In part one of this blog we discussed the surprising number of small businesses that still do not have any online presence and how this is an important part of future proofing a business in a climate where technology is impacting everyone and almost every small business.

In part two we are going to discuss some of the other, perhaps less obvious, ways in which an owner-manager can future proof their business:

 

1. Make it less dependent on you

One way you can actually improve your business and make it more attractive to potential buyers is to be less involved. A business that is heavily reliant on one person will only last as long as that person has the energy to keep spinning all those plates. As soon as they stop, it all comes crashing down. A4G can help you make your business less dependent on you.

 

2. Systems, systems systems

This isn’t the first and won’t be the last time this is mentioned in an A4G blog! Systems are one of the foundations of A4G and have supported our continuous growth. If you haven’t already done so, we would recommend reading The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber which discusses how to grow your business in a productive, systemised and assured way. They will also make the business less dependent on you!

We are now helping clients develop their own systems and procedures so to find out more, please drop one of our Advisers a line. 

“If you’re too busy to build good systems, then you’ll always be too busy” – Brian Logue.

 

3. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

You may have an established business and perhaps it’s been some time since you experienced for yourself what your customers experience when dealing with your organisation. Test your processes by ordering products, making a complaint or not paying an invoice.

Your business is only as good as the poorest performing department. Your business may have the greatest sales team in the world, but if the after sales is awful, those customers won’t return, won’t refer and will more than likely share their bad experience with others.

 

4. Consider outsourcing or offshoring

There might be functions where you lack the expertise, or overheads that you could reduce with a few simple changes. It can be daunting putting this work in the hands of others, but as long as they are non-strategic or not customer care related (a mistake banks have made by offshoring their call centres) you can reap rewards. Workplace pensions are a good example. They don’t influence success but are complex and now required by law for the majority of small businesses. If you don’t know about this, please contact Richard at A4G Bookkeeping to discuss how they can help.

 

5. Retaining your best staff

For most small businesses, the most important asset is its staff, so keeping our best people is essential (plus, recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming process). If you don’t know what motivates your employees, then find out. Yes, salaries will be mentioned but there will be other factors and these can be aligned with the business’ objectives in order to work towards mutually beneficial goals.

Also, don’t forget to ask what they like and don’t like about what your business offers. They might just have some great ideas!

If you would like more information on any one of these points or our help in future proofing your business, contact us on 01474 853 856.

 


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