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Are you frustrated by the lack of growth in your firm, or the effort required to squeeze any up-tick in performance? Are inadequate policies and procedures a root cause? To find out, take this simple self assessment to see if this may be inhibiting real growth at your company.
Q. Can you take an extended vacation without the company falling apart?
A. If you answered “no” then you have a job and not a business. A business must have a system of standard operating procedures to ensure the work gets done correctly, even in your absence.
Q. Can your company handle a ramp-up in sales and production?
A. Hidden inefficiencies are often revealed when sales and production increase. If low turns on accounts receivable and inventory, long sales or production cycles starve your cash flow, then something is wrong. Your policies and procedures should document cycle times for your critical operating metrics.
Q. Can you effectively add more people to your organization?
A. Hiring people is simple compared to ensuring they know what to do and have the resources to accomplish their job. Policies and procedures provide the framework for a management system to oversee new employees and communicate who does what by when.
Q. Does opening a new branch office, plant or facility create havoc?
A. Expanding your operations to new locations will test the limits of your policies and procedures. Did you know that franchises are four times more likely to survive than a start-up primarily because they have a well defined operations manual? Are you running your business like franchises run theirs?
Q. Is your family happy with your work life?
A. If your business demands too many hours, too much stress, and too little quality time with your family and friends, then you should do something about it. A well defined system of standard operating procedures can allow you take a vacation without worry, increase sales with ease, add people to fill demand, and open new offices without trouble. Then your family will be the happiest on the block.