Everybody knows where you’re most likely to be told “Say ahhhhh”. For a routine medical check-up you go to the doctor. They’ll use tools to measure your temperature, check blood pressure, listen to your heart and check your lungs. The big ice-cream stick comes out and you’ll be told “Say ahhhhh”. Doctors always start by properly checking out our body’s vital signs. Everything else depends on them working properly.
They actively go through a standard series of measurements and observations. Only then can they give feedback and advise on any actions that need to be taken.
Businesses are in need of routine check-ups just as people are. It’s part of business management. And whatever the scale of your business, getting the right stuff, the stuff your business needs to have working properly, comes down to one thing, understanding the current condition.
This means business information systems to help you measure, and thus manage, the business. So what to measure.
Someone once told me the most important things in managing a business are make money, make money, make money, make money and guess what?
Well, crude as it may sound to some, nothing much happens in business, no matter what sort of business it is, without money. Whether it’s a not for profit, a small family business or large multi-national, without money, it’s toast.
That means monitoring where the money is coming from. What are your income or revenue sources. How does the money come in. How can it be maintained. How can it be increased. What income leakages are there, through write-offs, poor management, or theft. How is the income going to move over the next month, year and years ahead.
It also means monitoring where the money’s going to. What are your costs. How can they be maintained. Can they be reduced. How are they likely to move over the next month, year or years ahead.
Now in recent times, the trend has been to cut costs to improve efficiency and make the money go further. In the business world that ethos can only go so far. There’s a limit to cutting costs. In business management, you also need to proactively manage income and we can tell you how to do that here.
Consider an analogy of a team sport match. One team doesn’t go out to achieve an end goal with ‘winning’ as the only thing in mind. It’s been drilled into them that to achieve the win each player needs to get many little things right. Minute by minute they each have to play their part, right to the end. All winning teams follow the same formula.
In professional services businesses where expertise, business knowledge, service delivery and often compliance is the major sales item (not widgets nor inventory) the income is generated the same as in the sporting analogy. To manage income everyone needs to get many little things right. Everyone has to play their part, right to the end. That means, job by job, activity by activity, client by client, and yes, minute by minute, lots of little things need to be planned and managed. We talk more about managing your staff and clients here if you're interested.
An income management system will significantly improve your ability to manage all the above and more. Spreadsheets can only go so far. A proper time management and invoicing system will go a lot further. It’s like having check-ups in real time. Because in business as in elsewhere, knowledge is power.
For more information on revenue management – meaning job management, staff management, office management through to invoicing, read more on our web site, start a free trial, or call us to talk about your goals.
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