I accompanied a friend recently on an errand-running trip and one of the stops was to drop off his dog Scooter to the groomer. We walked the scruffy pup in the front door and into a wild scene of dozens of howling hounds. The shop was filled with dogs of all breeds and sizes, and it was obvious that this was a successful business.
Susan, the owner, greeted my friend as she reached into an ancient metal file cabinet filled with 4 x 5 index cards. She retrieved several stapled together that were the grooming records for Scooter. My friend said that Susan had owned the shop for 25 years and kept all her records on cards and paper sales slips. What would be a nightmare for my organized personality was comfortable for Susan. Many business owners still shun computers.
Every business has assets, and some of those assets are systems. These systems make a business more attractive to a potential buyer and while you may not be thinking about selling now you should for the future.
Systemize Internal Operations
Are your customer records automated and are they backed up on the cloud? Is there a system in place to reach out to customers you haven’t had contact with for several months? Do you have a way to collect customer feedback? These three steps can alleviate the fears of a prospective new owner about how to keep the business going. Records management is one of four main features of an Internal Control System that virtually all successful companies build and follow.
Internal Control System
Management Integrity: The character and competence of persons in authority for any company set the tone and control the company’s reputation. Management is also responsible for communicating policies and procedures to the entire organization. Good communication leads to smoother operations.
Competent Personnel: There should always be a system in place to recruit, retain, and measure the performance of all employees.
Records Maintenance: The lifeblood of every business are it’s records including customers, vendors, regulatory contacts, and inventory. These systems are absolutely integral to running a successful business, and choosing the right software to run your business can make or break a business. Do your due diligence.
Safeguards: Systems for maintaining the integrity of your inventory, records, and internal policies and procedures are essential. It may not be a hacker on another continent, but a trusted employee who steals vital company information. Therefore, protect your business.
Systems Mean Solid Business
An old metal file cabinet may suit your style, but it’s not an asset for a potential buyer. Therefore, if you’re a small brick and mortar business or a large corporation, solid systems will boost the value of your company.