If you have been following us since the beginning, you have seen me discuss everything from Goal setting to Sales tactics for your business...but we have yet to discuss one very important topic: Operations Management. Most global companies, if not all of them, have systems and policies in place to control all aspects of the company. Now, I am sure you are saying to yourself, "I run a small business! What does that have to do with me?" And I am glad you asked. Operations Management does amazing things for a small business. Just to name a few it can increase proficiency, reduce shrinkage, and increase the worth of the business for resale or appraisal. The general rule is that a business is only worth as much as the distance it is from the owner. Well, to make that happen here are a few ideas we have taken from the Global Business Model: •Systemization - In the global business market, they do their best to systemize everything. Inventory, Opening procedures, Databases, How to handle disgruntled customers, etc... everything that can be put together in a process, is put together in a process. Most of the time, in doing so, they reduce waste of time and inventory. Another benefit is that it leaves less guess work in assigning duties to the team. It also allows the business to be easily duplicated when considering a franchise or multiple locations. •Delegation - Now, I know many business owners know that this is important...but factor in the time that will be spent fixing the problems depending on another person will cause, and decide it isn't worth it. Now, if that is the case, one of two things are the cause: 1) the hiring practices need a serious overhaul, or the business owner needs to be willing to increase compensation. 2) The business owner has not taken the time to groom the team members to take over the specific role. One of the ways you can determine whether a business owner is too involved in their business is by implementing a Decision Tracking Sheet. The one I give to my clients is broken down into five categories. These are based on whether the issue can be handled by a Basic Associate, Trained Associate, Basic Manager, Trained Manager, or the Business Owner. If the business owner is bogged down with decisions or tasks that can be handled by other people, then they sacrifice time that can be spent on prospecting, aquiring new work, or even taking a vacation...depending on whats important to the owner. •Track Results - All global businesses constantly track their results. Everything from Marketing to Cost-per-job Analysis is re-examined to provide information to produce maximum results ( more on this in a moment). In addition, tracking results can give early clues to the business that its current operating system is insufficient, and can help the business owner avoid serious financial problems. •Have a Process to Improve Efficiency - As many people know, you are only one competitor away from losing your competitive advantage (Just ask the American car manufacturers about that!). In the 70's , the idea of buying a Japanese car was shunned...people vieed them as a "cheap" alternative to the tried and true American vehicles. But, as the American car companies focused on sales and marketing, the Japanese companies focused on reliability and value. The rest, as they say, is history. A business needs to be able to constantly evaluate itself so that it can maintain and grow its customer base. •Accountability - Now, my interpretation of accountability differs greatly from others. Most people think of accountability only in reference to when somthing goes wrong, who is responsible for the loss. This is very dangerous, and can be counter-productive over the long and short-term. To me, accountability has to do more with personal pride, and people holding themselves accountable to producing a quality product. When a business representative is assigned a task, it is up to them to ensure that what they present is the best they have to offer. Many successful businesses employ and pay the right people who can be depended on to fulfill their given duties. By the same token, it is up to the business owner to designate the responsibility with clear directions and only to people who can be held accountable for the job. Taking into account all the parts of a business, Operations is the main cause of a profitable business going into a financial collapse. The reason is that business owners do not take the proper steps to make sure that what they are doing is sustainable for the long term. I know it seems to be a running theme, but as with goals, keeping things realistic and sustainable will help keep your Operations Management style strong. As always, I wish you the highest success in all of your business ventures. Chau Coach West Hey Guys your comments are always Appreciated!! .