It’s no secret that the cherished dream of many business owners is the desire to free themselves from solving operational issues by transferring their business under the management of a hired professional. And now it is implemented – a suitable person is found, the reins of government are safely transferred into reliable hands, and it would seem, it is time to relax and do their own business.
However, not all so simple! To entrust your business to another person, even if it is very literate and worthy of all confidence, is how to entrust the upbringing of your child. You do not give rest to the idea of how things are in your favorite child, you still come to the office, and interfere with the solution of those very operational issues, the solution of which they tried so hard to get rid of. It seems to you that everything is going wrong, and you would have done differently – and this is not surprising, since the person you hire has its own experience, and its own views on how the company should work. As a result, there is a growing tension between you and the top you put at the head, and employees cease to understand how they act in the current situation, whose orders to execute, and the company begins to fever.
Or the other extreme – you instantly relax, calmly do other things, hoping that the person hired by you will do everything as you need – after all, he is a true professional, and he has great experience in leadership, and a lot of successful projects behind him. Time passes, you decide to inquire about the results of your company’s work – and do not believe your eyes: with such difficulty the won positions are lost, the turnover and profits do not even last until the last year’s indicators, and the incomprehensible new people are in place of your key employees, who have been searching for reliable teams for years.
It is clear that both extremes are not the best option for a business owner who has retired from business. In either case, nothing good can be expected. We need some kind of a golden mean – so as not to lose control, keeping the opportunity to intervene in time in case of really difficult situation, and not to irritate the company’s work, constantly interfering in solving current issues.
We build a monitoring system
First, it makes sense to establish a system for monitoring the state of the business on key indicators. And this is not only the notorious turnover and profit – because the immediate increase in profits does not guarantee the overall “health” of the business, and it may well occur against the background of a general deterioration of the situation in the company. Or, what happens even more often, in the pursuit of current profits, the strategic resources of the company, such as relations with regular customers and loyalty of employees, are lost sight of and irretrievably lost.
The evaluation system should include indicators reflecting the state of the five key components of your business: production, economics and finance, sales and marketing, employees, as well as the cost (capitalization) of the company and the implementation of strategic goals. Specific indicators will depend on the specifics of your business.
As a result, you will be able to objectively assess the status of all the main blocks that determine the activities of your company and note possible “alarm bells” before they affect its well-being.
We reveal non-obvious risks
However, this alone is not enough. Even such a competent and well-balanced system of indicators will not give you a full guarantee. Why? Because there are things that cannot be reflected in any figures of the most complete and objective reports. Such as the atmosphere in the team, the presence of sharp contradictions between units, the mood and risks of leaving key employees and the adequacy of motivation of leading top managers.
These things will not show you any reports, but if you are “at the helm” and take part in the operational activities of the company, they would not have escaped you. But you, for that matter, put the management in the hands of a hired specialist, so as not to interfere in operational activities? And your intervention, as it is already clear, will lead to nothing good … Well, here, most likely, you cannot do without one’s help. A trusted person, or several people who would become your “eyes and ears”, will come in handy here, but they did not have the opportunity to interfere in the company’s affairs directly, and were accountable to you personally, bypassing the company’s hired management.
The presence at the operational meetings and the opportunity to informally communicate with employees, to act in relation to the company with external influence – the so-called “secret buyer” – these are the tools by which it will be possible to reliably determine the status of the “patient”.
Easier to said than done!
In order to develop a system of indicators that will allow you to fully control your business, monitor the dynamics of their changes, and collect information about the current situation in the enterprise, you will need the help of trusted employees. You can organize everything yourself by forming a department of owner control – a small group of people who will be subordinated to you personally, and will not be part of your organization. Another option is to outsource this function, using the services of a specialized organization. The advantages of outsourcing are obvious – you do not need to engage yourself in hiring employees in the department and controlling their work, worries about whether their qualifications are sufficient. With you will be professionals with high qualifications who have extensive experience of such work, and if necessary within the same service will be able to get advice from a “narrow” specialist – for example, an independent taxman or a lawyer who does not need to be constantly kept in the state.