Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who's minding your business?

I made a follow up call to one of our customers today. The system was implemented about a year ago, and as is our normal practice, we call to inquire if everything is okay.

The answer I got was, as in an alarmingly large number of cases, something similar to "I will check with the accounts clerk and come back to you."

Although I have to a certain degree become immune to such responses, I felt compelled to write about the apathy business owners have towards their business.

How does a business owner run her or his business without concrete information about the business? Putting aside all the other analytical reports that a business owner needs, pertinent information such as:

  1. Am I making a profit, breaking even or worse still making a loss?

  2. Where is the money going? Are certain expenses too high in proportion to sales?

  3. Who owes me money?

  4. Who do I owe money to?

If as a business owner you have the answer to these questions, not necessarily at your fingertips, but accessible to you periodically on a timely basis, then it goes without saying that whatever system you have is working for you.

So, when a business owner responds with an answer like the one above, it generally is an indication of "I don't know, and frankly I don't care". Well, maybe not so drastic, but it borders on that.

Which in turn means that your accounts clerk is minding your business, and that's a dangerous proposition whichever way you look at it.