This week, the last piece in the four part series, “A Small Business Scorecard”. As a reminder, I’m calling this a scorecard, but the goal is not to arrive at a number and think “We got a 14, so we’re doing fine as is.” It’s more of a self-assessment & introspection tool. If a seemingly-negative item on the list doesn’t pertain to you, cross it off. Look at the items you circled / checked as “yep, this is us” as a milestone on the way to a stronger company. Some may need recurring attention. We close out the series with finance and systems.
- We know where the funds for our next payroll will come from.
- We’re always on top of the required state and Federal reports related to employees and such.
- Sometimes we have to pay our invoices late, but it’s not an every month thing.
- We get paid late by our customers and it creates issues for us.
- We don’t have receivables.
- Our payables are always behind.
- We never have any issues with state or Federal tax returns or deposits.
- We’re always on top of tax returns.
- If sales could deliver dependable pipeline numbers for the next quarter, our finance problems would disappear.
- The owner / management hates accounting.
- We’re always up to date on tax deposits.
- We’re not very good at managing the company’s finances.
- We tend to be late on tax returns. Sometimes we have to pay a penalty.
- Managing our finances is one of our superpowers. We suspect we’re better at this than many other companies.
- We tend to be late on tax deposits. Sometimes we are charged penalties / interest.
- We do all our own bookkeeping and accounting / tax work.
- Debt is an important ingredient in our ability to grow.
- We do our own bookkeeping, but we have a professional handle the taxes and related paperwork.
- We outsource bookkeeping.
- We’re focused on eliminating debt for the long term, even though we know it may slow us down from time to time.
- We have a professional handle taxes and related paperwork.
- Our “numbers” drive strategic decisions.
- We understand that “systems” might include automation, but also may include manual systems – such as checklists, documented work processes, job descriptions, manufacturing reviews, and similar items.
- New employees learn our systems as they learn their job.
- We’re gradually systemizing parts of our business.
- None of our systems are “perfect”, but our imperfect systems save time, keep us on track, and help us avoid missed steps.
- There’s one person who knows it all on our systems, but that’s it.
- Our systems are a strategic advantage. They make our work safer and more consistent. They help us produce a more consistent outcome for our customers.
- We routinely review our systems with feedback from the people who use them. Reviews drive upcoming system improvements.
- The nature of our business requires that we invent most or all systems ourselves.
- We don’t have anything we’d call “automation” but we’re definitely a systemized business.
- We have several team members working together to know, improve, and manage our systems.
- Over time, we train new employees on all the company’s systems so that they help in any area if someone is out.
- We understand that automation / systems can be leveraged in any part of our business, from management to finance to manufacturing, sales, and/or marketing.
- We’re using systems and ideas that others have refined over time.
- Systems (and particularly automation) are something we need in order to keep up with competitors. If we didn’t have to, we’d use as few as possible.
- Our systems have been in place for years. We rarely change them.
- Our systems are very close to ideal. We’ve worked hard to get there.
- Our systems are difficult to change.
- Our systems are a mix of commonly-known systems from experts and systems specific to our industry and/or business.
- We train new employees on all the systems in their area.
- Adding new systems to our work is easy.
- It’s difficult getting new systems into our workflow.
- When we hire people. we look for experience in systemized businesses and experience with systems like ours.
- If we find job candidates with experience with systems unlike ours, we consider this useful as we might gain an edge from that differing background.
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