Add Your Heading Text Here

bay farm advisory simple tools hero

Every business faces daily challenges, and for owners, the constant flow of routine business problems can be overwhelming. They never seem to stop piling up. To make matters worse, the problem–solving process is wrought with distractions – notifications, emails, personnel issues, and more. Modern technology has given us many new apps and solutions that purport to help but even those can take your efforts sideways. When you consider how your problem-solving impacts the success rates of those who work for you, you’ll see why it’s important to avoid these pitfalls. I recommend that all business owners utilize a few simple tools to guide their businesses through the problem-solving process, so they remain focused on what is most important – working ON the business and taking care of customers.

Time management

First, I recommend developing a time management foundation and a plan that allows you to stay focused on priorities. Reacting to every incoming issue will consume valuable time that you should be using to work on your business. Not having a plan also sends the message to your team, that every issue is a priority and therefore, no issue is a true priority. Instead, develop the foundation of a time management plan that gives weight to priorities and allows you to confidently deflect issues your team should be resolving. You will then be able to move past issues you don’t believe are urgent. When your team recognizes that you have a plan, they will adjust their behavior accordingly. Even better, if you share with them how your plan works, they will pick up the terminology and logic and start integrating it into their processes as well. I suggest encouraging team participation because it will improve communication about what is important and what is not.

Know your numbers

Next, have a budget. It sounds obvious, but many founder-led and second-generation family businesses struggle to set a real operating budget. When you purposely set an annual budget, you make decisions about the company’s priorities from a revenue and expense perspective. Those decisions then become the backbone of your decision-making process throughout the year. The budgeting process is a natural inflection point that will force you to assess your team and the potential need to add or subtract from the group. As part of the budgeting process, you’ll also have to assess the status of existing software systems, IT equipment, service equipment, vehicles, and more. Are upgrades on the horizon? If so, what systems or equipment are going to be prioritized? What systems or equipment will need to wait? Communicating with your team becomes easier when decisions are part of a regular process. When the process makes decisions there is no need to think about ways to address a key manager’s push for capital expenditures or a new expensive hire. That manager will learn and make sure it is in the budget next year..

Keep track of your performance

Finally, have a rigid financial review cadence. This ensures that you and your partners are deep in the numbers and on the same page. Skipping financial reviews until your accountant readies your taxes is not productive. Failure to review financial data on a regular basis could result in missed changes in your business that weren’t anticipated or planned for. Financial reporting by its nature is a look back at past performance and regularly reviewing it is critical because so much can happen in such a short amount of time. Waiting too long to identify problems can make any corrective measures even more painful. In most businesses, a monthly financial review will do the trick. If it is too much of a burden to prepare, consider hiring a fractional or part-time CFO. They’ll be able to leverage years of experience to get you on track.

While business problems can be complex and time-consuming, some of the tools you might deploy to solve them don’t have to be. Along the way, make sure you have these simple tools in place to guide you.

Ready to take your business to the next level?

Schedule a discussion now.