Rhonda Maco, ESQ.
Mind Your Own Business!
Who's running your business today? Are sales up? Are sales down? Have you met your goals and objectives? How's your Mission Statement? What are your customers saying? In other words, are you at the helm of your business or have you entrusted that enormous responsibility to someone else? Who is minding your business? At the end of the day, with all of the controls and people put in place, it should be you!
Starting and maintaining a successful business is no easy accomplishment; clearly it is not for the faint at heart. If you think it was difficult making your business successful, try maintaining that success and tell me which one is more difficult.....the initial climb to the mountain top or staying on the mountain once you get there?
It is more difficult to maintain success than it is to initially achieve it. Mark my words! Once your business is succeeding, your goal should be to take that business to the next level. You don't reach success and then stay on cruise control. What would be the point? Make no mistake about it, today's entrepreneurs are trend-setters who stay on the cutting-edge of their industry. Staying 'in the know' of your chosen industry requires a lot of hard work, research and perseverance. Obviously, you cannot do everything by yourself and you shouldn't try to do so. However, you as the owner are charged with making sure that your Vision and Mission for your business is being carried out the way you intended.
Minding your own business means establishing a system of accountability for your management team to ensure that your team is accomplishing the goals and objectives of your business. You need a comparable system of checks and balances in place. And before we go any further, be advised that 'checks and balances' does not mean MICRO MANAGE YOUR TEAM!!!! On the contrary, it means that your team has clearly defined goals and tools in place to measure the success of the business. You must allow your team to execute your plan while having procedures in place to evaluate performances and results. This is easier said than done but this task must be accomplished.
Start your system of accountability by creating your governing documents such as your By-laws, Conflict of Interest Policy, Confidentiality Policy. Do this right from the start. Also, when you establish your initial committees, make sure one of your committees is a Governance Committee. Recruit people for the Governance Committee who have experience in compliance, best practices and the like. The goal is to make sure your internal controls are strong.
Finally, make sure your management team is required to produce reports on at least a monthly basis so that you are fully aware of how operations are going so that you can tweak the system if necessary. No operation is perfect and you should have the mentality that 'there is always room for improvement'. But having controls in place allows you to determine what works and what does not.
Overall, you should be minding your own business. You want to do this by building a solid foundation and a hierarchy within the management team so that controls are in place to capture the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Establishing such a system takes time, indeed. But it is a necessary process that will allow your business to achieve the next levels of success. Start doing this today and Mind Your Own Business!