New Year’s Resolution: Better Business Health

Fishbowl CMO Kirk Tanner explains how to improve your business' health in 2014 and well into the future.

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday. I’m Kirk Tanner, Chief Marketing Officer at Fishbowl. And since it’s January we’re gonna talk about New Year’s resolutions, and we’re gonna start out with talking about better health, and we’re not talking about your health; we’re talking about your business’ health.

It starts with the checkup, and we’ve got some new researcher from the University of Tennessee – research that says that 50 percent of the population of the United States works at a small business but only 49 percent of them are open after four years. The top two reasons that they give for failure: lack of knowledge and lack of information.

So now what? Well, if we’ve got a lack of knowledge and a lack of information, that’s what we’re gonna focus on in our plan. We talk about ABC inventory. We’ve done a video on that previously. Might want to go back and watch that. Find out what your ABC inventory is. This is your highest-priority inventory down to your lower-priority inventory. Know and understand that; that’s part of your plan.

Then work on getting reports. If you’re doing manual inventory management, running everything in a manual way, try to come up with at least quarterly reports. If you have an automated system you can run reports whenever you want to. Take that information and now go meet with that CPA that is helping you and they will give you some great advice on this information.

Now, I need to point out your CPA’s advice is only as good as the information you bring, so having an automated system here is really valuable to make sure that the data is accurate. But let’s assume that the date is accurate. Your CPA is gonna give you some advice on how to do things, help you with this knowledge and this information so that you’re running your business as efficiently as possible.

So once you have this plan we come over here we start to take action. And we’re gonna start by organizing. You want to get really organized in your business. You wanna know where your inventory is. You wanna know the shelf, you wanna know the bin, you wanna know where everything is located in multiple locations so you don’t waste time looking for things you don’t waste time putting it on the shelf when new shipments come in.

So get a plan together that you can organize all of that. And then make sure that in this effort being more knowledgeable and have more information that your systems are integrated. You’ve got barcode readers, you’ve got accounting packages, you’ve got merchant services, and you might have an automated inventory system.

Those systems should be fully integrated. If they are, you’ve beat the battle for this knowledge and information because it’s at your fingertips. If you don’t have an automated system, try to figure out how to get as much of this automated as possible because this is going to improve this problem here of having the right knowledge and the right information when you need it.

Finally, in your action plan you’re going to start to communicate this. You’re gonna communicate it with your employees, your managers. If you have multiple locations you’re gonna share it with them. The idea here is to make sure that they have all of this information so that they’re operating on the same plan and have the same knowledge and information available to them. They know where to find it, how to access it so that they can make the right kinds of decisions and move very efficiently in your business.

If you do this and you’re consistent and you kinda cycle through here, you can actually have a business that’s very healthy, very profitable, and hopefully lasts more than the four years that the research shows.

That’s it for this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday. Join us next week. We’re gonna talk about building better relationships. Thanks.

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