business analysis

Missed Opportunities | Extraordinary Business

A business assessment is the basis for short-term change and strategic growthYoung stylish businessman

As a small business owner, you probably have about a million million-dollar ideas floating around in your head. Problem is that while there is no lack of ideas, determining where to invest your time and resources may be an issue. Oftentimes, it is a challenge of opportunity cost: if you invest in one area, you cannot invest somewhere else.
May investors have horror stories about missing opportunities that turned into great opportunities. This article talks about 11 investors who turned down opportunities that would have netted them HUGE returns.
If we only had a crystal ball!!
While these may not be the types of opportunities you would take advantage of, there may be every day opportunities that you and your company are missed out on, sometimes, simply as a result of not knowing. Many business owners get so wrapped up in fighting the daily fires of running the business that sometimes even the basic things get missed.
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Missed Opportunities | Extraordinary Business

A business assessment is the basis for short-term change and strategic growthYoung stylish businessman

As a small business owner, you probably have about a million million-dollar ideas floating around in your head. Problem is that while there is no lack of ideas, determining where to invest your time and resources may be an issue. Oftentimes, it is a challenge of opportunity cost: if you invest in one area, you cannot invest somewhere else.

May investors have horror stories about missing opportunities that turned into great opportunities. This article talks about 11 investors who turned down opportunities that would have netted them HUGE returns.

If we only had a crystal ball!!

While these may not be the types of opportunities you would take advantage of, there may be every day opportunities that you and your company are missed out on, sometimes, simply as a result of not knowing. Many business owners get so wrapped up in fighting the daily fires of running the business that sometimes even the basic things get missed.

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Get to the Bottom of Things! | Extraordinary Business

Finding out what is really going on in your business rather than treating the symptoms

imageWhen you talk about problems you have in your business, would a conversation sound like this?:.

You:“Man! This really a terrible business to be in.”
Brian: “Why do you say that?“
You:““Well, every time we go to do something to grow the business, we are always stuck.”
Brian: “Why is that?”
You: “Well…cash flow is really poor right now.”
Brian: “Well, that doesn’t tell me much. Why is cash flow poor?”
You:“Well, we have to pay for quarterly taxes and payroll – there was some overtime this time, and then one of the printers went down, so we had to have that fixed. It is out of warranty.”
Brian: “How did you get into this situation?”
You:“Well, we saw that there was a problem with this thing a while back, but thought that we could hang on for a while so that we could build some reserves…”
Brian: “You didn’t have any money in the bank?”
You:“Well…we needed to have a party for one of the employees…”
…and on and on. 

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Get to the Bottom of Things! | Extraordinary Business

Finding out what is really going on in your business rather than treating the symptoms

imageWhen you talk about problems you have in your business, would a conversation sound like this?:.

You:“Man! This really a terrible business to be in.”
Brian: “Why do you say that?“
You:““Well, every time we go to do something to grow the business, we are always stuck.”
Brian: “Why is that?”
You: “Well…cash flow is really poor right now.”
Brian: “Well, that doesn’t tell me much. Why is cash flow poor?”
You:“Well, we have to pay for quarterly taxes and payroll – there was some overtime this time, and then one of the printers went down, so we had to have that fixed. It is out of warranty.”
Brian: “How did you get into this situation?”
You:“Well, we saw that there was a problem with this thing a while back, but thought that we could hang on for a while so that we could build some reserves…”
Brian: “You didn’t have any money in the bank?”
You:“Well…we needed to have a party for one of the employees…”
…and on and on. 

 [···]

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The Sky is Falling!!

Clouds and Ice Chunks

 

One one of my favorite stories is the story of Chicken Little, the little chicken who got everyone in his world excited, thinking that the sky was falling.  Well, as it turns out, the sky really is falling; the price of cloud computing is coming down to a level where it is reasonably priced.

I’ve had opportunity to do some research for one of my clients who is preparing to move her business into another phase, wherein she can take advantage of some technologies that will allow her to do more with less, so to speak.  This was a great exercise, and of course, one that will allow me to write a great article on once I am finished.

In order to get the best product for the job, one that would match was she is currently doing, while allowing her to embrace some opportunities she is just on the fringe of, I created a matrix using, in this case, Microsoft Excel.  In preparation for this, I performed a business analysis, which included a process and systems analysis and a technology review. ( The analysis discovers what she currently has in place, where the review discovery is based on what she has and how she is using it.) 

Once completed, I was able to use the data to prepare a matrix – the left column being the “wish list,”, with everything on the list being prioritized – 1 through 3.  At the top of the matrix, horizontally were placed different software systems, focused primarily on SAAS systems, or cloud systems as they are beginning to be called.

Now, the purpose of the cloud is to allow business owners to log in from anywhere in the world and get into some web-based system to get information about their companies.  What makes these relevant now, is that the price points are getting to the point where they are quite reasonable and there are enough platforms available to meet the needs of most organizations.

While working through the whole process, several things became quite obvious:

  1. It is difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison of products
  2. Not all vendors will help you demystify the differences between the products.
  3. It is important – extremely important to find a system that will adapt to your business, and not vise-versa.
  4. Don’t over purchase.  Be very clear, ahead of time, what you need, what you want, and what is nice to have.  Don’t pay significantly more for bells or whistles that won’t enhance your bottom line.
  5. Don’t purchase solely on price.  If you focus on getting the lowest cost item (there are free ones out there) you may end up paying more in the long run.  Consider the cost (opportunity cost!) to switch to something you can manage in-house.
  6. Remember – complexity=additional training.  If you cannot afford to put down $4,000 for set up and training, don’t buy the software.  Period
  7. Learn the product!  You’ve invested money into your organization.  It is to your benefit (your responsibility!) to get the most out of your investment.
  8. Make sure there is some level of support that you can work with.  If the system is mission critical for your business, don’t settle for email support!
  9. Consider the fact that although there are systems out there that “do it all,” you’ve got to do your homework.  Just like your company, every company has their “sweet spot.”
  10. Most companies will give you a 30-day trial period on their software.  Don’t bother with this until you can narrow down your product selection to no more than three that meet all of your level one criteria, most of your level two, and maybe some of your level three.

Getting your office in the clouds may pay off for your organization, and allow you to cut back on costs, increase productivity and be more in control of daily operations.  When looking for a solution provider for your organization, being wary of these items will ensure you are spending responsibly and help you to get the best solution for your company.

 

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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