Mangement For Design

Winter Release

Business Health Check in 3 Easy Steps

The end of the financial year is not only a time to get your business accounts in order, it’s also a time to take stock of your business and to give it a thorough health check. It’s a time to bring out the microscope and have a close look at what is and isn’t working. From staff to processes, the end of the financial year is a good time to evaluate how your business is holding up.

1. Look at your numbers — and your number crunchers

Financial statements and accounting reports are all very good and well, but on their own they don’t tell you all that much about your business. Sure, you can see what’s going in and what’s coming out, but where’s the context?

It is crucial for any design and engineering business to benefit from the skills of a qualified and experienced Chief Financial Officer and they should be more than just a number cruncher. This is an integral part of your business that should be provided by someone with the strategic skills and intelligence to do more than just accounting. To really contribute to the business, your CFO should be able to contextualise the financial information and to make an informative analysis to aid senior decision makers.

What do your numbers look like? Are they telling a story beyond the numbers in a financial report? Is your CFO able to interpret the data in a way that provides value to the business? If the answer is no, then this is a good time to review the usefulness of the data available to you and to make changes to ensure that your numbers are more than just numbers.

2. Invest in high performing employees

Nurturing employees with a good cultural fit with your business’s aims is integral to success. If your staff aren’t 100% behind what the business is trying to do then they will not make good long-term assets and they will possibly not last long anyway. Trying to convert an illfitting person into a loyal employee can be a waste of effort on both sides for a goal that will never come to fruition.

Your first impulse should not be to hire an extra person to fill in the gaps left by an underperforming staff member. An underperformer left in place can damage an otherwise thriving business — a problem that places project-based design and architecture firms at increased exposure to risk. Culling cultural misfits will allow you to spend more time focusing on the development of employees who show initiative, interest and who will be long-term assets for the business.

Identify your best employees early and reward them. It is also worth having a look at the level at which each employee is performing. Identify areas for improvement and ways in which you can get the most out of each member of your team. Knowing where everyone stands will aid decision making around staff retention and staff cuts.

3. Business processes — dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s

An evaluation of your business processes doesn’t have to mean throwing out existing processes and starting again. Look at your systems and workflows and make tweaks to optimize processes already in place. Small changes over time will make a big difference to business performance without having to reinvent the wheel. Get you team involved so that the people doing the work take ownership for the streamlining process. This will motivate and involve staff as well as increasing efficiencies.

Ready to take you take your business to the next level?

Arrange your complimentary consultation with the aim of assisting you to make the most effective decisions for maximising your business performance.