Business transformation needn’t be a process that’s restricted to the big corporations. In my experience, as an accountant and business coach, one of the biggest challenges that most small business owners face is how they cope with the demands of doing everything. From formulating their business plan; to marketing their services or products; to managing their cash flow, and countless other tasks.
No wonder so many have of them have so little time to “work on their businesses”; exerting themselves by “working in their businesses” instead. A subtle difference in wording, I know, but those who focus more on the former will succeed much quicker and experience the rewards they deserve.
Business transformation is a key management strategy that aims to align key processes, staff and finance more closely with its vision & business strategy to support and devise new strategies and achieve long term goals.
Complete your business transformation with a change in mind-set
It’s at this time of the year, as the financial year draws to a close, that you should take the opportunity to re-evaluate your business. Ask questions like “Is there a demand for what I am selling?” and “am I selling to the right market?” and “am I selling at the right price?”
For many of you, it will require a major paradigm shift and also confidence to challenge the “status quo” and ask tough questions, like “what-if….” (replace the “…” with any question you like). For example: “What if I focused more on strategy & planning” and “What if I got someone else to do the stuff I don’t like to do?”. It will mean you exploring opportunities, exploiting your strengths, eliminating your weaknesses and managing threats.
But by having courage to explore opportunities and become more creative, you can transform your business ten-fold.
Your business transformation strategy needs to be quantified. The simplest way you can do this, in financial terms, is to develop a budget for the forthcoming year, showing your income, margins, costs and most importantly, PROFIT!
As a business owner, you may have invested significant capital in your business. Your strategy for growth will need to translate into healthy cash flows, profit and of course it should increase the value of your business. Accountants know the advantages of using budgets to manage business finances. You should use yours to compare your actual financial performance to what you budgeted for and use the results to either take corrective action or exploit what you’re doing right!
Get ready for your business transformation – let go and systemise!
To grow your business you’ll need to “systemise” many parts of it. Document key processes so you can transfer your knowledge to paper and therefore make it easier to train and transfer the task to someone else.
Start your business transformation by identifying processes that you hate to do or those that are not making the best use of your time. Delegate or outsource these tasks, make someone accountable for them and make sure that they understand your expectations and minimum standards. You’ll then be able to concentrate on those tasks that will start to make you money…such as networking, customer contact and many more.
If part of your business transformation is to expand your business, you’ll need good, documented “systems” so that everyone in your business performs consistently to the standards you set.
You’ll also increase the value of your business. Think about it for a moment. Which would you pay more for? A “turn-key” business (one that has documented systems; established procedures; consistency, etc). Or one that has none of these? It should be obvious. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, knew the answer!
Finally, you don’t have to manage your business transformation alone. Engage the help of an experienced business transformation expert to propel your business to new heights.