Double Dip Evaluation...
Today the new revised numbers for May and June unemployment were posted and we are now worse off than we were at the beginning of 2011 - 9.2%. Still, the business community has a wealth of hiring opportunities in terms of skills and knowledge it could hire for less than it could have two years ago. It also has a leaner structure to work with.
Let's look at staff first: if you own a business with employees you more than likely had to lay someone off or cut their hours back in the last couple of years. If you didn't do that, you took the hit personally to keep those employees either in savings or reduced earnings for yourself. With the shear number of folks out there looking for work carrying with them skills and talents you need, you really owe it to yourself to also consider if you need to exchange a less qualified and motivated employee you've been holding on to for someone who has more to offer your business and can take the same or less pay simply because they need the income. Someone might think that's hard hearted but if what you have isn't able to perform as needed then why are you paying for under performance?
The recession has also translated into cutting back in other areas of your business, too. Maybe you discontinued a service offering or reduced the number of similar products you offered on your shelves. Perhaps you closed an hour earlier or opened an hour later. You may even have changed your suppliers in favor of a less expensive or more versatile source.
The recession has also translated into changing how your business runs. Ask yourself productive questions: Is your sales team doing what it needs to do to make your business more attractive? Are you giving them enough latitude to make sales without approval delays from you? Is your records team converting contracts to service as fast as they could be or are there long delays between agreeing to work and actual work? Are your service teams credible and approachable by your customers?
Consider the things that you did to keep yourself running. Now consider the new position you are in to prosper when the recession, now a double dip, changes course as we all know it will. With fewer liabilities and greater income potential your profit margin is very likely to improve significantly even with only a small improvement in the economy. But even if you ask yourself all the right questions and even if you are a very intuitive business owner you are likely to need good data to get your answers and come to the right conclusions.
Where are your answers coming from? More than likely they are coming from your accounting systems. If your accounting systems are you, ask yourself a final question: would I hire me to manage my accounting and records based on my current education and experience? If the answer is no you have a problem. Give us a call when you're ready...