Welcome to our Business Optimization Resource Catalogue. This is a collection of our resources that are relevant to your goal of building a sustainable business.
For us, a sustainable business has acceptable:
- Rewards for the leader (salary, benefits and profit)
- Stress levels (cash flow and risk) and
These are what is acceptable in the mind of the business leader and will differ between individual leaders.
There are three parts to building sustainability:
- Configure for sustainable operation.
- Remove waste and other profit impairing inefficiencies.
- Monitor the business to ensure it stays sustainable.
The resources are grouped that way below.
If you have not already read the more detailed outline of our approach to building a sustainable business, please do before using the resources below.
Optimize for Sustainable Operation
A business can never be sustainable if the various “levers” in the accounting system are not in harmony. Most businesses work on the equation:
Revenue – Expenses = Profit
Consequently, they only find out what their Profit is sometime after the accounting period has closed; and they have to take what they get. If you want a sustainable system, it makes sense to set your target Profit and then manage Revenue and/or costs to get the required profit.
Introduction to our GamePlans on optimizing your business for cost saving and performance efficiencies. Cost saving is fast and goes mostly to the bottom line; but there is a limit to how much you can reduce costs. Effeciency is forward looking savings from not incurring costs in the first place and/or producing more with the same inputs.
Business planning sounds like a pretty complex exercise that takes a lot of time and thought; and has uncertain payoffs. Consequently, many smaller business owners don’t spend a lot of time on it. We take these realities into consideration and have fashioned a very simple, very adaptable, planning routine based on the best practices of leading writers and companies
The Profit Autopilot system provides a mechanism for setting a desirable Profit in advance. It then manipulates the business to provide that level of Profit with much more surety than the conventional approach.
A common problem in business is having the necessary cash to pay debts when they fall due. This can be particularly difficult with infrequent payments, like tax, that tend to sneak up on you. Or alternatively, you have trouble budgeting for in advance when you don’t know how much the payment will be. Just like a child’s piggy bank saves money out of sight, the “Piggy Bank” strategy does the same for your business. The information for “Piggy Banks” is found within the Profit Autopilot Skills Module.
Any business can only be as good as the people who work in it. In turn they need to be well trained and well led. A sustainable business needs good systems for recruiting, motivating, leading and remunerating. Learn more about the resources available on the link above. Also covers other people relationships, for example, suppliers.
It can be lonely being a business leader. Sometimes you will feel you can benefit from another person’s advice or guidance but can’t ask staff. We offer a Performance Coaching Service on an as-requested basis for just these times. Use the link above to learn more.
Optimise for Profitability by Removing Waste
Waste and inefficiency is everywhere; even in apparently well managed businesses. Waste burns up what would otherwise be Profit. There is a two step approach to removing these unnecessary costs. Step 1 is a rapid reduction and Step 2 is learning new habits. These continue to strip out waste and help to prevent it sneaking in again.
The O100 course is designed to rapidly optimise your existing business by striping out unnecessary costs. It optimises your Revenue from existing products. Essentially, it takes what you have and tunes it for better performance. Advantages are that it is fast, low risk and most savings go directly to your Profit line.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement”. Practicing kaizen is what let Toyota dramatically outdo US auto manufacturers. You can do it in your business, also, by adopting the habit of continuous improvement in your systems.
Waste is everywhere in most businesses; and it eats directly into Profit. Experts talk of 8 types of waste. You and your staff can develop habits for continuously removing waste as you come across it. This is another advantage Toyota had over US car makers.
A big drain on a business leader is having too much work on their plate. Our sustainability goal is to get that under control. There are a number of Time Management Resources to help. Go to the link above.
Not all work is equally important. By focusing on what is important, and largely ignoring the rest, you will get much more done, much faster, and with less stress. Go to the work prioritisation resources.
This is a Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement”. It is the philosophy initially embraced by Toyota. It was then adopted by their competitors when it showed how effective it was in reducing wasted effort and re-work of defective products.
Workflow refers to the input of raw materials and customer orders at one end of a production line and the output of finished goods at the other. It applies to all types of industry. A production chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Optimise the production chain workflow at the link in the heading.
Monitor Your Business Health
Right from the start of your sustainability journey, you should be monitoring the health of your business. Early on, this will show how your journey is progressing and give you positive feedback on progress. Once over the initial stages, you need to be confident that your operating circumstances don’t change for the worse without you realising. Constant changes, like inflation on wages and goods, will eat into your sustainability unless monitored.
TrendBoard is our principal monitoring tool. It is designed to be updated every month with current financial data from your accounts. Furthermore, it takes only 1-2 hours a month to be confident that your business is progressing satisfactorily.
ChangeBoard is built into TrendBoard. It will show you the impact on profitability of a change in any of the major accounting “levers” (Revenue, Gross Profit and Operating Profit). You use it to check on what adverse changes are costing you and the potential impact of intentional change.
The Diagnostic System allows you to click on a link for any adverse Symptom or problem you have in your business and drill down to possible Treatments. It saves you a great deal of research and often raises possibilities that have not occurred to you before.
Often your accounting system is used for annual Tax Accounting and not for monthly Management Accounting. You are wasting one of your most valuable monitoring assets. Much more can be got from your accounting system; and generally at very little extra cost. Learn more about good accounting system configuration.