– Richard Voisey, Nwes Business Consultant
It’s time for a spring clean and to put our best laid plans into action with both vim and vigor! Here are some thought provoking questions and tips to help you deliver on your promises.
Your Work Environment
- Should that be your office, van, car, shop – is it ergonomically set out to make you effective and efficient?
- Are you a hoarder? Do you have equipment or furniture you simply do not use or need? Sell it online, make a few quid and declutter your life and your mind.
- Are you well insulated and/or using energy efficient equipment? Vital cash could be saved.
Accounts and Bookkeeping
- Are you organised so you can lay your hands on all necessary paperwork?
- What’s your credit control like? Are you owed money? Anything outstanding?
- Are your customers paying by the best possible method?
- Are you checking bank statements – you may have direct debits for services you no longer need or use?
- Do you have a mortgage or rental property agreement? Maybe there are better deals out there if you are overdue in checking.
- Check your suppliers, you could be getting a better deal elsewhere?
- Are your books up to date? Don’t make tasks into a chore.
Your Financial Position
- Budgeting is vital for the home and the business. Do you have an up to date personal survival budget for your household? Does your business have current management accounts to help you make sound decisions? Have you produced a cash flow forecast?
- Do you have any high interest loans or credit cards that could be managed better?
- If you have debt, how is this being managed? Do not work blind regarding your financial position.
- If you have funds, could these be invested to give you get a better return?
- What pension arrangements do you have in place?
- How good are you, your staff and your products and services?
- Are you assessing the actual performance of the business and evaluating it after the customer interaction?
- Are your customers helping you to improve your performance with future customers? Welcoming feedback and having systems in place is essential.
- How do you compare against your competition?
Product and Service Development
- Are you selling the right goods and services to the right people for the right price? The market continually evolves so don’t get left behind.
- Are you up to speed with customer needs, check your market research is fit for purpose.
- Are there any political, economic, sociological or technological changes afoot which will impact the future success of the business?
- Adequate skills, knowledge and experience are vital to meet and hopefully exceed customer needs. Your team and maybe yourself could benefit from continued professional development.
- Improvement could be through reading, on the job experience, going back to the shop floor, training, qualifications, shadowing, job sharing, the opportunities are endless.
Aims and Objectives
- Are you heading in the right direction?
- Do you have personal and business aims? They must to correlate with each other, one should feed the other.
- Make sure that any aims you set are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed.
- Monitor these on a regular basis to make sure you keep on track.