|Instead of telling you what I think this month, I’ll just ask some questions to provoke some thought. If these questions look familiar, and you’ve been asking them for a while, it might be because I asked similar questions in this newsletter about eleven years ago. Don’t just read the questions, actually think about your answers.
|Are you controlling your business, or is your business controlling you?
|Do you control the expenses in your business by operating from a budget, or do you operate by the “seat of your pants”?
|Do you have processes in place (and documented) for internal job functions, or do you assume everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing?
|You know that everyone in your organization has certain responsibilities. Have they been clearly communicated, and do the people in your organization know they have these responsibilities?
|Do you know the true cost of items that you produce or buy for resale, including indirect costs?
|Do you know your most profitable items and those items that are not so profitable and maybe should be discontinued?
|Do you know your businesses key financial ratios, what they mean, and where the danger levels are?
|Do you analyze the return on new asset purchases before the purchase is made?
|If you think you have good answers to all of these questions, good for you. I challenge you to continually ask these questions throughout the year, and improve operations through better management. At Red Wing Software, we evaluate our position and try to answer these questions regularly. We fear that once we think we know all the answers, we stop improving.