Are You Ready to Grow?

By Debra Thompson

The world is in a state of flux and business owners are very concerned about getting back on track and seeing their business levels return to growth and profitability.

It is difficult to say what is going to happen with the economy right now, but I do know one thing for sure. This is the opportune time to position your business for the future. The business owners who realize this are the ones that will definitely have a competitive advantage in the very near future.

What every business owner should be focusing on right now is their infrastructure. If you don't have a strong infrastructure in place, you will not be able to grab the golden ring when the opportunity presents itself. To evaluate your infrastructure take a look at the three elements of a business: Systems, People, and Communication.

Do you have the systems and procedures in place that will guarantee a high quality product or service no matter what rates of production are required? Take a look at how work flows through your business. Is it smooth and effortless or do projects seem to get hung up in certain areas or departments? Because of new technology and new equipment, many of your current systems may no longer be suitable. Now is a good time to analyze all of your processes and rework where necessary to enhance efficiency and profitability.

Do you have the right people matched with the job functions? Do you have management candidates that can grow as the business grows? Are you blessed with top performers? With the recent downturns in business, there are many good people out there looking for jobs. The bar has been raised in most businesses because of technology and the digital world. You need people who are bright and articulate. They need to be able to understand this new world of business and they must then be able to communicate that understanding with your internal and external customers.

Many businesses now have people who have been on staff for a very long time. There is benefit to this as long as they are up to speed with what is going on with the technology. If they are not, they need to be retrained. The problem is that many of the long-term staff are reluctant about training. In those cases, these employees need to be replaced. It might be time to use the ax in order to move the business forward.

Do you have the communication systems in place to provide your staff with information? Today's employees want to know what is going on so they are comfortable in their position and with the company. Do you have feedback processes in place so you know what is bothering them or are you able to easily receive suggestions they have for improving the processes and procedures? Are you providing your staff with personal feedback in the way of performance evaluations? Remember, communication is the glue that holds it all together.

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! It can never be overdone. The economy will turn around and when it does, make sure you are ready for success.

This information was originally published in my newsletter TG Notes. If you would like to subscribe to TG Notes, click here.