Credit and Finance, Growth, Management, Hints and tips, Small Business
Is it time for a business health check?
Posted on by Cindy Yip
Estimated read time: 4 mins
We are overwhelmed with advice about looking after our personal health. Successive governments even legislate to safeguard us from health hazards – over-indulging in sugar being the latest threat. Some of us will heed that advice and others will dismiss it. Either because we know that we’re healthy and will stay so because of regular checks, or because we believe that the NHS will keep us alive no matter what, or because of the “I ain’t dead yet!” syndrome.
Businesses have the same issues. They can be overweight: they have too many people, too big an overhead, or are simply inefficient and cannot move quickly enough because of their size. They can be underweight: that can be dangerous too. They do not have sufficient resources and in an effort to balance the books they may reduce their resource base even further until they can no longer operate. They can even have a heart attack: the business being under so much stress that it implodes on itself in one shock. In fact, there is a business equivalent for a whole range of human conditions, and the analogy can be continued endlessly. The problem with a business having a health issue is that there is no NHS to keep it going. Remember: nobody has passed a law which says that businesses have to survive.
What we should not forget here, are the situations where there is no illness right now but there are lifestyle issues (diet or use of recreational substances) which may be hiding a developing problem. That hidden disease could result in a major problem later on. Businesses have the same potential problem lurking. Poor leadership, over-borrowing, not being able to retain key staff, or insufficient training will have their impact in the future.
So, how can a business maintain a healthy lifestyle? Well, the first step is to establish the condition of the business. To identify those hidden threats and lifestyle issues before they become life-threatening. How can this be done? The easy answer is to undergo a Business Health Check which will establish where the business stands against a range of measures. This will be totally painless and non-intrusive, but the results will give a very clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the business. From this, a set of actions can be developed that will tackle the causes of any issues, and a set of measures implemented which will continually monitor the condition of the business.
Advantage Business Partnerships have been using the aptly named SPA (Strategic Performance Assessment), something like a business MRI Scanner, to examine businesses and consult with the business owners on the way forward. Access to the SPA is free at http://advantagebusinessltd.com/health-check-spa-2/ and every business completing the SPA receives a 121 feedback session from one of the consultants. What happens after that is up to the business owner. Do they want to take the medicine, or do they want to ignore the diagnosis and make their way to eventual collapse? I hope in your case you’ll heed the advice and that your business will grow strong, stay fit and go on to living a healthy future.
Garry Smith is a business coach at Advantage Business Partnerships and the co-author of Creating Business Advantage: Setting Up and Running A Successful Business (SRA Books, 2015) ISBN 978-1-909116-43-6