Walk The Walk
Whenever I visit a client on site for the first time, my first exercise is to “walk the walk”. I take a whistle-stop tour of the shop and office floor spaces and I take the time speak with all of the staff I pass on route. I delve into the warehouse and storage areas and if there is a physical on-site shop, I review the “market face” of the business.
My second step would then be to meet with the owner or manager to enlighten them with some, sometimes candid, thoughts that highlight some of the immediate issues the business is currently facing; be that on a communication front, over stocking or storage of slow moving goods, and/or whether there is simply a barrier between management and staff that has not been recognised. A lot of these issues are minor and simple to cure, but more often than not are overlooked as management are not as focused on the operational control of the business, and/or have not spotted where operational efficiencies may be made.
When a business is demonstrating some of these signs, it is a clear indication to me that the business may not be operating as efficiently as possible, and that there may be some further underlying issues masked within the business. It is therefore imperative as business owners and managers, that you are acutely aware of every facet within your business and where, with a little care and attention, changes may be made in order to improve the bottom line. For this to improve, employee engagement is paramount, as is ownership and responsibility to key members of staff for particular arrears of the business, be that on the shop floor, accounts and even down to the cleaners. With a more focused approach as to the way you “do” business and taking the time to walk the walk, you’ll soon find ways to improve margins and the bottom line.
They do say after-all, that the devil is in the detail.