NCET Tech Tips: Business Mastery – Four Key Basics
NCET explores business and technology
By Peter Williamson
Have you ever found yourself working hard at building your business, but feeling like you’re just not getting ahead the way you want to? One of the places to look for solutions is some basics you might have drifted away from as business became busyness.
First on the list is Money Mastery – knowing both what your financial situation is and more importantly, what it’s going to be. There are several components to this – first is making sure your bookkeeping is done promptly. For many businesses, monthly reconciliation is fine, but in some cases, weekly or even daily is necessary. Next is understanding your cash cycle – the time between when you spend money to deliver your product or service and when you actually get paid.
This cycle is key to building the third element – cash flow projections. Measuring what happened in the past is important, but it’s even more important to be able to predict what’s going to happen with cash in your business – will you be able to cover payroll comfortably, or pay for that piece of equipment or cover your tax bill at the end of the year (good time to plan for that one now!)?
Destination Mastery is next – doing the planning so there’s real clarity about where you and the business are going. Taking a day every quarter out of the office to review the previous quarter and plan the next quarter is an incredibly worthwhile process. And yet, few businesses do this – in a recent presentation, I asked the audience how many of them do quarterly planning and only about 10% of the audience raised their hands. Applying a structured approach to consistently create quarterly plans will move your business forward faster and more smoothly than ever before.
Measurement Mastery is all about measuring the right things. Figuring out what is right for your business is really the key – not just sales and profits (yes, both of them are important!), but measuring the things that drive sales and profits. It’s especially helpful to figure out the predictive measurements – the metrics that will tell you what’s going to happen before it does happen.
Finally there is Time Mastery, which is really all about Activity Mastery. The key here is to manage activities so that time is set aside to work on the things that will move the business forward – typically those things that are important but not urgent (see Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix or Stephen Covey on this topic). Typically, knowing what to focus on is easier than figuring out how to do it.
So, I urge you to have a look at Mastery – nailing these four keys will lower stress levels and make growing your business a whole lot easier and more fun!
Peter Williamson is Master Licensee and Business Coach with ActionCOACH and NCET’s co-VP of Tech Wednesday. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.
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