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Thought Leadership

Your business’s success relies on the collaboration of many moving parts. If this sounds overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, you are not alone. To help deal with the overwhelming parts of building a business, the Emerging Entrepreneur Experience and Kaiser Consulting spoke about the “5 Tips for Building a Better Business” on August 8th.

Hosted at Hopewell Works, EEE’s RJ Swindaman along with Kaiser’s Hilary Dodson and Tracey Holecek explained that your business will grow when you have successfully managed five key areas: (1) Internal Controls (2) Financial Statements (3) Key Performance Indicators (4) People Matter, and (5) Building a Professional Support Team.

Here’s the low-down on each one:

Internal Controls

Implementing internal controls helps you better manage your long list of daily tasks. It lowers risk, improves accuracy and results in better decision-making. Internal controls are realized in the following areas:

  1. Budget. A budget is a roadmap to understanding and controlling your expenses. Ask questions when things seem “off.”
  2. Cash controls. By reviewing all payments, implementing bank controls, confirming your bank reconciliations and asking questions, you will be better equipped to control your cash flow.
  3. Tone at the Top. It starts with you. Your words and actions about your business’s finances send a message to your employees about what you value. Discuss with your team and ask questions!

Financial Statements

Financial statements are your business’s report card, and their data tells you the “health” of your business. Review the following statements regularly:

  1. Balance sheet. This is a report of your performance and assets at a certain point in time.
  2. Income statement. This statement presents your expenses and income over a period of time, such as year to date.
  3. Cash flow statement. It’s important to know your cash flow from investing and financing activities. Your cash flow statement summarizes the amount of cash and cash equivalents that enter and leave your company.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

What gets measured gets done, and KPIs measure how your business is performing compared to your goals. KPIs will keep you focused, resulting in better, more informed decisions. Here’s how to choose the right KPIs for your business:

  • Define your goals
  • Tie your KPIs to a specific goal
  • Keep it simple—focus on two or three critical factors
  • Make your KPIs “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Responsible and Timely

People Matter

It is challenging for most business owners to find qualified people and build a good team. Knowing your purpose and prioritizing expectations ahead of time can help attract and retain the team members you are looking for. Be sure you have identified the following:

  • Mission statement. This is your business’s purpose and reason for existing. It identifies your WHY. People who are aligned with your mission will be happier employees.
  • Core values. These are the guiding principles that define your culture and your business’s way of life. Use them as your moral compass and make sure your employees align with them.
  • Training. Although it takes time and money, training is the best way to improve your people, grow the company, and increase loyalty of your employees.
  • Accountability. Establish an accountability chart so everyone understands their responsibilities and how their work is connected to the firm’s goals.
  • Communication. Have regular, scheduled team meetings to keep the communication flow open.

Interested in learning more about workplace best practices? Check out our blog, “Do This, Not That – Keeping Your Employees Engaged and Effective”!

Building a Professional Support Team

As a business owner, you will need the right partners and advisors to help you grow your business, such as an attorney, banker, accountant, IT support, etc. Spend time researching and interviewing partners to find someone who is in line with your values, is responsive and has the right experience level for your business needs.

If you’d like more in-depth information on how to build a professional support team, our blog, “Business Advisors + How They Work Together” can help!

Got advice to share about how you built your business? Tell us about it on Facebook and Instagram!