but we have applied the Pareto Principle and outlined the big six to check against your business practices.
1. Do delegate
For our money the single main reason that small businesses hit the glass ceiling is an inability or failure to delegate. We have heard them all “nobody does it like me”; “I can’t get good staff”; the list goes on, but we are sure you get the point. The simple fact is that if you can’t or won’t delegate your business cannot grow, because you are the only one who can make that happen.
2. Do get another point of view
Whether employing a staff member or looking to expand your business you need input as going solo has real problems. Principally, you are only seeing it from one perspective. A second pair of eyes goes a long way in resolving this issue.
3. Do operate on sound financial principles
Four simple checks:
- Measure your business performance and check it against forecasts and benchmarks regularly.
- Do not overpay or underpay yourself without an understanding of all of the implications. The two main implications are adjustments on the value of the business at sale and tax efficiency.
- Avoid client concentration. This occurs when you have a large revenue exposure to a small number of clients. It can also include dealing with big organisations (public or private sector) that can change their position to your detriment at will.
- Take from the business only that which it can afford. Get greedy and the business will struggle for want of cash.
4. Don’t let the family take over the business
Most of us run a family business. Have a clear understanding of where the business starts and where the family stops. Employing family for the wrong reasons rarely ends well.
5. Don’t mix businesses
If you have more than one structure or income stream beware of one subsidising the other. Each stream should be able to stand alone.
6. Don’t let lack of accountability ruin your business
To whom does the boss of a small business answer…. usually himself. Well, at least you will get a sympathetic hearing! Simple fact – very few people adequately supervise themselves. Without some form of arms length accountability your business will suffer.
In a lifetime of advising, running and assisting businesses I cannot say I have ever seen a small business (and many large ones) get all of these things right. The more you do well, the faster your business is likely to grow. If you would like to review your business practices with an objective judge contact Warren Maris on 07-3483-0102 and we can set up a time for you to improve how you do business.