How To Audit Your Business: Check these simple things first!

Identifying the biggest risks in your business can help you prevent disaster before it strikes. I'm not just talking about natural disasters or social crises like a pandemic or military invasion, either. Often we can't see those things coming, even though they're always a possibility.

External factors aren't the only things that can affect your company’s growth and success. Sometimes, the biggest (and most likely) risks occur inside your organization. Things like time-wasting, poor employee training or customer service, or focusing on the wrong thing can set a company back months, if not years! 

If left unchecked, these issues can have catastrophic consequences for your enterprise. Sure, you could fall behind competitors, but you could also lose the high-quality customers and talent that helped make your company what it is today. A regular business audit can help you catch these issues before they become problems in your company.

Look for Ways to Streamline Processes 

Streamlining business processes is one of the most effective ways for you to improve your company. Rather than rely on old-fashioned approaches, such as physical documents or manual activities, look to automation as much as you can to execute your processes. Things like an online scheduling tool or CRM for managing customer data are a great place to start.

Keep your process docs up to date, too. Use the cloud to store your process documents so that they can be updated by anyone in the company at any time. A central repository means everyone has the most up-to-date version of your process documentation. 

Organize Your Information and Projects 

Similarly, organizing your information and projects is a superb way to improve your business. File cabinets are useful, but I'm talking about all the stuff you have collecting digital dust. No matter what you do, you may have a server full of scattered documents, images, and reports that are impossible to find. 

Using programs or apps that archive files and folders will make a significant improvement. Now, you don’t need to spend hours pouring through the folder you were certain contained specific information, and instead, you can find it in an instant. You can also use this archive to maximize server space, which will accelerate your system and make everything quicker and more efficient. 

Make the Pennies Count 

This may seem obvious, but I often find folks spending money they don't need to in the early stages of their business. It's can be tricky to balance your budget and know which areas of your business require the most financial attention. It is just as important to make every penny count, too. There is a chance that your business is paying for services or subscriptions that you do not use, so go through your financials and identify everything. 

You might find you are paying too much for items you don’t use, especially things like stationery, office furniture, and other items that are quickly becoming (mostly) irrelevant in an office setting. Your business may have evolved significantly over the last two years, also. If you have embraced remote working over office-based work, consider whether you need office space, and even if you do, does it need to be as big as it is?  Chaotics often have what I call "champagne wishes and Kool-Aid money". Yes, we want to have nice things, but if the business can't financially support having those things, you really need to think twice about spending that money.

Help Your Employees Thrive 

Employee performance (including your own!) is a strong indicator of how successful your business is and how successful it will be in the future. It’s always beneficial to check in with employees and team members (both at the office and remote) so you can get an idea of their thoughts and feelings regarding their professional development and their role in the company. 

Ambitious professionals are always looking for ways to improve their skills and take on more responsibility. If they feel they are spinning their wheels, they won’t have the drive to push themselves. They may even feel like their efforts go unnoticed and may be considering a move away from your organization. Get feedback from employees and make a change that could benefit your whole organization. 

Identify Areas for Change 

All businesses will have areas for change, but you’ll never be able to make these changes if you don’t first identify them. You can get an idea of these changes from employee feedback, and they might highlight pointless meetings or similar issues that contribute to significant time drains. 

Your organizational setup is not perfect, and just because you have done things one way forever doesn’t mean you won’t find any benefit if you adjust it. Implementing changes does not always go down well, but if enough people believe it is the right thing to do, others will soon forget how it was done previously, and you can look forward to the next stage for your business. 

Consider Creative Approaches 

Your creative well is something you will need to draw from at times if you want to make a statement. Look at what your competitors are doing and consider how you can improve their approach to attract new customers and bring more eyes to your product or service. 

Digital marketing typically involves social media or email campaigns, but everyone does this. If you want to experience the success you expect, you need to look at doing something more. This doesn’t mean abandoning digital marketing altogether, at the moment, it will always have a purpose. But this is not the only way to market your company or share content. Experiences are a useful way to garner attention, especially if you are trying to enter new markets. Make a splash with something unique, and you will get the attention you need.

Get It Right the First Time 

Did you know that poor customer service wastes $75 billion annually across all industries? This is a significant and even terrifying figure to look at, which is why your business must get it right the first time. Many businesses pride themselves on excellent customer service at first, but soon become complacent once they become the most recognized name in their industry. They know they offer convenience and so customers will return even after a bad experience. 

Believing that the customers will always come back is not sustainable, though. You must get your customer service right the first time to ensure they have a positive experience when working with you. Of course, mistakes are bound to be made along the way, but if you can find out where these mistakes are made most often, you can take steps towards reducing them as much as possible.  

Improvements 

There is no such thing as the perfect company, and you shouldn’t expect perfection. Still, getting closer to perfect is possible. While you may think everything is going well, it could always be better. Carrying out a business audit will highlight the areas for improvement and allow you to consider alternatives that will put your company in a strong position to succeed and thrive in your industry. You don't have to do everything at once, but doing SOMETHING will help move the needle in your favor.


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