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Edition 335 – Who Needs Information?

Do you want to know the easiest way to find revenue in your business? What about taking a look at the reports your system generates? Let me explain.

I’ve just found $24K of invoices that we haven’t raised in the past few months for works we’ve completed.
What about those reports in your system that tell you what work you’ve quoted, what you’ve completed, what you’ve invoiced and what’s still to invoice?
Yes, what about them?
Who is reading them?
No one.
Why not?
Because we don’t have time!

You cannot make this stuff up. That is actually a conversation that took place recently with one of my clients. They’re so busy getting on with client work that they’re not following their own systems. They do the work, finish the job, then proceed to walk onto the next job. Sounds like they’ve done the work for free to me.

What’s the point of putting systems in place if?

  1. You don’t use them?
  2. You don’t resource it?
  3. You don’t train people into using the system to it’s fullest intent?
  4. You don’t hold anyone accountable for reviewing the reports the system generates?
  5. You, as the owner or manager, don’t analyse the reports to determine “how could we have done it differently?”

This example is of one business, yet there are plenty of others where, it would seem, new systems are introduced to tick a box or satisfy a process. I’ve seen some businesses introduce a raft of changes in order to achieve ISO accreditation – and then proceed to put those new procedures in a drawer, slam it shut and resort back to the old ways. Box ticked – new system implemented – bugger all changes!

Most small and family businesses these days have quite powerful operating systems. 25 years ago, plenty of them still worked on cash books and Excel spreadsheets (if they were that advanced).

In 2022, the technology has changed, yet the growth in the skill set of the owners and managers to use the information generated by the business to build a more efficient, profitable and desirable business operation appears to have stalled, all because “we don’t have time”.

Why would you run around, quoting, winning and doing new work if you’re not:

  1. Monitoring it’s profitability.
  2. Seeing whether budget vs. actual marries up.
  3. Determining what extras are on the job that weren’t quoted, but are billable.
  4. Checking your costings then refining them for the next job that you quote, win and complete.

All of this may well explain why I’m of the firm belief that there are plenty of businesses that would be a lot more profitable by doing a lot less work. If only they read the reports and followed the system!

This Week’s Tip

Can less revenue lead to more profit? Absolutely.
I’ve seen it countless times in almost every business I deal with.