Start by understanding what’s taking the bulk of your time and ask yourself seriously, do I personally need to be doing all of this? By putting in place a clear company direction, supporting it with a well-defined organisation structure and defining measurable systems and controls, many tasks can be delegated, automated, systemised or even eliminated!
Development of a ‘Single Page Strategy’ which includes clear vision and mission (or purpose) for the business combined with corporate values is a pragmatic way to articulate the company culture and reason for being. Knowing this enables a set of practical goals to be established with the management team and shared throughout the business.
Understanding precisely where you are at relative to where you need to be is essential.
Having a way to effectively model and manage cash-flow is paramount as is defining a budget for revenue and expenses. Simple tools to define and report on these will do much to identify the source of the problem(s) and/or where improvements can be made.
The past is often a good indicator of what may happen in the future so it is important to retain financial performance information each month. Over time this data can be used to build financial models that can be used to provide ‘what-if’ analysis, better understanding of revenue streams, company expenditure and improve predictability of profits.
Communication of the business strategy on a periodic basis is a great way to reinforce the desired company culture and regular feedback on company goals does much to increase staff’s sense of their role within the organisation. Well-defined KPIs, recognising team and individual successes, holding people accountable to the corporate culture and respect for all are key elements.
It is vital that the expectations of each and every role within an organisation is defined within a Position or Job Description so that the role and responsibilities are clear. These should be backed up by a well-defined and well implemented performance management process that enables the individual Key Performance Indicators to be defined in line with the corporate strategy.
In a nutshell, run a great business that demonstrates sustained growth and profitability, has systems in place to monitor and predict business performance, does not rely on single staff members in key positions and has a stable (ideally growing) customer base.