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How To Begin

One useful mode of analysis is to specify exactly what you initially wanted (and still hope to achieve) from the business and then work back through your entire organisation highlighting the inefficiencies which have prevented you achieving your objectives. This requires you to think of your business as a system with inputs and outputs under your control. You set up a theoretical, perfeetly functioning model of how your business ought to perform and then compare the idealised model with what actually happens. Suppose, for example, that you run a wine bar and that when you started you anticipated a certain average number of customers per week, each spending

aparticular average amount, thus generating an income of a predieted level well in excess of your anticipated costs. What precisely needs to happen for this to occur? Presumably, the answer to this question will involve:
A certain proportion of potential customers in the wine bar’s catchment area becoming aware of the establishment’s existence, using the establishment, and repeating their custom.
Each customer unit (person or group) spending some minimum amount per standard period of time (half an hour perhaps) while in the bar.

how to begin

A certain average hourly turnover of custom and/or seat/table occupancy wage and other expenses not exceeding predetermined limits.
A constant supply of inputs (wines, foodstuffs, etc.) at reasonable prices.
The actual list will of course be much more exhaustive than this, and will relate to the specific circumstances of the business. In general, liowever, you would need to ask how each of your objectives could be achieved and why targets have not been met. You want to know:
What resources, activities and other inputs are needed.

how to begin

What processes are required.
How you and your employees must behave towards customers and towards each other.
What information you have to gather.
How materials are to be stored and manipulated.
Now compare the ideal configuration of events and activities with the reality of your business and determine the changes necessary to improve its performance.

Some fundamentai changes – in premises, marketing methods, staffing levels, ways of controlling costs – are dealt with in other chapters. Here we are concerned with identifying causes of difficulties.

Working From Home

No time is spent travelling to work if you work from home. If you need to meet customers or suppliers only occasionally and your home is not a suitable venue then perhaps you can hire a room in somebody else’s premises for the odd half day.

The New Stuff