Doing the Skeleton Dance – Time to Check the Health of Your Business
I’m just back from a trip to my physiotherapist. She’s amazing. (Note to self: don’t leave it as long next time).
I have a rotated pelvis you see.
It was probably caused initially by my pregnancies and exacerbated by my exercise routine of running and weight training. When I start to become misaligned, it feels like a niggle to begin with. I wake up with a bit of a sore back. As time goes on, it starts to get quite uncomfortable. I find it difficult to get out of a chair I’ve been sitting in for too long. I experience pain down one side of my body as I run and sometimes I can’t take a full and deep breath. When it’s at its worst, I simply can’t walk straight and my running takes a back seat altogether.
As I was lying on the table getting all the wrongs in my skeleton right-ed, it occurred to me that businesses are not quite so different from the humans who run them. They all have a skeletal structure which is formed during the growth stages of early business. And when all the bits “join up wrong”, it causes pain; anything from a niggle to out and out malfunction
And what we do, at Cofficient Ltd, is physiotherapy for businesses.
Sometimes a business will start to collect problems right from conception. A typical business evolution might look something like this:
- Finance Software
A need to transact leads business owners to purchase financial software. Purchase orders have to be raised, invoices have to be sent, inventory needs to be accounted for. Sage is often a firm favourite at this stage. It’s well established and cheap, and finance managers can slip Sage on like a well worn glove.
[Read about Alternatives to Sage here]
- Sales/CRM Software
As the business grows from something embryonic into something more fully formed, dedicated sales resource is brought on to bolster revenue. New businesses will often go through a famine and feast type cycle. Whilst trying to service the business they have already won, they take their eye off the sales pipeline and neglect to have deals waiting in the wings. A dedicated sales person will need a good CRM system to help them manage their workload and keep interactions with customers fresh. Salesforce is often favoured at this stage. It’s cloud based and can be accessed on the road. It’s well known. It has all the bells and whistles which usually appeal to sales people.
[For Alternatives to Salesforce click here]
- Project Management Software/ MRP Software (depending on business sector)
There are more sales now than you can manage on the back of a spreadsheet. Some additional software is purchased to help you manage your projects (if you’re services) or to manufacture products at the right capacity (if you’re goods based business). These might be something like Microsoft Projects or Epicor, a piece of software which is deep delving into the particular area you need it for.
Them Bones, Them Bones
What’s happening now?
Everything is becoming disjointed.
Your project managers can’t take on additional work next month cause they are at capacity – Microsoft Project tells them so. But your sales person has no visibility of this because they are working with Salesforce. Their graphs and charts are telling them they need to find more money next month to hit target so they are still selling away. And your finance department can’t corroborate either side of the story because they are all too busy duplicating effort; pulling orders out of Salesforce and stuffing them into Sage so they can raise the invoices for the month.
Something is not connecting. If your business had a full 360 degree holistic view of the clients, you would be able to tell that the customer profitability was too low. The sales people are selling at the wrong price so have to keep selling more to meet the business objectives. The project managers are putting the wrong members of staff on the project and eating into profitability. The finance team are procuring more stock than you need to service your customers. Your customers notice the project managers seem too busy these days to really pay attention to their project and start to cut back on their orders. The sales people sell more to make up the difference…and so on and so on.
The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the back bone. The back bone’s connected to the neck bone. Doing the skeleton dance!
In the same that my rotated hip makes it hard for me to run, your business won’t be able to run unless you connect it all back up again.
Physio For Business
That’s where Cofficient comes in. We do physio for your business.
[Find out more about our services and products here]
Your business is built on a foundation of people, processes and systems. When one thing is not working well, the others all break down.
As part of our consultation process we will
- Help you get buy in from staff
- Build confidence through early involvement and training
- Help you with cross business communication
- Challenge your processes if you seem to be stuck
- Engineer a streamlined and efficient business process that is aligned to your business
- Replicate it in your system of choice
- Help you build differentiation in your business
Most importantly, we will help you select the right, cloud based business software for your needs. One that is joined up. A system which gives you front office and back office capability; and which you can use to serve your needs just now as well as adapting to future needs. We will help you run faster, and breathe more easily.
If you need some physio for your business get in touch. We offer free business health checks.
Written by Emma Stewart – the recently much more limber Sales & Marketing Director at Cofficient Ltd