ATLANTA — To build a business that will last beyond your retirement, three types of control are needed: internal, personnel and organizational, according to a presenter at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting, here.
Rob Benedetti, MBA, consultant for PROMISE Consulting, said that internal control starts at the top, with ownership and conscientious management. Too often, owners and managers don’t dig deep enough into their business to analyze an internal problem. A flawed internal process will repeat itself if not corrected. Sometimes, managers think they can fix an internal problem simply by hiring someone.
“That’s always a first response to a flawed process; you think that’s going to solve your problem, but it just increases your overhead,” Benedetti said. A problem with an internal process will not go away by throwing money or manpower at it, he said.
Take time to sort through the details of running your business, from cutting costs to reconciling your checkbook.
“The devil’s in the details,” Benedetti said. “That’s where we find process flaws and our ability to correct them.”
Related duties, particularly accounting functions, should be assigned to different people, he said. The person who receives cash and checks should not be the same person who records receipts, for example. Bank reconciliations need to be thorough and prompt.
Personnel controls involve the usual steps of the hiring process, including checking credentials and performing a background check. But culture fit is also important, and sometimes the best way to determine if a new hire will fit into your company environment is to let current employees in on the interviewing process.
“Often they can see through the person better than management. They may know what to look for and what questions to ask,” Benedetti said.
You must weigh a prospective employee’s skills and their ability to fit into your work culture. A candidate with great skills may not be a good fit for your company, and skills can often be taught to a candidate whose personality is an otherwise perfect fit for your corporate culture. Sometimes you need to hire quickly, but if you think a candidate just isn’t right, don’t hire them, he said.
“Don’t let the pressure of needing someone camouflage their flaws,” Benedetti said.
Organizational controls require clear lines of authority and responsibility. Management teams should meet regularly to ensure different parts of the business work together smoothly, and part of your company’s organizational control is defining the company culture.
“Positive results of a good company culture are low turnover, high productivity and brand value. Not sure of your culture? Try an anonymous employee survey,” he said.
Benedetti R. Is your company built to last? Keys to ongoing organizational success. Presented at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. March 21-24. Atlanta.