Chaos in business is a very destructive thing.
In my blog this week I will give you pointers to help you spot whether your business is in chaos. Don’t worry though. Chaos can be cleared. In the words of Deepak Chopra “All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
Do you find yourself saying “Hold on a minute I’m just trying to find it?” “It was here a minute ago. Can I ring you back?”
Chances are that your business could be in chaos.
Routine tasks need routine procedures to keep companies running in an organised and efficient manner. If there aren’t any standard systems or process in place, mayhem can quickly take hold. Not being able to lay your hands onto any piece of business information or documentation, when you need it, is frustrating and chaotic. You need to keep all records and filing systems up to date with customer and supplier information, staff data, product and asset information and company administration items.
Set up routine tasks for paperwork. For example, only handle every piece paper that comes into the office once. Act on it and then file it.
Another area to look at is the financial reporting capabilities of the company. Are the systems giving accurate, meaningful information that can be used by HMRC inspectors, auditors and lending companies? If your systems are not giving you this then also, it will be extremely hard to use the information to help you grow your business or get a good price when you come to sell. What if you are trying to get finance? Not having the ability to retrieve relevant data from your accounting and ERP systems will mean that the information you are able to give to banks and financial institutions will not be enough to get the funding you need.
Cash flow issues are always a sign of chaos. With more meaningful information being produced from your systems it would keep your business out of chaos as cash flow problems would not exist. Another effect of this can be errors in invoicing customers – under invoicing or late invoicing. Again this can easily be fixed with robust systems & processes.
If your customers are paying you late it could be a sure sign that they are experiencing some chaos. Are they asking you for copy invoices all the time?
Suppliers who invoice late, in error or forget altogether are definitely in chaos!
Does this sound familiar? “I don’t have enough hours in the day.” “The business comes to a grinding halt if I am not here.” “I have not had a holiday in years.” “I would like to play golf a couple of days a week but it’s impossible.”
This chaos occurs when the business owner is trying to manage and control everything and there are no written procedures, processes or systems for the business. Also, a lot of the customer information could still be in the owners head and not on paper. With the correct procedures set up another person could do a lot of the work, therefore freeing up the owner to either have more time to work on the business instead of in the business, or being able to take some much deserved time away from their business?
Look at your office space. Are there piles of paperwork everywhere, boxes and other obstacles lying around? Is it a safe environment or is it only a matter of time before someone trips over something? Again with good systems those piles of paperwork would not exist. Clear the clutter.
Do you have many customer complaints? If so there is definitely some chaos there to clear. Customer complaints should not only be dealt with quickly but you should also learn from them so the same mistake is not repeated.
Are your staff happy and motivated? Do they know what the company goals are? Do you have company goals? It is important to have a clear direction and to make sure that your staff understand that vision. Get them onside asap. If they feel valued and are aware of their responsibilities they will be more productive and happy in their jobs. Make sure they have the correct tools to get the work done.
Have you got a business plan? If not then you will just be acting and reacting to whatever comes your way, and this will cause disorder.
Is your business stagnating and has not seen any growth for quite some time? Again there could be some chaos lurking that is stopping growth and optimum performance from occurring.
Solving and clearing chaos will give you back time and money, it will give you a greater peace of mind and better clarity as to how your business is performing.
If you recognised yourself or your business in this article then please act quickly and don’t let the chaos spread and grow any more.
Give me a call on 07784 611399 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you clear the chaos.