Taking an inward look at the “management side” of your business is not the most pleasant or exciting work that a small business owner can do. “Getting new clients/customers; that’s what business is all about”. This statement is the one I hear most frequently when starting with a new client. Near the beginning of an initial interview, I ask, “What is the most challenging thing in your business today”? Most often it’s the challenge of growing the business, getting new customers. Most new clients are eager to start the development and implementation of a Strategic Marketing plan.
The successful implementation of a strategic marketing plan requires a solid foundation of systems that drive the operation and provide for a smooth delivery of the products or services offered. The management systems start with the product/services that have to be obtained and then delivered to customers, and ends with the follow up, customer relations management. It’s not enough to say I have it “in my mind”, management systems have to be written so that a process is developed that can be followed every time by anyone that is delivering the product or service.
(An effective bookkeeping system is the tool by which we measure the success of an effective Management Control System. Monthly status reports are a must in even the smallest business.)
As a small business, a one or two person operation, management control doesn’t seem relevant. A definition of management control is a set of mechanisms designed to increase the probability that people will behave in ways that lead to the attainment of the business’ goals. Management controls will help small business owners focus on their goals and provide a written path to success.
Back to the marketing issue. Once a Strategic Marketing plan is developed it is integrated into the system and becomes a part of the Management Control System. Marketing can’t ever be a stand-alone operation; it must be a part of the overall Management Control System.
Accountability is one of the most important benefits that I bring to a client. Are you in charge of your business or is your business in charge of you?
Up is not an easy direction. It defies gravity, both cultural and magnetic. Mike Abrashoff
Nick J. Petra CFP subscribe to this blog at www.strategicduck.com
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