Auditing your business success
When managing a business, it’s easy to become reliant on finances as a mark of successful business performance. There are many other factors that are significant when it comes to performance, such as the knowledge and skills of your team, their happiness, and your connections within your industry. Audit your business performance in all areas, and you’ll have a far more meaningful understanding of your current and future success.
Knowing the hearts and minds of your team is key to continued success. To assess them properly, it's not enough to have individual progress meetings. Spending time in the office environment as a whole, by visiting different divisions of your company and experiencing the atmosphere at informal times of day is a good idea to gain a true understanding of the productivity and happiness of your organisation. It's easy to pick up on clues as to the future success of your business - is there a feeling of steady, yet enjoyable activity, or is there a distinctly stressed atmosphere? If it's the latter, valued employees are more likely to leave in the future due to feeling burned out, which will lead to far higher costs of replacement and training. According to studies by McKinsey, employees who are engaged with their work are 87% less likely to leave. Everyone has off days when it comes to their workload, but if your team are regularly unhappy or disconnected with their tasks, this is incredibly telling for the future of the company.
You should also perform an audit of the skills your company has, and should have for growth and success. Do your colleagues have the right skills to remain relevant for the years to come? If not, this will certainly put a strain on your business performance, particularly if some of the team carry the weight of those who aren't staying up to speed. There are many online courses available, or simply YouTube video series, on everything from Excel to negotiation skills, that might be worthwhile allocating time for your employees to participate in now to futureproof the company as well as their individual happiness and satisfaction.
Your company might be doing great things financially, but is this reflected in the awareness of your company, both to the public and to your competitors?
You may exist in a particularly competitive network, but it's still important to have connections and awareness of activity across the industry. This includes vertically as well as horizontally – that new start-up might be small now, but willl they make a great alliance for the future? Spend time researching which new companies have started in your field or in a connected industry, and whether it would be worthwhile meeting with them.
While you're in the process of researching competitors and allies new and old, assess your presence on social media. Google search rankings, the amount of comments on your blog posts, the channels you're active on - they will all give an understanding of the current awareness of and sentiment towards your company. If a channel or mechanism simply isn't working, assess whether it would be worthwhile to cut it out - working on a core amount of activities and doing them well is far better than spreading your company's efforts too thin on a variety of different methods.
It's incredibly encouraging to see healthy accounts after a lot of hard work to build up a company, but financials are not the only assets a company has to offer and thus should not be the only ones being audited. Guarantee the future success of your company by looking beyond the balance sheet.
Do you have some additional ways to audit the success of your company? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!