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Business is fun

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Its true to say that not all business development tools work in Small Businesses.

Perhaps.

I suspect that its not about the tools themselves but much more about the business owners and their expectations of the outcomes.

Lets take monthly accounts as an example (or quarterly accounts - the principle is the same). We used to do monthly accounts for a manufacturing company -

tools

decent sized with turnover well in excess of £1.3m. I remember to this day the reaction that monthly accounts got from the MD - and I quote -

" Have I made a profit?" "Are my debtors (customer debts) bigger than my creditors (suppliers' debts)?"

Those were his two standard questions every month. He could have cared more about making a budget to see if he was on track to his target; he wasn't particularly interested in his margins; there were no cost per item targets in place. He ran his business how HE ran his business and there was no telling him any different. I felt like saying "Why don't people listen?" but he didn't/ couldn't or wouldn't. The tools existed to help him, with surgical precision, make more money but he stuck to the tried and tested measures he knew, maybe not sure what he needed or how they helped if at all, and was at the stage where perhaps he didn't feel able to ask anymore.

Little wonder then that the business is no more, another casualty in the " I know how to run a business" league table.

 

Please don't misunderstand me here, every set of tools exists to help solve a particular problem and maybe he didn't know what problem he needed fixing and if he had, perhaps should've bought something other than monthly accounts! There is no point in hoping that a spanner will be any use in fixing a broken window. So before you buy a solution, buy some diagnostic help.

My colleague and supplier, Heather Alexander at Clearsight Consulting Ltd is superb when it comes to IT diagnostics and has helped me identify what I really need rather than what I THINK I want to buy and has saved me both cash and time by challenging my thinking and analysing what we need.

So before you set out to buy the next big thing or invest in the latest management development tool, just stop and ask yourself, " Who could I ask for help with this before I go ahead?" That way you might actually save yourself and your business a whole load of time and money by getting the right tool to help you achieve a result - THE result you want.

Anyone got a screwdriver.....?

 

JohnF

 

 

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