Advice for Business Owners

SCORE BUSINESS TRACY 2Success in business depends on many factors. Having sold my company, I was happy to have the opportunity to share tips for fellow entrepreneurs for the SCORE on Business segment, hosted by Pete Hendrix, Chief Client Advocate & Founder of Integritec.

The interview also aired on  Comcast Cable channel 250 in Nashville.

Assessing Your Company’s Financials

Having been a CPA prepared me with a strong foundation to run a business. Even if you have a different background, be aware that financial statements are your company’s report card. As your organization grows, you may not be immersed in the financials on a daily basis, but you do need to be able to analyze and understand those crucial reports. These data show where your company excels, and where there is room for improvement. When you have a strong handle on your financials, you’ll be able to respond and adjust your strategy as necessary in a timely manner to put your company in an optimal position to grow.

Company Culture and Consistency

“Culture” is a hot topic when it comes to the workplace. Do you have a mission statement and philosophy? What are your values? How do these fit into your long- and short-term goals?

When I ran a software company, there was a pull to create a “Google-esque” atmosphere, but there was also a military aspect to the company that tugged in a different direction. It was a challenge to try to marry those elements. Your company may have different challenges, but you still want to define and be true to a culture so people will understand your values.

Clearly articulating your culture will help you connect with the best hires to help accomplish your business goals. Ask yourself, “How can I work with my team to create an environment where people are happy and the company moves forward with its strategic plans?”

Consistency is one key to cultural integrity and business success. Make sure everyone on your team understands the organization’s goals. Incorporate a rhythm into your calendar, such as regular weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings with your team. This helps ensure everyone works together cohesively.

Key Business Metrics

Financial metrics are an important way to know how the company is doing. However, I believe the best way to get a strong sense of what’s going on in your business is to walk around and talk to your people. Engage managers and team members in conversations to find out how things are going. Ask about their concerns and solicit their ideas. Touch base with your customers, too. Find out their biggest challenges and determine how your organization may be able to expand to meet those needs. When you have your finger on the pulse of your team and customers, you’ll be in the best position to successfully grow.

View the interview on my Facebook business page — and please “like” the page while you are there to receive regular updates about business and leadership topics of interest.

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