Five ways to improve your business


In the first of a series of blogs on business improvement, Damian Walmsley gives five top tips for creating a stronger and more successful business.


Commit yourself to strategic planning


Make time to consider strategic business issues rather than committing all your resources to reactive ‘firefighting’ activity. It’s easy to put off things that seem non urgent, but you must get to grips with long term planning issues that are equally crucial.


Money makes the world go round


Positive cash flow is where money entering your business is greater than money paid out. You can boost your financial management performance by preparing a rolling 13-week cash flow forecast; taking a good look at your costs; and keeping a tight rein on stock control.


But not everyone is money-motivated


The key to raising the performance of your people is motivation. However, the belief that all your people are always money motivated is misleading. Consider using psychometric tests, employee focus groups, or other feedback, to help you understand what makes individuals tick and deploy a range of incentives that allow them to flourish.


People can be a great asset – and a potential liability


Successful business leaders must not only attract talented individuals, but also reassign, or even remove people who are not making a sufficient contribution. It’s true that people are a business’ greatest asset, but the flipside is equally valid – the wrong people in the wrong jobs can cost you dearly.


Consider a coach


Owner managers frequently get so close to their business that they can’t see what’s working well and what needs changing. For example, you may not realise you are out of sync with shifts in demand, or that your business practices have become outmoded. An external perception can identify and help address these and other issues.