When I look at a business, I always have in mind how it compares with ‘successful’ businesses.
‘Successful’ to me means businesses like McDonalds.
I know. It’s a behemoth. And a franchise. And sells fast food. And. And.
And, it’s really successful. Globally successful in nearly every corner of the world.
The principles of McDonalds can be applied to every business.
McDonalds has a process for everything. From how to make a particular burger to how to clean a rest room. They have a set way of doing it and it works.
It’s also like being an athlete.
I am (was) one. I was ok at junior levels, have raced bicycles throughout my adult life and even won a veteran’s national championship. Today, I am a serious enthusiast who loves to race. To achieve my goals, I have retained a coach who helps me set goals and my training and assesses my performance both in training and in races.
My coach looks at the data and adjusts my training accordingly. He also adjusts it to reflect the other factors that come up in life – work and family being the big two. In short, he sets me a process to follow to achieve what I want to achieve.
Business is no different. The most successful businesses I work with build, follow and adapt process. They have a defined way of doing things. So, if there is a staff change the work will continue to be done in the ‘right’ way. These businesses also employ experts to help guide them – do you think the guys who made burgers knew the best way to clean a rest room or hire staff or market those burgers?
In the business of numbers, the coach is usually the accountant. We know the business and are in the unique position to assess progress and give valuable and sometimes difficult feedback. A coach is not a cheerleader – but that’s part of the job. We are also sounding board and occasionally a disciplinarian making sure your processes are effective and followed. To analyse the data and tell you what it’s really saying.
So, don’t fly blind and wonder if things are going to be done correctly. Implement processes. And follow them. It’s a big step to gaining absolute financial certainty.